Saturday, July 18, 2015

Contemporary Plein Air Painters Converge On Duluth

"After a Hard Haul" by Tom McGregor
Last night was the opening reception for the Plein Air exhibition at the Duluth Art Institute. Plein air painting means "open air" and during this past week several dozen artists were in Duluth painting up a storm, or rather, quietly capturing the rich and varied scenes of our remarkable port city. When you go to the show, which is hanging in the Steffl Gallery, you will quickly realize how many cool things we have here that are not readily found elsewhere. The Great Lake, the trains, the ships, the parks, the nature trails all the hills with vistas all offer themselves up as subject matter to be caressed by the artist's eye.

Painters translated scenes from Jay Cooke Park to Leif Erickson to Park Point to Glensheen and Lester River. We have roses in the rain, the aerial lift bridge at night, we have a morning dip, gardens, beaches and sunsets. Some of the works appear to be photographs till you get up close. At least that's how I felt about one of the works that had been done in pastels. I thought to myself, "This is painting, not photography, right?" I got up close and felt a measure of awe.

If you are able, make the Duluth Art Institute a destination sometime this next month or so. Between this and the Comic Book Art you will have a rewarding experience.

Hanging a show always includes attention to detail.
"Crooks, Crown Jewel" by Mary Pettis
Jay Cooke State Park "Enhanced by the Beauty of the Hard Wood Forest" by Patricia Duncan
"Duluth Nocturne" by Wendy Lacksa
"Liftbridge at Night" by Tom Dimock
"I've Been Working" by Mary Pettis
"Glensheen Rose Arbor" by Tom Dimock
"Monday Morning at the St. Louis County Courthouse" by Allison Eklund
"This Way to the Tennis Court" by Neil Sherman

Go see them in person if you can. This is but a sliver of what you will find.

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