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Duluth Art Institute Posts

Fragments of chalk and glass in an oil painting

woman-bathing-in-a-stream-rembrandt-1654I’ll be talking about art on Saturday at Zinema 2 in an event sponsored by the Duluth Art Institute, for the showing of American Splendor. Here is other writing of mine on art; if you like it, I hope to be this elegant Saturday.

A Woman Bathing in a Stream by Rembrandt

When I was 22, I took the bus to New York and visited the Rembrandt/Not-Rembrandt exhibit.

I learned that conservators struggle with Rembrandt’s work, because he added ground chalk and bits of glass to the paint to add texture and to speed drying. These practices make the paintings hard to preserve hundreds of years later.

… fragments of chalk and glass in an oil painting, causing the paint to crack over time.

Those fragments have become integral to identifying a Rembrandt — a painting without them starts from the presumption of forgery. The bits of glass have become a sign of authenticity.

It is impossible to admire a Rembrandt without admiring the cracks and breaks caused by the ground and broken things.

… so it is with falling in love.

Artist scouting Duluth’s West End for mural location

Paul LaJeunesseCollege of St. Scholastica Assistant Art Professor Paul LaJeunesse was recently selected as the Duluth Art Institutes’s inaugural Lincoln Park Craft District Artist in Residence. LaJeunesse discussed project plans during an Advance Lincoln Park meeting today at the DIA Lincoln Center Arts for Education building. He said he is currently scouting the neighborhood for a mural location. The permanent work will incorporate images of people and places that represent the area. LaJeunesse has created public murals before, including “Confluence” for the North Shore of Chattanooga, Tenn. in 2014.

The aim of the residency program is to support the role of artists as effective community builders and to support and expand the revitalization of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, where the DAI has operated its satellite location for arts education since the early 1990s.

The inaugural year of the residency is scheduled for two terms, with LaJeunesse in residence March to June 2017. A national artist will be selected for the second term, July to September 2017.

Schweiger takes People’s Choice Award at DAI membership show

Annie Schweiger and The WinstonThe People’s Choice Award at the Duluth Art Institute’s 2017 Membership Exhibition on Thursday went to Annie Schweiger for her oil painting titled “The Winston.” The award recognizes the audience’s favorite work out of more than 175 on view in the Great Hall of the Duluth Depot.

Schweiger hails from Anoka, and moved to Duluth as a transfer student to attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She majored in graphic design and minored in studio art. Shortly after graduation she was hired by HTK Marketing as a graphic designer. She continues to work in the fine arts during her free time, and is available for commissions.

Her winning painting, “The Winston,” is a portrait of a long-haired Chihuahua, Winston, which her colleague Mike Scholtz brings to work every day. The pet portrait captures the dog’s sly glance and features the animal formally attired in a crimson beret with gold trim, a starched ruff and a jacket. The whimsy of the scene is countered by the photorealistic skill of the depiction and a subdued color palette.

The “2017 Annual Membership Exhibition” is on view through Feb. 24.

Russell Prather’s “Rope” takes Arrowhead Regional Biennial prize

Russell Prather's "Rope." Photo by Tim White.

Russell Prather’s “Rope.” Photo by Tim White.

Russell Prather’s “Rope,” a hanging piece made with acrylic on layers of polyester film, took the $1,000 first-place prize at the Duluth Art Institute’s 61st Arrowhead Regional Biennial last week. Prather is a professor at Northern Michigan University who teaches British literary and visual culture of the 18th through 20th centuries.

An Ethnographic Study of Indigenous Contributions to the City of Duluth

Design DuluthLast night at Gimajii, the Design Duluth meeting sponsored by the DAI shared copies of An Ethnographic Study of Indigenous Contributions to the City of Duluth — a fascinating document that invites us to think about the erasure of indigenous participation and contributions to Duluth culture — and to appreciate those contributions and participation even more heartily.

Review: Ken Bloom’s Public Domain

Zushi fishmonger, January 1977

Should we think about these photographs or their subjects? Yes. Do we consider the art of them or the culture they depict?  Yes, both.  And perhaps composition or feeling?  Again, yes.

Ken Bloom’s exhibition Public Domain: Street Photographs of Japan 1976-78 at the Duluth Art Institute shows three years of his work from the mid-1970s in city areas of Japan. Most are black and white; a few later ones are in color. The compositions are tight. The subject is people in their time and environment. Movement (striding, shopping, riding, jumping, talking, gazing) and waiting (for the ferries, for the trains, for the kids, for the work day to begin) are the subjects of many.

A journey along the edges of the Land of Wonder

LaplandAt the Duluth Art Institute, right now, exists a portal into other worlds and an alternate way of being. Head on over to Ed’s Big Adventure for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into artist Shawna Gilmore’s art studio, images from this show that appeals to children and adults alike, and more. Also included is Shawna’s painting that’s featured on Charlie Parr’s next album cover, due out on April 15.

Our very own “odd couple” produces food and art organically

Annie and Janaki

Annie Dugan and Janaki Fisher-Merritt are two of the most fascinating individuals I’ve ever met. When considering that they are forged together in the partnership of marriage, farming, and as catalysts of unique art, the combined effect is like lightning captured in a bottle. Duluth is beyond fortunate to have them influencing our lives in unique and whimsical ways. Learn about the masterminds behind the Food Farm, Free Range Film Festival, the Duluth Art Institute, and more, here.

Victory: New Work by Aaron McLeod

Victory: Aaron McLeod