Protests and riots in the Twin Cities spread to Duluth on Saturday. The death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer spurred the actions, which were mostly peaceful in Duluth. The notable exception was an incident at the Kwik Trip convenience store on 27th Avenue West and Superior Street in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Rich Hoeg is a naturalist, photographer and children’s book author. His blog, 365 Days of Birds, provides daily updates on the birds and animals he follows, as well as an occasional post about his human activities. In Selective Focus this week, he talks about how his other interests have influenced his wildlife photography.
RH: Unlike most photographers who like to use DSLR’s and big lenses which are heavy with lots of reach, I chose to use a “super zoom / bridge” camera. I wanted a camera setup which allowed for easy portability whether birding, bike touring or cross-country skiing. This decision was driven by a decision to retire from the traditional work world (I was a software techie) at the somewhat young age of 57. My wife and I had planned a 2,500 mile self-supported two month bicycle tour of northern New England, the Canadian Maritime Provinces and the St. Lawrence River from its mouth to Quebec City. A large camera would have been impractical and heavy in my bike panniers.
Allen Killian-Moore is a filmmaker who recently released a new experimental project in collaboration with the music of Minneapolis-based Humbird for her new single, “On the Day We are Together Again.” His work takes advantage of the imperfections of film and video — the grain, dust and scratches, pixels, flickering, varied frame rates, and they become an important part of the images. This week in Selective Focus, Allen talks about his process and the experiences that have influenced his work.
“On the Day We Are Together Again” Music by Humbird, film by Allen Killian-Moore
AKM: I am a Neurodivergent moving image artist (film and video), writer, curator, still photographer, visual artist, and performer. For this interview, I’ll be focusing specifically on my moving image film and video art.
The glamour of big crowds, long nights and sloppy hugs were missing, but the Homegrown Music Festival virtually carried on. Here are a few select images from Instagram of the Homegrown that wasn’t, but sort of was.
Carolyn Olson(featured previously in Selective Focus) has been redirecting her work a bit. Still focused on everyday scenes, she has been making drawings in a series she’s calling Essential Workers. These scenes are in grocery stores, public transit, street scenes and in medical facilities. This week, Carolyn talks about honoring these people who keep things going in unprecedented circumstances.
CO: Having recently retired from teaching school this year began differently anyway. I began last summer creating projects – challenges I called them – for myself, such as creating a series of images that tell a story, in hopes of illustrating books. When the “Stay at Home” order came I was accustomed to staying home and working in the studio regularly. Talking with our adult kids in the Cities brought home the realities facing the essential workers.
UMD’s Senior Design Studio II class has created a virtual gallery to show their work, and is using the opportunity to raise money for the Douglas County Humane Society. The exhibit, online store and Go Fund Me page will be active until May 5. Each piece in the exhibition is inspired by the story of a rescue pet. Visitors can move around the inside and outside of the gallery space to look at the art, read the stories and interact with the objects in the display. The class is led by UMD Department of Art & Design Assistant Professor David Short, and one of the organizers, Jack Schneewind, fills us in on how the exhibit came together, and what the class hoped to achieve with the project.
Scheduled to open at the Duluth Art Institute, but postponed to a date to be determined later, is the work of Kari Halker-Saathoff. She combines methods such as ceramics and graphite drawings to reinterpret stories from the point of view of lesser-known characters. In the DAI show, she explores Penelope, Odysseus’ wife, her situation in The Odyssey, and connections to modern-day events.
KHS: I am a multidisciplinary artist and educator. My teaching role requires me to be well versed in all of the core artistic mediums so I will often combine drawing with ceramics, drawing with sculpture, metalwork with ceramics and so forth.
I’m very inspired by stories, although reading was always a struggle for me. I have dyslexia that went undiagnosed until I was in college. After being diagnosed, the literary world opened up to me. Stories became my drug and — as an artist — my mind went wild illustrating the stories in my head. I soon discovered that the heroes of narratives were not always the most interesting characters and that I was more interested in “minor” characters — often female ones. Those were the characters who spoke to me and to my struggles.
Tired of the choices on Netflix and Amazon? Zeitgeist and Zinema and doing some innovative programming; you can buy a pass and they will email you a link to see a streaming movie. View it with or without the chat comments of other viewers. They streamed one of the absolute worst movies I’ve ever seen on Wednesday, Love on a Leash. I won’t go into it, but it was bad. But the experience was fun, and organizer Matt Dressel was modeling it after a Midnight Movies event where the expectation is that the movie sucks, the entertainment is crowd reactions. As terrible as the movie was, the virtual event was a hit. The programming also includes movies that aren’t terrible.
Zinema’s April 3 feature is a film by a local director, Gravedigger Dave’s Halfway House. Filmmaker Keith Hopkins will also be doing a Q&A.
You or your kids who are stuck at home can color your own versions of Minnesota musicians including Lizzo, Babes in Toyland, the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Har Mar Superstar, Trampled by Turtles, and of course, Prince.
Painter Sue Rauschenfels uses bold shapes and rich, colorful textures to define the people and objects in her watercolor and acrylic work. She has a show scheduled for April – July at the Duluth Art Institute Corridor Gallery. This week in Selective Focus, she gives a preview of the show and talks about the ideas that go into her work.
SR: I began painting fulltime in my home studio after retiring from the University of Minnesota Duluth Continuing Education department in 2009. My studies in Sociology, Criminology and Psychology influence my subject matter as does my love of nature and the outdoors.
It’s been a tough week – daylight savings, changing seasons and lots of ice and mud, Friday the 13th, not to mention current events. Take a step back from it all, and we’ll enjoy a few recent #perfectduluthdays.
If you’re into spooky stuff, horror, or Halloween, you may be interested in a new project, Twin Ports Terror: A Haunted Duluth publication. It may seem a bit out of season as Spring approaches, but organizer Brooke Zarn fills in the details, and explains that they’re hoping to gather written and visual material before Halloween.
What is it?
Twin Ports Terror is an effort by the curators of the Haunted Duluth website (Matt Rasmussen, Sean Zarn and Brooke Zarn) to provide a platform for local writers and artists to share their stories, poems, artwork and photography within the horror genre. These items will be published on the Haunted Duluth website starting on Half-Halloween (the end of April), and continuing on as the Halloween season approaches. We’ll also look to host some story-telling events and perhaps publish a printed zine if there’s enough interest.
Josh Rude’s work through his company Glørud Design (his family’s original Norwegian name), is probably most visible in the stylish paddles he’s been making and selling at various locations around the area. He also works that style and attention to detail into larger and smaller-scale pieces such as cabinets, tables and vases. This week, we look at some other pieces that he has made, and a brief history of his path as a woodworker.
JR: Glørud Design is a wood shop in Duluth’s harbor front that focuses on custom woodwork and furniture, as well as paddles for canoe, kayak and stand up paddlers. I’ve been doing this for five years.
I grew up in a small town in northwest Minnesota, where working with your hands was a way of life. I always found great joy in being outdoors, spending time on my grandparents farm or being in the woods. The natural environment was always a draw, setting the stage for my work.
There is not a single route that led me to this work. While in university and graduate school I worked with a small construction company owned by my uncle, giving me an understanding of the use of tools. In the summers I would work as a canoe guide on the Gunflint Trail, setting the stage for paddle making. The first summer I guided is where I also met my wife, Natalie (Studio Haiku), for whom the first paddle was made.