Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Water and Oils Mix

As I was listening to the radio yesterday it was noted that this week is Arts Week at KUMD. I realized suddenly that it's already the end of June and the Park Point Art Fair is this coming weekend. 43rd Annual to be precise, June 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It's one of the most beautiful settings imaginable to locate an art fair. It's large enough to display a whole range of artisans and promoted enough to bring a crowd so that the artists don't feel their wasting their time. Yes, there's an economic factor at play and if the economics don't work for both the artists and the promoters, there will be no show next year. There's little danger of this, however, as the event is well established.

Nice Crowd Flow @ Water Works Show

Last Thursday evening's opening for the Water Works show at the Duluth Art Institute was worth the wait. The event was well attended. So well, in fact, that at one point I couldn't get near the paintings at all in the far gallery. That's O.K. The water-themed art will be on display for the duration of the summer. You can see a few examples from this show displayed here.

The works were of every size and variety of media, held together by a single theme, that precious resource, water. Having lived downtown overlooking the lake, it's easy to see why artists, poets, photographers and even engineers are inspired by it. 

Preserving the Lake

Even though Lake Superior is so massive, no one in this part of the world takes it for granted that it will always be so pure and undefiled. That's why countless hours have been spent trying to understand its ways, including what the threats are to its future.

This week an article by Sam Cook in the Duluth News Tribune focused on some of these efforts. A lake is only as clean as the tributaries that run into it. Therefore it is refreshing to notice that people are involved in keeping the rivers clean. The story, Grants will help planning to restore the river, noted that 3.3 million dollars has been released "to help make the river a better place for fish and wildlife as well as for the people who use the river for recreation."

The St. Louis River, which forms a natural border between the Twin Ports towns of Duluth and Superior, is also the great lake's largest tributary. Keeping the river clean is an essential condition for keeping the lake clean. The river is one of 38 "areas of concern" as regards pollution of Lake Superior. According to Nelson French, supervisor of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, their objective with this grant money is to kick off an effort to remove this river from being an "area of concern." 

Lake Superior Day

I received a note from Patricia Lenz that Lake Superior Day is just around the corner, so mark your calendars for July 21. There will be a writing contest, poetry, art and more at Barker's Island in Superior. I'll try to wring out details soon and share them here.

One of the best parts of all these activities is the price. Free admission for the art fair this weekend, free admission for the Lake Superior Day celebration. And of course, our parks and beaches are always free as well. There's something compelling about water, and we love immersing ourselves in its beauty.

They say water and oil don’t mix, but it’s been my observation that water and art certainly do, whatever medium you work in.

Worth seeing at the Duluth Art Institute:

Lago, by Liz James
A scene from the far wall of the gallery.
Pine Lake Panorama, by Steve Barloph
Detail of a work in glass by Ron Benson

Life is a gift. Drink it.

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