Selective Focus Posts

Selective Focus: Music

Aaron Reichow

Aaron Reichow, untitled

Many very good submissions this week, and I’m especially happy with all the unusual vantages points:  Brian’s empathetic portrait, or that lovely flower in Gaelynn’s hair.  I was also moved by the shots of crowds, after all music is as much about how it is received as it is about how it is made.

Selective Focus: The Human Comedy

Jeremiah Brown

Jeremiah Brown, “Heiko”

Mirthful man that he was, Nietzsche wrote “it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.” There’s a recognition there that being human is a difficult endeavor, and that taking ourselves too seriously is one of the ways we compound the difficulty. Thanks to all who braved letting down their stoic fronts this week.

Selective Focus: Open Theme

Eric Dubnicka

Eric Dubnicka, “Slop Bucket”

Glad that I called a random theme because it let me catch up with recent doings I’ve missed. Emily finished a marathon, Ed had a great opening (and buffet), Zach made it to Grand Marais, Aaron’s son finished 1st grade, and Richard snuck in a ‘lifty.’ Follow the links for more happenings, like the progress of Annie’s root cellar, or Brian’s contributuions to “Made Here” in the cities (which could flourish in the Twin Ports too).

Selective Focus: Zen

Bryce Kastning

Bryce Kastning, untitled

I did not anticipate needing this theme to the degree that I did; sometimes, you can be overwhelmed by the coarse, the squalid, the noisy, and the negative. Photography often affords me a psychic reprieve, and I’m grateful now to live in a place where one can so easily step into a placid physical place when the madness gets too far inside. Sufficient? Time will tell.

Selective Focus: Idyll/Idle

Tina Luanna Fox

Tina Luanna Fox, untitled

It might be the nascent Quaker in me, or the latent Buddhist, but I’m coming to appreciate matters that are lovely because of their impermanence. Artists, maybe photographers in particular, are susceptible to an alternative notion that we can keep moments, thoughts, and experiences — as though the marking were the substantive thing when the effects may be more so. That said, sharing our markings can produce grand effects. 

Selective Focus: Bloom

Aaron Reichow, "Trees in Bloom, East Hillside"

Aaron Reichow, “Trees in Bloom, East Hillside”

Though this past Winter wasn’t meteorologically devastating, it was personally; so I needed a keen reminder that “there is a time to every purpose,” as the homily goes. This Spring in my new home has been that sermon, as greige gives way to hues of lilac, cherry, and peach, and all becomes fructive, damp, and pliant again. We grow, we ready, we labor in hope of Summer rest, and a coming harvest.

Selective Focus: Memorial

Brian Barber

Brian Barber, “Cat Portrait”

Some vivid reminders this week that memorials can take many forms- anything from the solemn to the absurd. It’s good to recall our histories, our milestones, and our experiences with due reverence at times, and at others with some humor and an ironic distance.

Selective Focus: Permaculture

In an age of dire news the term “permaculture” may seem optimistic. Still, what might have been the province of raving hair-shirts not long ago now looks to be among our sanest alternatives to hegemony. Permaculture is an organizing principle of practices that assert systemic, creative approaches to the reuse of natural resources to sustain both people and native animals on a local scale. The Arrowhead is fortunate to have a concentration of people at the forefront of this movement, and the attached links are well-worth following.

Selective Focus: Tranquil

Aaron Reichow

Aaron Reichow, untitled

Oft sought, seldom found, more often induced. Still, when genuine… It might not be apparent, but our lead image this week by Aaron Reichow was shot at the circus. Amazing that amidst all of the tumult that this child managed to tune all else out. There’s something axiomatically spiritual in that, I think.

Selective Focus: Homegrown

Starfire

Starfire, untitled

I was warned what a wrecking ball of mirth this Homegrown fest can be, so I should count myself fortunate to have emerged merely psychologically disfigured. Hope you’ve all managed to retain some vestige of the life that pre-existed this marathon, and god willing we’ll see y’all next year.

Selective Focus: Last Week

Cheryl Reitan

Cheryl Reitan, “Oddio”

Both of this week’s (only) submissions are from Cheryl Reitan; so glad to have met Oddio with her, Hugh Reitan, and Oddio’s brother Dean on Sunday for a genial studio visit. Then on Tuesday  I was also there for Tim Kaiser’s Monday Red Herring appearance. I’m fortunate to to have apparently seen all there was to be seen this week in Duluth.

Selective Focus: Open Theme

Ann Klefstad

Ann Klefstad, “Anclote bed”

Some new work this week, and  favorites from seven months of moderating this virtual agora. Next week’s theme will be “whadya’ do last week” because I’ve heard there’s some sort of festival hereabout; “homespun,” “homeslice…” something like that.

Selective Focus: Bed(s?)

Kip Praslowicz

Kip Praslowicz, untitled

When I announced the next week’s theme to be “bed,” I certainly did not intend that to be singular- that Kip Praslowicz would represent the only submission at hand. However, it does now occur to me that our artistic community might be reticent regarding anything that resembles prurience, at least publicly. Lesson learned, beloved new home.

Selective Focus: Trees

Hansi Johnson

Hansi Johnson, untitled

I’ve heard there is an austere beauty to deserts, though I have never lived in one. Still, I can’t imagine, being from the North, a landscape without trees, or being without their practical, aesthetic, poetic, mythical, and allegorical implications — all there is of oxygenation, fuel, foliage, building, climbing from our simian origins, tree of life, the axis mundi, tree of knowledge…

Selective Focus: Underwear

Zach Kerola

Zach Kerola, “Marcus

This week’s feature is somewhat scant due to fewer than usual submissions. However, the several photos that did arrive were clever, imaginative interpretations of our theme (in particular, Cheryl Reitan’s take on underwear, or lack thereof). Next week’s theme will be something else we’re all acquainted with, although possibly less bashful about exhibiting- “trees.”

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