Thursday, September 12, 2013

Local Art Seen: Possession and Canvas of Flesh at the Duluth Art Institute

To the members and regulars, a visit to the fourth floor of the Depot, where our Duluth Art Institute currently resides, is like going home. We're familiar with the layout of the various rooms, the Steffl Gallery out on the balcony, the Morrison Gallery to the west and that hallway space where the DAI offices are that has become yet another wing of the gallery, a creative way to leave no space wasted and offer yet more feasts for the eye and mind.

Monday I sauntered through Amanda Brunner's Canvas of Flesh hallway exhibit and circulated through the newly set up Possession show in the Morrison Gallery, snapping a few images to share here and whet your appetite for next Thursday's opening which will also feature Robin Murphy's New Work in the Steffl Gallery.

The opening reception will be next Thursday, the 19th, from 5-7 p.m.

Amanda Brunner is a photographer whose images here are of people who have undergone body modifications, primarily tattoos and piercings, but some other surgeries for self-expression purposes. The images are life-sized photos of people as they are. If you've ever seen an elaborate design emerging from a shirt sleeve or collar and wondered what the rest looked like, this is the place to find out. It's bold.

Childless Pieta
The Possession exhibit reveals the potentialities in clay like nothing you've ever seen. Clay has played a fundamental role in world probably since even before fire. No doubt early peoples, upon discovering the malleability of clay, used it for simple bowls, cups and platters. Drop in the invention of the wheel and it wasn't long before one of these bowl-makers said, "Aha! Turn it on its side and we can make more perfect bowls!" The first potter's wheel. Eventually, these early potters discovered that firing the clay would make it more sustainable. Over time kilns were so hot that the chemistry of glazing, when applied, made these items increasingly beautiful.

Artisans experimented and channeled their imaginations into increasing varieties of imagery. In our modern times all variety of expression is attempted utilizing this basic building block of earth and water.

The Possession show is a juried show assembled by the Minnesota Women Ceramic Artists that will undoubtedly impress you when you stop in over the next few months. It will be on display till mid-November, in the event you miss Thursday's opening reception.

Next weekend there also be slide presentations, workshops and panel discussions related to this celebration of all things clay. You can pick up details here at the Duluth Art Institute website.

There's a lot to see... and to do. Check it out. Here are a few more images to set the tone.

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