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Art Posts

A Lifetime of Vomit

There was a period of my life — the first 16 years — when I vomited with the frequency of a normal person. Maybe once every 17 months I’d feel sick, yack up my recently consumed proteins and resume a normal life. Over the most recent 28 years, however, my puking résumé is made up of just a pair of mega barfs.

Most people would be challenged to produce a list of the times they have vomited since the Reagan administration, but because my experience involves only two stories, I recall them keenly. So, for the sake of human digestive science … or whatever … I now share my hurling history.

It was Aug. 18, 1988, when I completed my final pre-adult barf. I was a high school sophomore, and preseason football practice was in full swing. I awoke in the wee hours of the morning with a groaning stomach, and soon I was staggering from my bedroom to the toilet, where I dropped to my knees for the first of seven sessions of violent retching. At some point in the middle of it, I called Coach Mooers to tell him I wouldn’t be practicing, but hoped I’d be back to normal for the scrimmages the next day.

Whatever hit me that morning was gone in a few hours, and indeed I traveled with the team to the Twin Cities metro-area scrimmages. After playing in the two abbreviated games, I accompanied my teammates on a trip to Valley Fair, where I rode all of the stomach-churningest rides. Indeed, I had recovered.

What I didn’t know at the time was how well I recovered. I would not vomit again for more than 26 years.

Selective Focus: Annie Schweiger

Annie Schweiger first achieved PDD fame when she won the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Duluth Art Institute Member Show. Here, she shows some more of her work and talks about the balance of work projects, personal projects, illustration and design.

A.S.: By day I’m a graphic designer and at night I work on illustrations. I mostly work with graphite and watercolor but I’ve been experimenting with digital illustration on a Wacom tablet in Adobe Photoshop.

Homegrown Kickball Classic: Friday shuts out Saturday

Team Friday celebrates after winning the 2017 Homegrown Kickball Classic.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Friday bands shut out Saturday to win 2017’s high-stakes Homegrown Kickball Classic 8-0, tying up the overall series record at 9-9.

Selective Focus: Art on the Planet

Art on the Planet is a relatively new gallery on Tower Avenue in Superior, offering an eclectic collection of local artists as well as a number of classes. Managers Nancy and Kat fill us in on how they got to their current location, and what they hope to create in that space.

AOTP: “Art on the Planet” is managed by Nancy Senn of Superior Candles and Kat Senn of katsingerArt and we assumed management of the shop when Twin Ports Stage announced intentions to close “Art on the Plaza” (which was a project of the John D. Munsell Legacy Fund), initiated in October of 2015 and formerly located in the Belknap Plaza of Superior.

Selective Focus: Dann Matthews

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Dann Matthews is a designer and illustrator who blends pop-culture knowledge, humor and sharp skills into a mashed-up style for print, product design and more.

D.M.: Most of my work is digital. I’ll sketch and scan an illustration and finish the piece in either Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. I have done a ton of designs prepped for screen printing, so I’m most at home in Illustrator. I started designing tees for Threadless.com’s ongoing T-shirt design competition back in 2005. It became my hobby, then my obsession, then my side-hustle. I would usually create 4-6 designs a week and never use two of them for anything.

Duluth Workforce Center Call for Artists

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The Duluth Workforce Center has put out a call for art.

Duluth Book Releases in 2017

David-Pagel-The-Forever-GirlThe Forever Girl: A Love Story
David Pagel
amazon.com
(Jan. 12)

The Release - Tom IsbellThe Release
Tom Isbell
harpercollins.com
Harper Collins (Feb. 14)

Hiking the North Shore - Andrew SladeHiking the North Shore, Second Edition
Andrew Slade
amazon.com
There and Back Books (March 14)

Selective Focus: Jon Hinkel

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Jon Hinkel operates the Tight Squeek Press, an artistic step back in time on the second floor of a studio building on First Street. The space is filled with old presses, stacks of paper and the odds and ends that help Jon and the machines crank out his artwork.

J. H.: I’m called an artist-printmaker, creating relief prints on paper using letterpress equipment. For me anyway, my initial artist-end is pretty inseparable from my printmaking. I draw, but I can’t remember ever finishing a drawing. When a sketch I’m working on has gained a fair measure of strength and coherence, that stage of things is done weather it likes it or not. If it’s a worthy image, I’ll carve it into linoleum or engrave it into hard maple. Then to the pressroom!

Selective Focus: Yahya Rushdi

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Yahya Rushdi is a designer who moves effortlessly between the tools of photography, design and illustration and he’s an active advocate for living in Duluth.

Y. R.: The neat about being a graphic designer is that I’ll usually start with paper and pencil to sketch an idea, but once it comes into fruition on the computer, there is a wide range of mediums that I can use to communicate a message through. Whether that be in the form of social media, billboards, websites or poster. Sky’s the limit! I like to think myself as a visual communicator. If there is a problem to solve, or a specific outcome that needs to be achieved, I’ll collect information and analyze it to figure out the best solution, visually. I lean to be more simple, but effective in my work.

Fire damages knick knack art house

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A home in Duluth’s Endion neighborhood, known for the collection of items attached to its exterior, was significantly damaged by an accidental fire today. The homeowner sustained a slight injury.

Empty Bowls

bowlIt was good to go to the Empty Bowl event tonight. For $20, every year, I get a handmade pottery piece. I have more than a half a dozen of these small bowls holding change and keys and so on. I also get soup — tastings of clam chowder, chicken spaetzle, chicken noodle from the best restaurants in Duluth. A local food pantry receives the cash.

And this year, among the bowls, there was what appears to be a spoon rest for the stove top, or possibly a small bowl for after-dinner chocolates, or possibly just a cool thing. (See picture.)

If you know OAR, the signature on the back, mention I adore the work. It made me so happy. If OAR is a practicing artist, I’ll edit this to add info. Love the work.

Empty bowl was a salve. Empty Bowl reminds me that I can do the right thing, I can make positive change, in a way that rewards me and the world. Hoping for more of that.

Electronic magazines published in the Duluth-area

I’ve been thinking about the energy and quality writing that have gone into electronic magazines in our region. There are the two I have looked at lately — Split Rock Review and New Theory. What publications am I missing?

Vulgar Graffiti

Paul Lundgren Saturday EssayThe most common word in graffiti is “fuck.” It often appears by itself — a single word left for others to ponder for decades or else paint over. It is probably meant to express general dissatisfaction with life. An expanded version of the sentiment might read: “I wish to say ‘fuck you’ to every random person who passes here. Such is my anger with the state of affairs in this world and the specific circumstances I deal with in my personal life. Though most people are not necessarily responsible for the things that upset me, I nonetheless hold everyone in contempt.”

It is also not uncommon to see the word “shit” spray painted as a one-word message, which leads me to believe the act of graffiti is often more about exercising the ability to be profane in a public and semi-permanent way than about getting across an idea. At least, I hope so. It seems unlikely that graffiti artists write “fuck” and “shit” as instructions to encourage public fornication and defecation. If they did, they could be much clearer by writing, for example, “shit here.”

There are actual graffiti artists who paint brilliant and thought-provoking murals on concrete pillars, the sides of train cars and so on, but their rebel collages are a bit less common than the scribbled words of the artistically challenged.

Power to the Peeps

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Selfless promotion: my family and friends created this art while I was working. Check it out, on display at Hannah Johnson Fabrics in Lakeside.

Selective Focus: Kirsten Aune

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Kirsten Aune just hung a show of her bright, colorful work at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 835 W. College St. She talks about her process and inspiration.

K.A.: I work on cloth to create wall-hangings, garments, toys, table linens, hand bags, lampshades, quilts and lots of other goodies. I create original designs using stencils I cut by hand and then I arrange my visual compositions using bold blocks of color and repeat designs. I have also been using silkscreens to create yardage. However, I have been limited to one color for my designs. I will be implementing a rail system that will enable me to line up multiple screens which will open up more dynamic designs using this medium. Recently, I have been projecting my designs in installations in Duluth, Bergen, Norway and Aarhus, Denmark. Currently, I am planning to incorporate some digital animation for an exhibition at the Nordic Center in the fall.