Friday, January 29, 2010

DAI Member Show Fills Great Hall

It is an awesome thing to be a young artist in the vicinity of New York or San Francisco or other major cultural centers where art flourishes, nourished by the variety of aesthetic experiences exploding there. Truth is, wherever you go across the land, by whatever ribbon of highway you travel, you will discover pockets of creative energy displayed. There are artists everywhere doing some very cool things.

Last week, the Duluth Art Institute Membership Show opened here, filling the Great Hall of the Depot with a wide array of works by local artists. During my lunch hour yesterday I had a chance to check it out, having missed the Opening Reception the previous week because I was in L.A. The show consists of a single entry by any member desirous to contribute, and one readily sees there are a lot of people making some very interesting things. I saw that someone else has been painting Dylan, and I saw one of Adam Swanson's bicycles.

“Even though the work is un-juried, this show is a testament to the incredible array and quality of visual art in the Arrowhead region,” said Samantha Gibb Roff, DAI executive director.

Here's the mission of the DAI, according to their website: The Duluth Art Institute enriches daily life with dynamic, innovative arts programming that upholds excellence and promotes active community participation. From talking with the executive director and others, I have come to understand that the last phrase is probably the DAI's most important feature, promoting community participation. Through a range of programs the organization nurtures an interest in the arts among young people, and helps closet artists expose their creative passions to wider audiences. The DAI also has workshops to help professionals find more venues and to develop their careers in the arts.

In short, it is a small but energetic non-profit organization that is dedicated full time to community enrichment and appreciation of the arts. At the very least, check out their show at The Depot. And when you have a few minutes, check out their website as well.

Art appreciation isn't just for stodgy old folks with money. It's for everyone.


PICTURED here are scenes from the current show in The Depot's Great Hall. My own entry, A Postmodern Man, is in the lower portion of the photo at the top right.

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