Saturday, December 31, 2016

8 Anticipated DAI Activities and Events in First Quarter 2017

Aune piece from DAI 4North Show
There were a lot of great arts events and activities in the Twin Ports again this past year. With the addition of the Red Herring and the opening of Gallery 3 West there are more venues than ever to see work by local artists. The AICHO expansion in Duluth's Lincoln Park/West End space continues, and rumor has it that an important gallery may be opening in the developing Downtown arts corridor that has been designaed the HART District -- that is, the Historic Arts and Theater District, which stretches from the Depot to Fitgers and eventually to the renovated Armory. At the heart of the HART will be the renovated NorShor Theater which is slated to open by late this coming year.

With 2017 approaching I planned to share some of the cool things to look forward to in the Twin Ports, but because the Duluth Art Institute (DAI) schedule this winter was so rich I've decided instead to draw attention to some highlights here.

Before delving into the activities I thought it might be good to give a shout out to the DAI Staff whose energy and enthusiasm has produced such a thrilling program for fans of the arts. Executive Director Annie Dugan is so in her element, passionate about the power of art in all of its forms. She exudes such a good energy. Duluth is lucky to have her. Development and Comms Director Dana Mattice makes a great sidekick on the team, playing many important roles within the team. It's actually impressive how much they accomplish with such a small staff that include Education Director Amy Varsek. Two new program directors were also added this year, Amber White and Catherine Meier, of whom I hope to share more in a future blog post sometime.

Big round of applause, please.

So, here are items of note to consider being a part of this winter.

Artist Reading Group
With so many interesting reading groups in the Twin Ports, it should surprise no one that an arts-themed reading group would spring up. The first meeting is slated for January 30 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss The View From the Studio Door by Ted Orland. What does it mean to be an artist in a community? How can artists express their beliefs and ideas through their art to make a cohesive statement and communicate to others? The meeting will take place at the DAI Galleries upstairs in the Depot.

Saturday Morning Art Films
Evidently the return of a DAI-sponsored winter film series is imminent. This year's films feature specific artists and arts movements, beginning Feb. 25 with Frida, followed by Pollock on March 4. After each screening, once again hosted at the Zinema, there is a discussion. In the past this has been a great opportunity to expand your horizons as artists or to learn more about the issues and people in the arts, whether you have a background or not. The shows start each Saturday at 10 a.m.

Artist Statement Workshop
Every field has its "rules" if you may. Professors write paper and get citations, but need to follow the procedures for submission, etc. In the business world, one must learn proper presentation skills and how to write proposals. Professional writers get published only after they've learned protocols on how to query editors and publishers, who the query should be addressed to and what it should contain. And so it is with artists who are serious about their craft. For hobbyists it may not matter, but professional artists seeking consideration for show in the Tweed, the DAI Galleries or Minneapolis venues, it is quite helpful to understand the Artist Statement. For this this reason the DAI is hosting Artist Statement Workshops Tuesday January 31 and Monday April 10. Both events are 5:30-7:30 p.m.

4North Programs
The 4North Exhibition that has been on display since November has included a number of free public events. Here are three more in January:
* 4North Artist Talk on Jan. 11, 5 PM, Free @ Duluth Art Institute Galleries. The 4North artists give a talk about their process and inspiration. See the exhibit and meet the artists.
* Being a Beast on Jan. 14, 1- 4 PM, Free @Lincoln Center for Arts Education. Ann Klefstad will lead participants through the artmaking process through an animal’s eye. Participants will receive reading material before the class and practice drawing, creation, and discussion during the three-hour workshop.
* Kirsten Aune Studio Demonstration on Jan. 28, 10 AM - 12 Noon, Free @The Magic Smelt Parade Shop on 1st Street. Kirsten Aune uses a unique painting technique to create large-scale quilts and wearable elements. See her studio and process in this free artist demo.

Elizabeth Kuth's work is rooted in timeless mystery and the primal sense of life.
DAI Member Show
Close up from swirling Martin DeWitt piece.
Every member has an opportunity to contribute a piece to the 2017 Annual Membership Exhibition which takes place each year in the Great Hall. Bring your work to the DAI this week.
Reception: January 26, 5 - 7 PM
On View: January 26 - February 24, 2017
@ Depot Great Hall - 506 W Michigan St.
The annual membership show is an energetic snapshot of the visual arts of our region. It captures professionals at the height of their career along with emerging talent and youthful voices. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to this eclectic display of talent. Are you a member? You do not have to be an artist to support the arts. Join us.

Empty Bowl 2017
Experienced potters are invited to the first Make It! Empty Bowl Open Studio this Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The first Make It! Empty Bowl Throw-a-Thon will be Saturday, January 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This invite is to all potters of any level, to come out and start the 2017 bowl-making. This is a great fund-raising event for the hungry. On Tuesday evenings in February there will be lessons in bowl-making for novices and the rest of us. (There is a $35 fee for materials and instruction, but a free ticket to the Empty Bowl event, which includes a bowl!)

Elizabeth Kuth and Carla Hamilton Exhibitions
I can't say enough about this pair of artists. Looking forward to seeing what is new from each of these women. Elizabeth Kuth's show is called Rooted Expression. Carla Hamilton's is titled Gezielt (Targeted). Much more to say about each. Opening reception will be February 23.

Emerging Photographers Exhibition
The same evening there will be an exhibit from emerging photographers in conjunction with the UMD Photography Department.

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INSTRUCTIONS TO ARTISTS who are contributing to the Member Show
Check to make sure your membership is valid. If not, please renew or join Tuesday. You are then invited to drop-off ONE artwork to DAI Offices (4th floor of the Depot, 506 W Michigan St.) between Jan. 3 - 6 from 9 AM to 5 PM. Artwork must have been created in 2016, be less than 36" x 36” framed and no more than 30 lbs., and be ready to hang or display. When you drop it off, DAI staff will capture your name, the title of the piece, the media, and the sale price or insurance value. When pricing work please keep in mind that 40% of any sale goes to the DAI. Please call 218-733-7560 with any questions.

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Meantime, art goes on all around you... but especially in the Twin Ports. Drive safe tonight and have a great 2017. 

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