Sunday, September 15, 2013

Transplants at the PRØVE

Mother by Rodrigo Bello
More than four decades ago social observer and writer Vance Packard wrote an insightful book called A Nation of Strangers. His premise was that our easy mobility today has unforeseen consequences. In pre-industrial agrarian societies children usually remained in the village or town, were not traipsing all over the world or across the country. Before railroads the trip to California was a six month event fraught with risk. After the automobile it became easier to get around, but our national highway system is only a more recent post-WW2 development.

Packard noted that people have deeper roots the longer they remain in a community. People who move to follow after jobs or other dreams can suffer from the problem of not being deeply connected in their new communities. Rootless people often suffer from isolation and an increasing sense of anonymity.

All these thoughts rushed together in my mind as I read the invitation to tonight's art opening at the PRØVE Gallery titled Transpants. Though Packard highlighted both the positive and negative aspects of mobility, I seem to have been left only with an impression of the negatives since reading it back in the 70s. Tonight's opening at the PRØVE highlights the many positives.

In this modern life, we all move a lot. For work, for environment, and for many other reasons, we relocate in order to better ourselves and to seek new experiences. This fosters a mixing of ideas, of cultures, and of media, across time, disciplines, and upbringings. For 'Transplants," PRØVE has collected works from artists who have moved to Duluth for any reason. We are in a time of change in many ways, and would like to showcase this with an exhibition highlighting the rich variety that all of this intermixing can achieve.

It is certainly true that America itself has been, and is being, enriched by the varieties of cultures tossed together here. Likewise, there is a fascinating variety of intersecting backgrounds here in the Northland. A slice of this will be on display tonight. Artists featured in the exhibition will be Rob Adams, Ray Allard, Rodrigo Bello, Zach Gorr, Marcus Meldahl, and Aphtin Rapp. The opening, with music by The Crunchy Bunch, will be from 7 - 11 p.m.

(The gallery is located just above the alley on Lake Avenue between Superior Street and First Street)

There's also some exceptional theater going on right now. Collected Stories is playing at the Playhouse Underground tonight and tomorrow, starry Julie Ahasey and Sarah Ruth Diener. And the hilarious, superbly performed Spamalot is in the Duluth Playhouse. Both shows have gotten exceptionally good reviews.

It's Friday. See and do something new... and share it with your friends.

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