Sunday, February 9, 2014

Local Art Seen: River Maria Urke, Esther Piszczek and the Superior Library Show

This month's featured artist at Beaners is River Maria Urke of Stillwater. In addition to her art River, a Duluth native, shared poetry and live music to make for a fully satisfying event.

I'd run into her here outside the popular coffeehouse earlier this winter thinking she was in town to visit her mom and family. Turns out she was doing double duty, stopping in to see Jason to make arrangements for the show.

River had several books of her poetry available for sale including the one I purchased titled Stumbled and Standing, subtitled From Diagnosis to Acceptance: A Woman's Journey with Multiple Sclerosis.

Her transparency, along with the manner in which she takes a simple image to a new dimension, impresses me. One of her poems shared Thursday was title Boxes of Blood. The title alone takes your imagination down a path. It turns out to be an insight about the little boxes you have to check on many forms indicating your race. The end of the poem reveals her playfulness in spirit while sinking home her point.

Her poem Final Diagnosis begins this way...

They said it was this
then they said it was that
but no, not that they said.

I was a mystery,
seven years long.
Too long for me.

That opening stanza says so much, reaches across to so many of us who have struggled with health issues in our families, desiring certainty but learning that doctors are only guessing as well.

The art at Beaners is displayed alongside some of her verses. If you grab a coffee or bite to eat there this month, take a few minutes to read between the lines.

Friday the Red Mug had its opening reception for artist Esther Piszczek. Her work has been appearing in a number of places locally since her relatively recent arrival in the Twin Ports.

Piszczek, a former attorney from the East Coast, is sharing her art in a variety of forms. In addition to simply framing wall art, she has created playing cards, T-Shirts, and even puzzles made with her Zentangle-inspired designs.

This week I learned that the space that formerly housed the Art in the Alley art store is being renovated as a bar to be called Tapas. The space will be opening sometime in late April or early May. I was able to get a sneak peak and another large mural by artist Erik Pearson fills one inside wall, transforming it into a very special space.

The Superior Public Library's 4th annual Love Your Local Artist event was once again vibrant and well-attended. Thank you to everyone involved in bringing local artists into the library where they can share their creativity with a wider public.

Pictured here in sequence: scarves by Daniell LaPort, a display by Andy Booker, Jr., two examples of needle art by Angela Haworth, jewelry by Kate Senn and another intriguing piece by Patricia Lenz.


Esther Piszczek said...

Thank you, Ed, for the mention, the beautiful tribute to River's poetry and life story, and for the colorful photos depicting the gorgeous artwork at the Superior Public Library! Your tireless efforts to keep the Twin Ports informed of the latest art scene happenings is truly appreciated!!

ENNYMAN said...

Thank you.