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Art Posts

Coldsnap on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Spectrum West”

Photographer John Gregor‘s interview on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Spectrum West” arts program with Alan Ross is now available for online streaming at wpr.org.

Land of the Sky Blue Waters

This illustrated map depicting “The Minnesota Arrowhead Country” is from the Hotel Duluth Coffee Cub menu, circa the mid-20th Century. The illustration is by wildlife painter Louis S. Raymer, who graduated from Duluth Central High School.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published an article about Raymer’s career in 2014: “Painter Louis Raymer, 85, on life, career and the heyday of wildlife art.” Raymer died in 2016.

Selective Focus: William Garnett

William Garnett is a teacher at East High School, and an avid supporter of the sports and other programs there. He uses his photography skills to provide the student athletes with some amazing Sports Illustrated-level images through his Instagram and Facebook feeds.

WG: I do photography, mostly sports. I began by taking photographs to document the activities of an organization I was the adviser for at East High School and progressed to photographing a variety of activities from sports to theater. I have been called the school photographer and I guess that fits.

Selective Focus: Ingeborg von Agassiz


Ingeborg von Agassiz is a multimedia artist who writes and performs music, paints and draws, creates videos and also teaches music. She just released her album “O Giver of Dreams” and hosted a combination release show / art show at the Red Herring. Her art will be up into the month of April at the Herring. In December, she and her students worked with PDD on a video for “Oh, the Hillside,” a song from the new album. Her music embraces technology with looping vocals, synths and effects, while her paintings are distinctly handmade with bold lines, shapes and strokes.

IVA: I work as both a musician and visual artist. I’ve shared my visual art publicly under another name for over a decade and once I launched my musician project as Ingeborg von Agassiz, I decided to use that name for all the art that I make. I make acrylic paintings on canvas and also pen & marker drawings on paper. And sometimes I use watercolors and also typewriter text on paper. I’ve created a couple of zines with drawings, doodles, essays, song lyrics.

Superior native reviews “Girl From the North Country”

“Girl From the North Country,” the musical play that features the song catalog of Duluth/Hibbing native Bob Dylan, will close its second run at the Old Vic Theatre in London’s West End on March 24. Superior native Cassandra Csencsitz has published a review in the latest “Critic’s Notebook” on the American Theatre website: ‘Girl From the North Country’: How Does It Feel?

Selective Focus: Found Art – The Squirrels

This week we look at a mysterious collection found at an estate sale. There are 36 pieces of yellow cardboard with photos of squirrels, and typed-out captions glued to the boards. All are numbered on the back, and some have additional handwritten notes on the back. Some of the handwritten notes also appear as typed captions on the front of other cards.

Split Rock Review, Issue 10

The new issue of Split Rock Review is out.

Selective Focus: Matt Kania


Matt Kania is an artist who has won awards for his plein air paintings that capture the light, the feeling and the experience of being in a place. His work brings life to scenes that most of us would walk past without noticing.

MK: I am a professional oil painter and an original printmaker. With most of my artistry coming in recent years in the form of plein air painting (that’s French for ‘in open air’ or ‘on location’).

Poems for Chance

Chance: Poems

Tuesday night I attended the publication party and reading for “Chance: Poems,” an anthology of poems edited by Kathleen Roberts in honor of the art installation currently at the Tweed Museum.

Selective Focus: Carli Vergamini

Carli Vergamini takes old jackets and other items and re-purposes them into a wild variety of accessories. A quote on her website reads “the best fashions are fringey & up-cycling is cool.” In this week’s Selective Focus, we get an introduction to what she’s doing. It’s worth a deeper dive into her blog, where she frequently makes updates about what she’s working on, and she highlights other businesses that she admires in a series she calls “Biz Crush.”

CV: My main medium of choice is leather. Specifically, re-purposed from vintage leather jackets. It happened as a mistake — I was fresh out of college and didn’t know what I was doing with my life. All I knew is that I wanted to make stuff, but I didn’t know where to buy the materials I needed to make the stuff I wanted to make. So I did what I typically do and got resourceful. I bought the first leather coat I could find at Goodwill, took it home and cut that baby up to smithereens.

Trampled by Turtles new album and tour: Life is Good on the Open Road

Duluth’s own Trampled by Turtles recently announced a new song, new album and new tour. The new album, Life is Good on the Open Road, will drop May 4 and be available on CD/LP at the TBT online storeAmazon and Itunes. Above is the first release Kelly’s Bar. The tour also kicks off May 4 at the Palace Theater in St. Paul.

Selective Focus: Mary Reichert


This week, Mary Reichert talks about how she stumbled into the art of felting and textiles. She’s become passionate about the craft, and has even gone to live in Central Asia to learn more about the history and techniques.

MR: I work with wool, making felt. How this came to be feels like an incredible mystery and also the most natural thing to happen. When I speak about felt-making I light up; I feel connected with the world. I have been most at home in my life working with a group of people making large community rugs. I did not grow up making things, surrounded by animals or wool, or ever imagine myself involved with fiber.

Theater of All Sorts in the Twin Ports

Sure, all the theater illuminati were at the opening of the NorShor for Mamma Mia. But across the street and down the road, on Friday and on Saturday, other kinds of theater and performance were opening up at Teatro Zuccone and the Underground, and I want to give them a nod.

North Country Girl in the Saturday Evening Post

Gay Haubner’s memoir about growing up in Duluth during the 1960s has been running as a weekly serial in The Saturday Evening Post since May 24, 2017. It’s at 36 chapters and counting, indexed on the page linked below.

North Country Girl in the Saturday Evening Post

Selective Focus: Michael Smisek

Michael Smisek is a designer and artist whose work would be hard to miss around here. He and his wife operate the DLH Clothing company, and also Šek Design, where they have worked with a number of high-profile clients in the area.

MS: I primarily work as a graphic designer but my background is in drawing and painting. I have a degree in Fine Art from UMD and I find that a lot of my work still takes on a ‘painterly’ quality – especially when designing posters and other collateral for print. I tell all of my clients that I begin every project with open ears and a pencil in hand. I know it sounds corny but it’s absolutely true. Some designers jump right on the computer and use Photoshop tricks and things before truly thinking through the goals or issues that a client faces. If you look at our Šek logo, you can see that the accent above the ’S’ actually doubles as the tip of a pencil.