Saturday, July 11, 2015

Local Art Seen: Janet Billig at Studio 15

The other day I mentioned that there were seven opening receptions for artists in the Twin Ports slated for Friday July 10, the night of the Second Friday Art Crawl that is becoming a tradition here. To any who made the effort the new work in these various locations will be richly rewarding to take in if you get a chance this month. Highlights included seeing some new work by Carla Hamilton at Benchmark Tattoo, a more complete collection of paintings by Jonathan Thunder in the Abstractscapes show with Samantha Pranger at Washington Studios, Sarah Brokke's exhibition at Red Herring and the big surprise that I seem to have chattered all evening about, Janet Billig's cabinet at Studio 15. The Brokke's show was amazing came as no surprise, nor the Zentangle Piano that Esther Piszczek is tediously embellishing. These and other photos will be shared over the next several days as time permits.

Billig is a naturalist who paints on canvas or driftwood. Her themes are inspired by nature and her skills honed. After taking in the various paintings that filled the gallery space it was pointed out that the cabinet there was all her work. The story goes that as her children were growing she would decorate this cabinet which she had in their kitchen. The three cabinet doors portray scenes from Duluth history. On the right is Park Point at the turn of the last century with some amusement park rides at the end. The second panel features an image from Seven Bridges Road. The third shows a boathouse where there were dances in the old days on the St. Louis River out near the Oliver Bridge.

Janet Billig's Kitchen Cabinet
A Triptych of Cabinet Doors
All the images here are from Billig's opening. Over the next few days I will share photos from 8 other openings that took place these past few days. Since to my knowledge none of these events were featured in the Duluth News Tribune, I think there should be more discussion about how to get the word out to our wider public regarding these arts-related events. There are stories being told that more people would enjoy if they knew about them. If you follow the local arts scene I strongly encourage you to make an effort, go out of your way if you have to, to visit Studio 15 to see what Lydia Walker has been doing with this space and to enjoy this very impressive piece by Janet Billig.

Detail, left panel
Left Panel, Near Oliver Bridge
Cabinet detail
Meantime, art is happening all around you. Take it in and get inspired.

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