#snowfortcity day 6. Leif Erikson Park. The fort of the tree people is the most durable and impressive structure so far. Albeit unfinished, the vision and craft of its architects (principally Morgan Pirsig) is impressive.
Michelle Truax has worked at TV stations, for the Duluth News Tribune as a videographer and journalist, and is now on her own doing advertising and documentary work for her own clients. Her videos are filled with gorgeous camera work. This week in Selective Focus Michelle talks about how she started and how she got to where she is in her career.
MT: I’d consider myself a visual storyteller with an emphasis on video. Most recently, I’ve been producing promotional video content for clients in the Twin Ports area.
I really love working in a short documentary style. As a kid, Thanksgivings were spent following my mom around the kitchen with a big Sony camcorder. She wasn’t particularly fond of this tradition, but I figured the drama made for better TV. I’ve always loved capturing all the little, human moments.
It was a great day to build a #snowfortcity with volunteers Stephen Bockhold, Sean MacManus, and others including an unnamed mom with two kids in tow who attested she was a #peoplesfreeskate participant last winter. One of the kids she was with, who I’ve never seen before, called me “Aquaman” unprompted on camera while KBJR-6/CBS-3 was filming: hope that makes the final cut.
Day 1. Duluth’s Leif Erikson Park. Most of my time was taken up by Duluth News-Tribune reporters who showed up – oops got in the paper again. Otherwise slow going with cold powdery snow – spray bottles and water make the job easier so bring those. It’s sort of Day 2 since some folks built this formidable snow fort yesterday, and got the base of another one started. It’s sort of Day 3, since I built a proof-of-concept wall before the blizzard, but it blew down so I restarted it today. A huge help was Morgan Pirsig et al. who laid down a solid sled trail which helps define the space. It goes so fast we need to bank it by the stage now. Troy Rogers aka Robot Rickshaw showed up and we demonstrated proper wall-building technique for the media. A season-long project to turn the park into a citizen-led collective art installation and playground.
I built this Snowhenge wall segment in Leif Erickson Park today in three hours with a bucket. Will it remain after a weekend of playing children, and snowstorms including 30-mph winds? Probably not. But rebuilding and rebirth are central to this season-long project where work and leisure are indistinguishable. The blizzard should die off Sunday and the upcoming week should be clear to terraform the gift of snow.
This photo from Detroit Publishing Company shows Downtown Duluth at Superior Street and Fifth Avenue West circa 1904. At right is the Spalding Hotel, at left the Lyceum Theatre.
Due to the clarity of this particular image, it’s possible to zoom in for some pretty clear closeups, as illustrated below.
The city of Duluth is advising no unnecessary travel until further notice. “Plows are out in full force, but warm ground temperatures and rain have forced drivers to use chains to travel safely,” states a news release from the city’s communications office. “Please respect plow drivers and maintain a safe distance behind them.”
Meanwhile, here are a few of the sexier pics on Instagram.
Five years ago, on Nov. 21, 2014, Selective Focus was launched on Perfect Duluth Day as a weekly photo-submission series. Tim White coordinated and curated the series, announcing a word or theme, then he posted submitted photos related to the theme. The first post was sparked by the word “Randomness.”
Below are some other highlights from the first iteration of Selective Focus.
Photographer Kip Praslowicz has a show opening Thursday, November 21 at the Kruk Gallery on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Much of his work has a very matter-of-fact feeling to it, a straightforward documentation of places, people and scenes. But there is a dry sense of humor in his work, especially when taken in as a larger collection. This week we get a preview of the show, and hear how the pieces for the show were chosen.
Was there a criteria for the images selected for this show?
1) The exposure made sometime between 2010 and 2019
2) The exposure was made on color, medium format film. 6x6cm or 6x9cm