Saturday, December 15, 2012

PRØVE Offers Proof That Art Scene Is Heating Up

If there's been any doubt, this week's arts openings showed that there's not only a vital art community swelling in the Twin Ports, but also an increasingly interested public. Last night's opening at the PRØVE Gallery  in downtown Duluth attracted an impressive, steady crowd and proved that the visual arts in the Twin Ports has been gelling into a vibrant scene these past few years. The paintings, drawings, photographs and sculpture of more than 40 artists was displayed in the midst of a record release party with live music by Lion or Gazelle of Chaperone Records.

The week began with the Duluth Art Institute's Biennial opening at the Depot, showcasing some of the region's premiere artists. The following night the Twin Ports Arts Align met downstairs in the former Children's Museum, which is now the new home of the Play Ground Theater. The public event drew another large crowd from across many sectors of the arts community. Discussions regarding the best way to utilize the space were fostered and all were welcomed to vote on whether a new name was in order for the new digs.

Thursday, two Superior locations played host to the Phantom Galleries openings with a generous spread of wine, treats, chocolates and caramel sauce by Heidi Ash's 185Chocolat The 1112 Tower Avenue location featured a group of painters who began meeting over a year ago as a result of the first round of Phantom Galleries installations: Kathy Kollodge, Teresa Cox Kolar, Lori Franklin, and Anita Curtis. At 1412 Tower, you could find Erika Mock, eco-wear; Karin Kraemer, pottery; Jim Grittner, pottery; Erik Pearson, painting; Karen Monson-Thompson, handwovens; Angela Haworth, quilting and fiber jewels; Terry Milliken, toys; Judie Phillips, pet portraits; Patty Davey, glass jewelry; Daniell LaPorte. All the elements were there and both locations will be open again next Thursday if you need one last Christmas gift idea.

Last night at the PRØVE Naomi Sundog Yaeger-Bischoff, editor of the Duluth Budgeteer, told me a story about a painting one of her parents looked at and almost purchased 30 years ago, but declined. Three decades later and they still regret that decision. It only served to affirm something I have been saying numerous times in recent years. If you look a a painting that you enjoy at a show, you appreciate it briefly. If you purchase that painting, you can enjoy it the rest of your life.

A Gingerbread World
I would be remiss to neglect mentioning the very, very cool Gingerbread House showcase, also in the Sons of Norway Building two doors up from the PRØVE.If you're in the neighborhood do check it out. I've never seen anything like it.

I believe the gallery will be open again today from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. if you're reconsidering something you passed on last night. But there are plenty of other places to pick up last minute arts and crafts. There's a Holiday Bazaar at the former Emerson School at 1030 West 3rd Street from 10 - 5 today. And the usual galleries and locations are open from the new Art in the Alley next to the Zeitgeist to Lizzard's, Art Dock and all the rest.

If you were early you had it all to yourself, but not for long.

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