Sunday, August 16, 2015

Local Art Seen: Second Friday Art Crawl Here In Duluth

Friday evening featured several art openings here in Duluth. The sky clear and the heat turned high it was a perfect evening for a leisurely exploration of various happenings here.

William Hurst of Blue Lapis Photography is the featured artist this month at The Red Herring Lounge. The first fifty people to show up were each given a free ticket for a taco from the food truck, an innovation I had not seen before. He had hoped to display his photos on stretched canvas but I myself don't the that form of presentation to be as thrilling as the intensity offered by anodized aluminum. Hurst's photos are saturated with color or vivid contrasts and nearly jump from the surface. A number of photographers were there along with the amiable Hurst. If you missed the opening, stop in sometime to take ten.

From here I jumped over to the Gimaajii Mino-Bimaadiziyaan to see the Three Women~Three Artists~Three Friends Art Opening with Joy Kops, Rachel Eryn Weizenegger, and Wendy Savage. The exhibition generated a lot of energy, which you could feel in the building as soon as you arrived. The best way to feel what this event was like would be to check out Ivy Vainio's photos which she posted on Facebook. The attendees at this show were a virtual who's who of the local arts watchers and Native artists.


I was not familiar with two of the artists, and left feeling I ought to know more. Joy Kop's work with perler beads lined walls in a third of the room. Her "Tree of Life" was an intriguing addition to the exhibit. I found Rachel Weizenegger's paintings and charcoal drawings to be engaging. She primarily presented small detailed images drawn from nature. I left wanting to see more.
"Nano'se?hame" by Rachel Weizneggar
Esthe's Tangled Piano, detail
Next stop: Pierce & Piszczek's piano shop featuring Esther Piszczek's Zentangle-inspired work and an exhibit of new artwork by Ladonna Tornabene, Ph.D. and Margie Helstrom. I felt a necessity to check out the Tangled Piano Esther has been working on. Schubert and Chopin accompanied a relaxing visit on this busy evening.

My last stop before heading home to do painting in my own studio was Benchmark Tattoo where Michael Wiltse's Tarot de Marseille is the featured exhibition this month. I'd heard interesting things but didn't know what I'd find. Wiltse's long-time interest in tarot hasn't just been for the mystical element, but also for the artwork involved. His view is that modern tarot decks have become generic and lost the art which once were so vivid.


During the 15th century tarot cars were generally hand-painted for royal families in France and Italy. Only later were they mass produced due to advances in printing technology. This deck, however, was a labor of devotion and a long time in the making. It includes some rare cards with controversial stories. Benchmark is across the intersection from At Sarah's Table, so you may wish to combine a dinner or appetizer with the visit.

Here are a few additional images from the evening:

At the Piano Shop
"Tree of Life" by Joy Kop
The Food Truck
Don't forget, this is Day 2 of the 4th Bayfront in the Park Art Fair. Someone asked me what the difference is between the Park Point Art Fair and Bayfront. Park Point has a 44 year history and features 120 artists plus music there's a wonderful family feel. Art in Bayfront Park is a juried show, and artists who display must "pass the bar" so to speak. Ken Bloom, director and curator of the Tweed Museum of Art, served as head judge this year, along with a team that included Rod Oman, wood carver James Vannet, Duluth artist Kelly Beaster, art historian Nadia Kurd, Sheila Staubus of the DAI and AJ Atwater. (EdNote: Not to be missed -- Kuth/Atwater Affordable Abstract Art Show this coming Friday in Lakeside. Sneak peak here.)

Meantime, art goes on all around you. Let your soul be nourished by it.

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