Friday, August 21, 2015

A Brief Reminder About Today's Duluth Events

AJ Atwater 
Three events of potential interest to you today here in the Twin Ports arts scene. The first occurs at high noon at the Duluth Art Institute in the George Morrison Gallery.  David Beard and Tim Broman will be giving a gallery talk on the history of Duluth comic arts.

The DAI website has this to say about the work displayed there this month:
Minnesota has a rich history of comic book art – from the early Arts Instruction Schools to Charles Schulz to current graphic novelists and webcomic artists. The Duluth Art Institute is excited to feature artists from Minnesota who are doing interesting work in the realm of sequential visual arts and storytelling. Highlighting the broad number of voices in the state’s comic community from large to small publishers and from mainstream superheroes to independent and underground works, artists on view include: Peter Gross, Chris Monroe, Brent Schoonover, Barbara Schulz, Anders Nilsen, John Hoban, Clint Hilinski, Emi Lyman, and Conrad Teves.

I remember meeting a fellow in Minneapolis the early 80's who said his brothers was one of the artists who created Spiderman comics for Marvel. And fans of these comix characters are legion.

From 4:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. is the opening reception for the Atwater and Kuth Affordable Fine Art Show. My early August sneak preview gave every indication that this was a must see event and I have been looking forward to seeing all that was left unseen.

During my visit we talked seemingly on and on about art making, sources of inspiration, and the contrast in styles between Elizabeth Kuth and AJ Atawater.

Kuth: There’s not only the contrasting elements in the two artists but also contrasting natures within the painters. They’re conflicting forces… mine is more of an interior kind of life and AJ’s is more exterior. Both show a high contrast that can speak to people, the bold and the interior. When you come into this show there’s something that happens in yourself.

Atwater: That’s what we’re aiming for. To have people doing something that enriches their lives rather than doing something to do for a night. Something to do where they can come in, have conversation.

K: We all seek inspiration somewhere. That’s what we’re trying to do. Create inspiration.

AJA: From my point of view art should enrich your soul in some way… makes something lean you toward pleasure or wow or something that takes you out of yourself.

Atwater went on to describe her experience of painting in New York.

Kuth (left) and Atwater, making you feel at home.
AJA: New York City is stimulating, fast... the smells... it's incomparable. There are no alleys in New York City. Everything happens on the street. It all happens there in your face. This summer I painted in Chinatown. All that sound, was really cool… feeling humanity coasting by.

The two later talked about art appreciation and I liked this comment by Elizabeth Kuth.

K: We should be more like children. More like innocence. More awe… Abstract art encourages you to use your imagination.

The AJ Atwater Studio and Gallery is located at 4701 Cooke Street, in Duluth’s Lakeside neighborhood. The artists will be available for conversations about their art and its possibilities for gift giving and to affordably grace homes, cabins and offices in the Northland.

Finally, tonight at 7:00 p.m. their a Twin Cities Takeover at the Red Herring Lounge. This is an Ellipsis event featuring craft beers, music and more.

Meantime, life goes on all around you. Get into it.

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