Thursday, May 19, 2011

Local Musicians and Artists Featured at Dylan Fest

Bob Dylan has a song on his Saved album titled "Are You Ready." In April, when the call went out that the new Ochre Ghost Art Gallery was looking for art featuring or inspired by Bob Dylan, I was ready. For some reason I have done at least fifteen or more Dylan portraits and quite a few other pieces triggered by songs like Desolation Row and Visions of Johanna. Eight of the portraits were subsequently accepted for the show at Ochre Ghost. Though I'm not sure how many will be on display, I do know it will be an interesting show, including the mosaic Bust of Dylan by Virginia's Nancy Miller, which is pretty darn cool.

This week's Wave in the Duluth News Tribune had a fun article this morning titled Tangled up in Dylan: Artists, writers and musicians celebrate inspirations of the Northland’s native son. The subhead reads, "A week’s worth of celebrations surrounding singer-songwriter Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday are on tap in Duluth and Hibbing." And indeed, there will be a lot on tap here next week.

This is the first year in which Duluth has pulled out all the stops, I think. There has always been a lot of Dylan-themed music during the week of May 24th (Robert Zimmerman's birthday in 1941.) But for quite a few years the real Dylan Days took place in Hibbing, and if you've never been to Zimmy's there its a treat all Dylan fans owe to themselves.

When Christa Lawler, journalist for the Trib who covers the local arts scene here, asked me Tuesday evening what it is about Dylan that has inspired so many paintings, I mentioned his influence, his music, his songs, etc. But last night over dinner it dawned on me that there's another reason, too. He just has an interesting face.

I myself am looking forward to the Ochre Ghost opening just to see what else will be on display. It's not a large gallery space, but Ochre Ghost has been making a big impression. (Tip your hat to Jessica and Calvin.) The opening will be Wednesday the 25th, and it's just around the corner from the Zeitgeist Cafe and Zinema Theatre, which will be showing two Dylan films that night. The gallery is half-way up the avenue from Superior Street on the right hand side and I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

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