Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Three New Shows, One Big Night at DAI

Morrison Gallery taking shape for opening.
If Thursday the 17th is not yet on your calendar, you'll need to mark it now for three very cool new shows opening at the Duluth Art Institute Depot Galleries. The free event, sponsored by GPM Inc., will run from 5 - 7 p.m.

In the Great Hall you will get to sashay about the 2013 Membership Show, which features one new piece created within the past year by DAI member artists. It's always a treat and worth a stop no matter what else is happening or not happening. Upstairs, however, there are two additional exhibitions, which is what will make this Thursday's opening extra special.

The John Steffl Gallery will play host to the 2013 Emerging Photographers exhibit. And inside the Morrison Gallery you will discover Confluence / Confluencia, featuring new work by Carla Stetson and Cecilia Ramon. I received two emails reminding me that the Stetson/Ramon installations are not to be missed. Here's an excerpt:

Hey Ed, I just wanted to see if you have this on your radar! The Art institute is showing work by Cecilia Ramon and Carla Stetson.... I have been stopping by to see the progress of their installation, and it is just amazing! The opening is the same night as the member's show, and they are working, with some of Carla's students from Ithica, NY art school, on the work all this week, and probably into the weekend a bit.

All Duluth is familiar with Stetson's Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial at the intersection of Second Avenue East and First Street. She was also responsible for a Lakewalk scultpure of importance.

Both Stetson and Ramon were collaborators in the Holy Fool event at Sacred Heart this past November which also included a performance by cellist Kathy McTavish and poet Sheila Packa as well as contributions by Cathy Podeszwa and Molly Tillotson.

Much of the work of Cecilia Ramon has been about the process of making peace with fear through making art. Ramon, a Duluth artist and professor, has used art as a means to bring internal resolution from a troubled childhood growing up in Argentina. Many Americans were either unaware or have forgotten the upheaval and horrors wrought when the military ruled from 1976-1983. Tens of thousands of civilians were tortured and disappeared. The terror left deep scars on many hearts and a nation's conscience.

According to a review by former DAI director Samantha Roth Gibb of one of Ramon's installations a few years ago, "Her pieces take time, which is an integral element in the artist’s delicate and intentional creations in wood and paint. Her most recent solo exhibit at the Duluth Art Institute titled Besides Fear was an installation that invited viewers to search within themselves for resonance. Comprised of several works in wood, the show displayed many moods and nuances. Ramon says this exhibit gave her a feeling of satisfaction she hadn’t experienced before."

Her installation in November as part of Holy Fool was nuanced and haunting.

For what it's worth, if I see you at the opening it's my guess that you'll also want to return another day to engage some of these works while in a more contemplative frame of mind. There will be plenty to experience.

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