Thursday, June 30, 2016

Local Art Scene: Upcoming Events of Note

"Creative work is play. It is free speculation using the materials of one's chosen form."
~Stephen Nachmanovitch

Dawn LaPoint at Studio 15
The last day of June is here. For nine days the nights have been getting longer again. No biggy. It's summertime and we're going to get some nice weather this Fourth o' July weekend. Not sure what your plans are yet? There's music and there are movies... and there's the arts. In fact, there's so much happening I missed the Park Point Art Fair last weekend. Durn.

Studio 15 always has something happening, including a wine and painting gathering tonight, and tomorrow night's opening reception for POMME DE TERRE ("Half Baked) featuring work by Eris Vafias and her circle of friends. The gallery is at 3rd Avenue West half way up from Superior Street just below the alley.

The new Lakeside Gallery just opened last week. I've promised myself that I would check it out sometime soon. Good luck to Aaron Kloss, a local artist who has successfully created a following here and is now dedicated to helping other artists get their work out for a wider public to see.

TONIGHT is the Free monthly talk at the Glensheen called Zenith City on Tap. I've been thinking that events like this would make a great "date night" activity. The theme for tonight's talk is "The NorShor: Duluth's Marquee Movie House." The talk wiill be given by Duluth historian and Zenith City Press publisher Tony Dierckins whose original claim to fame was his Duct Tape book. Today his website is a rich resource for Northland historians. Tony will present the history of the 1941 Art Deco movie house, which is about to undergo a $30 million restoration. He'll also share stories of the two theaters that preceded it at the same location: the 1910 Orpheum vaudeville house and the 1889 Temple Opera House. The event is free even if the beer is not. I'm confident it will be memorable. Starts at 7:30 p.m.

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Minnesota Public Radio has announced that they are seeking artwork for a special 50th anniversary commemorative calendar. There is a $2500 prize associated with this. In addition, one of our own will assist in the judging, Duluth Art Institute director Annie Dugan. She has not yet indicated whether she can be bribed or not. Submissions will be due in September. Details here.

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Monday, July 11 is an opening for Martin DeWitt at the Zeitgeist Arts Atrium. If you're downtown, you've no excuse for not dropping by. DeWitt's Latin America-influenced work will be joined with a Pop-Up event called “¡Berte Vive; La Lucha Sigue! Berta is Alive; The Struggle Thrives!”

Of his own work DeWitt writes,
In addition to my most recent painting, “Tribute to the Ayotzinapa 43…,” (remembering the 43 indigenous rural college student teachers missing and murdered in Iguala, Mexico one year ago, amidst their protests against systemic governmental inequities especially for rural education and land rights.)…I’ll be featuring a small selection mixed media abstract paintings inspired by Sharon's and my travels to Central and South America, particularly life changing trips to Cusco - Machu Picchu, Peru, and San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.
Read more here and mark your calendars.

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Duluth Art Institute Presents “21 Poets/ 21 Seconds”
In an event related to Tim White’s current In and Out of Context exhibition at the Duluth Art Institute, which features the words of 21 regional wordsmiths paired with White’s black-and-white photography, “21 Poets/21 Seconds” will take place from 7 – 9 PM on Thursday, July 7. The event will put an irreverent spin on the sometimes solemn proceedings of conventional poetry readings, giving each participating poet just 21 seconds to share their words, conveying sharp insights or droll humor in less than a minute’s time.

What I'm curious about is the selection of the numeral 21. In the game of Blackjack, 21 is the number. I doubt Tim White's encouraging gambling here. He did perhaps take a gamble in coming to Duluth, appearing seemingly out of nowhere, and quickly establishing himself here on the merits of a strong piece in the magazine Black & White. Black and white photography is his medium at this point in time, sometimes crisp and vivid and often ambiguous. He's certainly played a good hand with his current exhibition pairing art photography and poetry. I recommend checking it out.

There are some people who saw Twitter as to abbreviated to have value when in point of fact it is a vibrant medium for the exchange of ideas, as well as to catch a fast read on the issues of the day. 21 seconds is just long enough for some people to clear their throats. It hardly matters. The tone of the announcement promises a bit of wry wit and playfulness. With Paul Lundgren and Bob Monohan moderating anything can happen. According to the announcements, the Duluth Art Institute is welcoming anyone to participate. The reading will take place in the DAI Galleries, 506 W Michigan St, and is free and open to the public

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When the weather is fabulous, get out and enjoy it. But when it's prohibitive, check out the Tweed, the Duluth Art Institute, and our multitude of local galleries. There's always more to see and do than you'll have time for. If you have a special someone to share it with, that's even better.

Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage it.

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