Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Twin Ports Arts Events

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." ~G.B. Stern

First off, Happy Thaksgiving. We take a lot of things for granted as we push through our day-to-day. And we take a lot of people for granted, too. It feels good when people say they appreciate you, doesn't it. Be sure you tell others today how much you appreciate them.

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Somehow Black Friday seems to have become nearly as big a holiday in this country as Halloween and Easter. The commercial retail establishment has certainly succeeded to glomming together a marketing coup to take advantage of everyone's four-day weekends. Consumerism is a major feature of modern capitalism. But like all trends, if you look around you'll find countertrends.

Big Box Retailers have been the driver behind Black Friday as they give shoppers slashed prices and longer hours to encourage maximum spending in preparation for the Christmas holiday. In response local retailers have created an "afterparty" of sorts, a shopping day to encourage folk to buy local called Small Business Saturday.

In order to survive, artists need one of three things: a patron, a job that supports them, or entrepreneurial skills. Often it's all three. When we talk about "small businesses" we're talking about artists as well as the many others who provide services in our community. Small Business Saturday is a good day to support a few of our exceptionally talented locals.

ITEMS OF NOTE FOR THE WEEKEND AHEAD

Red Mug's 10-Year Anniversary Celebration
Ten years ago The Red Mug opened its doors. I can hardly believe it. Almost seems like it's always been there, but I know it hasn't because in the 90's I went to a Savage Press book signing upstairs when the Historic Board of Trade Building at Hammond and Broadway was an empty shell with nothing there except a longing by the new owners to fill it with tenants. My initial thought that evening was, "Wow, it would be really fun to play hide and seek in here."

Red Mug captured the downstairs corner of the building and has transformed it into a truly remarkable space. Owner Suzanne Johnson wanted to mark this milestone with a week of events culminating in Friday evening's celebration from 5 - 9 p.m. which will include food and drink specials, music, prizes, free cake and champagne, and special guest baristas. They will be taking donations for the Northland Food Shelf, a good reason not to spend everything you have on Black Friday.

Ryan Tischer's "Scratch, Ding and Clearance" Sale
Duluth landscape photographer Ryan Tischer produces memorable, eye-catching work. He's also active on the art fair circuit, which sometimes results in one's art getting nicked. Hence, in an effort to move a little inventory he's been hosting an annual open studio event in which he sells pieces at clearance prices.

This year is his 7th Annual Open Studio "Scratch, Ding and Clearance Sale." Many of us have been to his annual sales at Washington Studio. He now is in a new space and the public is invited.
The new studio can be found at 406 S. 93rd Avenue West. His announcement on Facebook offers all the details regarding hours or how to contact him for special appointments.


Otlak Holiday Fair 2014
This weekend six local artists are showing (and selling) handmade Arts and Gifts on Small Business Saturday, November 29. Some of our favorite local artisans will be showing their work at the Zeitgeist Atrium. from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Here's the lineup: Mary Reichert of Otlak Felt Studio makes handmade felt rugs and scarves; Sally Cavallaro, handmade eco-jewelry; Patty Sampson, jackets made from vintage kimono fabrics; Patty Salo Downs of Miina Designs offers one-of-a kind felted scarves, wraps, and handbags; Erika Mock presents her Textiles for Body and Soul; and Esther Piszczek who makes Zentangle(R)-inspired art, notecards, ornaments, and puzzles.

If you can't make it to the Zeitgeist, there will be other opportunities to purchase (or just look at) practical creativity. Here are two to mark on your calendar.

~Get It Local: Saturday, December 6, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Peace Church, 1111 N. 11th Ave. E.,

~Armory Arts & Music Center and Snoodle Ceramic Studio and Gallery Holiday Celebration: Saturday, December 13, 2:00-8:00 p.m. Armory Annex, 1325 London Road, Duluth

Tonya Borgeson has organized an evening of clay, art, and music as she and fellow Northland artists share their work. You'll also get a chance to meet the Forging Community who teach classes in metal smithing at the Historic Armory Annex. Paul Piszczek will be there talking about pianos and Esther will be debuting a mirrored art installation and a patterned French Door mural on glass at this event.

NEXT TUESDAY
A couple quick reminders. Tweevenings at the Tweed, with Karin Kraemer.

Zentangle (R) and Wine Tuesday, December 2, 7:00-9:30 p.m. Master Framing Gallery, 1431 London Road, Duluth will give you the opportunity to learn the Zentangle method of pattern drawing in a relaxed atmosphere with music, wine, and snacks. Turn your doodle skills into art. No prior drawing experience necessary. Supplies will be provided and/or for purchase ($10).

Class cost: $35. RSVP required by Monday, December 1 at noon: episzczek@gmail.com or 218-464-0318. Class limited to 4. There is still room in this class!

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If you prefer to avoid parking and crowds altogether, you might be planning to shop online again this year. Both my books can be found with a click of the mouse. A Remarkable Tale from the Land of Podd is really a remarkable book. Each of the illustrations by Ian Welshons is a treasure. My first volume of short stories to appear in print is called Unremembered Histories is also on Amazon.

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I began this entry by encouraging you to tell someone you appreciate them. Well, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has encouraged me. It's meant a lot. Encouragement is something akin to a form of nourishment. Make sure your family and friends are well-fed.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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