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Art Posts

The Dexter Project

Dexter Ojeda is a 10-year-old Duluth boy who has a rare form of cancer that has no cure. One of the last items on Dexter’s bucket list is to star in a horror movie. Duluth’s Death Calm Studios and Dexter Ojeda’s family are determined to make Dexter’s wish come true, but they need help make it happen.

The Dexter Project – Indiegogo Campaign for Movie

Selective Focus: Emily Krueger

This week, illustrator Emily Krueger tells how she began to incorporate digital techniques into her painting and drawing styles, as well as how she has looked for a wide variety of opportunities to get her work out there and make her own job.

EK: My professional training is in graphic design and fine art (specifically, oil painting). I’ve dabbled in most mediums; watercolor, acrylic, drawing, graphic art, pastel, and colored pencil. As an illustrator, my main medium is a mix of pencil drawing and digital painting.

Creative Minnesota releases report on arts economy

Creative Minnesota has released its second biennial economic report. The effort is a collaboration of arts and culture funders in partnership with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts with the goal is to “create solid, hard data about the arts sector.” The data is collected for “analysis, education and advocacy.”

Superior Siren – “Nightmare”

From the new self-titled Superior Siren album. Production and cinematography by Killy Kay.

Shakespeare in Motion: Romeo and Juliet

In this remix video, Duluth artist Joellyn Rock collaborates with dancer/choreographer Rebecca Katz Harwood and adds music by Low, while layering in book textures and historical references from the Folger Library’s Shakespeare collection.

Selective Focus: Samantha Nielsen

This week, we hear from watercolor artist and urban sketcher Samantha Nielsen. Also, this week we have a first, a Selective Focus artist teaching on Skillshare. Read on to hear her story and get the preview for her Skillshare class.

SN: I work in watercolor and ink with a style that many describe as ‘whimsical’. My artistic journey started after my third year of college, when I switched my major from music education to art education. I went into some of my first art classes feeling as though I didn’t have my own artistic voice, and I had very little experience, so all of the mediums were new to me. The first year was spent experimenting and learning the basics, but the following year a project for my illustration class is really what made me feel at home with watercolor and ink. We were instructed to completely fill a sketchbook throughout the semester, but we could only use permanent materials (so no pencils or erasers). This is where my love for watercolor and ink began, and this project really challenged me to step out of my comfort zone.

“One uses arm drags while the other uses artifacts, but the two perform the same function: They’re both vehicles for storytelling.”

The artifacts…

Terrance Griep is a Minnesota writer and wrestler who makes frequent trips to Duluth (see stories on PDD here and here). He’s subject of an art exhibit at the MSP airport; visit when you catch a connecting flight.

Selective Focus: Alison Aune

Alison Aune is an award-winning painter and educator who paints large-scale works that combine intricate Nordic-style patterns, portraits and mixed-media techniques. This week Alison goes in-depth about her style, her inspirations and even her favorite paint brush.

AA: I studied painting as an undergrad and graduate student. In 1984 I received a BFA in painting and a teaching license in art education from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where I am from, my dad was a professor of philosophy at UMASS and is currently emeritus, and I received a masters degree in painting from UMD (1987) and a PhD in Comparative Arts from Ohio University in Athens (2000). In graduate school I changed from oil paint to acrylics because I needed the paint to dry quickly!

Selective Focus: Krista Pascoe

Portrait photographer Krista Pascoe talks about how she stumbled into photography at Denfeld and has turned a long-time hobby into a career.

KP: I am a local professional photographer specializing in portrait work. My main focus is weddings, seniors, families and sports. I came into photography by accident a long time ago. When I was attending Duluth Denfeld, I was accidently put into the yearbook class due to a scheduling error. They tossed me on the photography team. Back then, we used chemicals and dark rooms to develop our work, and I was immediately intrigued with the process. As digital has come along, I view the advancements in photography technology a nice complement to the artistic side of my work. I enjoy all aspects of photography from the people, the creativity, the editing and post-processing. I even do some graphic design at the end stages.

Chris Monroe art on Rain Taxi cover

The Winter 2017 issue of Rain Taxi, a Minneapolis-based book review and literary magazine, features artwork by Duluth’s Chris Monroe.

Saturday Essay: Select gems from 2017

Saturday Essay logo genericLast week we highlighted the five most-read pieces from the second year of Perfect Duluth Day’s “Saturday Essay” series. This week’s focus is on five essays of similar quality that might have been missed by readers who didn’t catch links in their social media feeds and/or were busy doing non-internet things.

In the past two years PDD has published 100 essays showcasing the work of 22 different writers; we hope to expand that roster in 2018. Anyone who has an original piece of literary excellence that seems to fit (or appropriately defy) the established format should email paul @ perfectduluthday.com to get involved.

And now, links to a few select gems from season two, in random order …

Selective Focus: #duluth

A quick end-of the year view of other views of #duluth.

Flying over Duluth on my way back west.

A post shared by Michael E. Grass (@mike_grass) on

The Most Read Saturday Essays of 2017

Saturday Essay logo genericPerfect Duluth Day’s “Saturday Essay” series concluded its second season last week. At the end of each year we take a look back at some of the favorites — like the literary version of a 1980’s-era TV sitcom flashback episode. This week is part one, highlighting the essays that were read the most times in the past year according to the folks at Google Analytics.

Before digging into the 2017 countdown, here’s a brief paragraph to spell out for the uninitiated how the “Saturday Essay” feature works:

PDD publishes an essay every Saturday. Yours truly, Paul Lundgren, is the editor. A small group of writers are featured somewhat regularly, but anyone is welcome and encouraged to submit a piece for consideration. Shoot an email to paul @ perfectduluthday.com to inquire.

And now, the champions of Duluth literature …

Selective Focus: Market Day


Market Day started as a Downtown Duluth Pop Up Shop in 2016, and moved into a twisty, multi-level space at 15 N. Third Ave. W. last spring. It’s filled with a variety of local art, crafts and workspace for classes. Director Lanae Rhoads tells us about some of the activities going on in the space.

LR: We are a shop that desires to celebrate the Farmer’s Market vibe all year long. In fact, we started as a Farmers Market at UMD in 1999. The University decided to make Market 2016 the last season. With that decision we needed to find other ways to showcase our local artisans. And through that loss Market Day was born. We received one of the holiday 2016 Pop-Up shop program spaces. It was a wonderful success and we decided to continue together in a permanent location that opened this past March.

Selective Focus: Natalie Salminen Rude

Natalie Salminen Rude works in a variety of mediums, and recently opened a studio/gallery in the Woodland neighborhood. She tells how her varied interests come together in her work.

NS: I work in a host of mediums which all wonderfully inform each other. Encaustic, oils, photography, haiku — each process shapes the other. There’s this constant hum of cross-pollination that happens in my studio. I think curiosity and a fascination with connection are the forces that propel me to do the work I’m doing. And beauty. Always on the hunt for beauty.