This undated postcard image of the Tweed Museum of Art appears to be circa the 1970s. The text on the back reads:
The only major art gallery in Northern Minnesota, Tweed Gallery on the University of Minnesota, Duluth campus has attracted more than 300,000 visitors since it opened in 1958. Funds for the gallery were donated by Mrs. Alice Tweed Tuohy, now of Santa Barbara, California and her daughter, Mrs. John Brickson, Duluth. Twenty shows each year feature international, national, faculty and student artists in four separate exhibition areas.
The five-day Independent Television Festival is moving from Manchester, Vt. to Duluth. ITV plans to open an office in Duluth early next year and have year-round programming. The company estimates the festival could bring more than $1.5 million into the local economy.
The 14th annual festival is scheduled for Oct. 9-13. It showcases episodic television shows for TV executives, agents and producers from outlets like Netflix and Bravo, but is also open to the public. The goal is to discover new television programs created on independent budgets.
Naomi Christenson has been featured here before as a dancer, this week we get to see her work as a painter. A self-described “detail junkie” she gets inspiration from unusual places, including fungus and lichen. Her paintings are filled with immaculate detail and vibrant colors, abstraction and pattern.
NC: I primarily work in acrylic paint, though I’ve also worked with oil and gouache for some projects. When I started painting, it was in a classroom and we worked primarily on still lives. The instructor set up a backdrop with a diverse collection of objects in the foreground and we painted it. In that setting, I found myself most drawn to the complex objects with lots of detail. An old gumball machine with its glassy top, red metal body and shiny silver flourishes springs to mind as one of my favorite objects to paint. Beyond classes, the more I painted the more my style came into view. For example, I found myself happiest with paintings that not only had a lot of detail but also a lot of color. Years later I discovered my love of natural patterns and the mix within my work became more interesting.
“This piece consists of 51 texts I sent to myself first thing in the morning during the 2016 presidential election season. Hopefully some of them will speak to you,” says Gard, describing her work in Superstition Review.
This week in Selective Focus, we hear from photographer John Heino about his work, and how he he balances his ever-growing creative wish list as well as evolving travel and equipment wish lists.
JH: I began as an old-school film photographer in the early 80’s as an art student at UMD. With the advent of digital photography, I made the transition from darkroom to computer. I was a bit skeptical about digital in the beginning, but it’s incredible how the technology has evolved over the last ten years.
Find something for everyone on your gift-giving list with PDD’s annual curated gift guide. It’s a bit different than most gift guides in that it’s not a list of stores that advertise with PDD — it’s a list of items created in our region, chosen simply because they are nifty.
Former Duluthian Michael Fedo’s new book is reviewed on the arts and literature website Open Letters Review:
For all readers interested in the workaday writing life, it’s fascinating to follow Fedo through his many adventures, from writing an authorized biography of Garrison Keillor vehemently opposed by its subject to interviewing Cloris Leachman about starring in a play about Grandma Moses (which flopped).
I enjoy this book well enough, it inspired my Spring syllabus for Writing Studies majors.
This week, photographer Richard C. Johnson tells how he looks for and catalogs special locations to come back to with his camera, how and why he has switched between ways of making images, and the advantages of Flickr over Instagram.
RCJ: I have lived and worked as an artist in Duluth for more than 35 years. My education and training as an artist was in both printmaking and photography. I have always thought of myself as first and foremost a photographer, even through those times I was not actively photographing. In the latter half of the 1980s, I found myself without access to a viable darkroom, and was living in a house that had no suitable place to build one. I spent a few years working with collage, mixed media, and assemblages, with varying degrees of success. In 1992 I purchased a Mac computer along with a flatbed scanner. For the next 8 years I worked exclusively within the realm of digital montage. When I did photograph, it was to make images to be part of a montage, not as singular works in themselves. By the turn of the century, 2000-’01, I felt a bit burned out with this work, spending too much time in front of a computer, and living too much in my head. I felt that what I needed was to return to photography, and reconnect with the world.
This week in Selective Focus, we’re going to tune in to Kip Praslowicz’s YouTube channel. You may remember Kip from such films as “Memory Card Dump #14,” “Memory Card Dump #11” and “The Story of Homegrown 2016.” He’s a prolific photographer, and his YouTube feed is a combination of tutorials on working with film photography, behind the scenes documentaries about his ongoing photo projects, and photographic experiments. Even if you’re not really needing instruction on loading 120 roll film into a decades-old camera, there’s plenty of other wisdom and fun. Here are a few samples along with a brief bit of background from Kip. Take a look, and then “smash that subscribe button.”
KP: Before I did photos, I was into making music. Before I was making music, I was into making weird videos. This was also when I was about 11 and used a big VHS camera with the only concept of editing being by starting and stopping the tape.
Help the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council celebrate the best artists and arts advocates in the region. Many of us know an artist or arts advocate who deserves a little more recognition. Nominate that special artist for the Arrowhead Arts Awards. ARAC wants to recognize those who contribute to the arts in the region with two prestigious awards, which include cash awards. The deadline to nominate an individual is Dec. 7.
Jim Richardson is an artist, a writer, a snorkeler and outdoorsman, a video blogger — in other words, a modern day renaissance man. He has a show of his cartoons opening tonight (Friday, Oct. 5) at the Red Herring Lounge. This week in Selective Focus, we get a preview of the show, and hear about some of the other projects he has up his sleeve.
JR: My current show at the Red Herring features recent cartoon illustrations I’ve done for transistormag.com, so I am wearing my cartoonist cap. The Perfect Duluth Day community knows me primarily, if anything, by the work I do as Lake Superior Aquaman. But cartooning has been with me the longest. I have always been a committed doodler.