Saturday, August 20, 2016

Fall Schedule for DAI Announced: Another Exciting Season Coming Up

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." ~Thomas Merton

The Thomas Merton quote above comes from a page of quotes around the theme "What Is Art?" What I find interesting here is how the quotes seem to say more about the speaker than the topic. That only makes sense. If as Marshall McLuhan once wrote (and Warhol likewise said) "art is whatever you can get away with," then a definition of art must fall under the spell of the same definition.

In seeking a suitable quote to open a blog post about upcoming events at the Duluth Art Institute, I found a rewarding website called Brain Pickings.

I like this one by Fellini: "All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography." If you replace the word art with"life" you might get away with saying the same thing. Which leads to the admonition to beware of throwing your pearls before swine.

Alas! Here's a Fall/Winter Schedule for the DAI with a lot to look froward to.

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From the Basement: Brent Kusterman, Sept. 22 - Nov. 6, 2016
The work of Brent Kusterman is raw and immediate, layered and mythic. His paintings incorporate found objects and collage, and are focused on keeping the process of art making visible to the viewer. Kustermann is not afraid of a heavy line or rich colors and generates a constant tension throughout the work. A combination of abstract gesture mixed with figural quotations create a middle ground for mind wandering in his canvases.

Rust & Flow: David Everett, Sept. 22 - Nov. 16, 2016
Sculptor David Everett works primarily in iron, exploring the push and pull of pairing seemingly everyday objects with larger mythological traditions. Everett’s exhibit presents two main bodies of work. In the first he transforms trash reclaimed from the beaches of Lake Superior and its tributaries into aquatic creatures and landscapes. The second combines weapons of war and violence with food and sustenance. Everett’s explorations engage us in a dialogue about the unintended consequences of what we purchase, consume, utilize and discard. [EdNote: David Everett is the artisan who transformed the designs into manhole covers for three locations on Bob Dylan Way. He also forged the official marker for the walk in front of the original home of Bob Dylan in Duluth's Central Hillside.]

Fragments/Memory: Adam McCauley, Sept. 22 - Nov. 16, 2016
Employing traditional mediums alongside craft paint, print screens, antique book covers and the universal grid, McCauley builds artwork that is purposefully based in the physical world, staunchly refusing the comforts of representation for his viewers. Built with layers and focused on the formal, McCauley’s work is at once mind bending and fresh, focused and free.

Duluth Quantum Computing Project: Storytelling in a Digital Age (Now thru TBD)
Kathy McTavish is offering free workshops and lectures exploring digital-based art throughout August and September, held at an off-site location (3 West Superior). A composer and media artist who has over 20 years of experience working at the intersection of art, science and technology, McTavish has exhibited multimedia installations at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND and at the 2015 Northern Spark Festival in Minneapolis, MN. Under her guidance the workshop experience will culminate in a collaborative installation in the downtown storefront. This project and exhibition is made possible by the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council.

My Mind’s Eye: Portraits Inspired by Shakespeare’s First Folio, October 3 - 27, 2016
In honor of Shakespeare’s First Folio visit to Duluth, The Duluth Art Institute is hosting a portrait exhibition exploring artists’ unique renditions of their favorite characters from Shakespeare’s plays. For more info on Shakespeare’s First Folio, visit:

4North: New Works by Alison Aune, Kirsten Aune, Ann Klefstad, & Arna Rennan, Nov. 10, 2016 – Feb. 2, 2017
In her 1979 book of short stories titled “The White Album,” Joan Didion posits that “a place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, and loves it so radically” that they remake it in their own image. The Duluth Art Institute’s fall exhibit, 4North, features four female artists that share a heritage from Scandanavia as well as make their home in the northern reaches of Minnesota near Duluth. While the work diverges in style and medium, the artists share grounding in their dual identity and connection to place. Threads throughout the show reveal a deep reverence for the natural world and the translation and transmutation of patterns and symbols. Four women artists— Alison Aune, Arna Rennan, Ann Klefstad, and Kirsten Aune—create work that sings in harmony and connects viewers to their own personal home, wherever that may be. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of enhancement events.

61st Arrowhead Regional Biennial
Started in 1919, the Arrowhead Regional Biennial features some of the best artwork coming out of the upper Midwest, showcasing the work of exciting contemporary artists from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada. Three awards will be named on the evening of the opening reception with almost $2,000 worth of prizes.

Dyani White Hawk will serve as the Juror this year. White Hawk (Sicangu Lakota) earned her MFA in studio arts in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a 2015 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Regional Artist Fellowship recipient, 2014 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant recipient, 2013 McKnight Visual Arts Fellowship recipient, a 2012 SWAIA Discovery Fellowship recipient and won the 2011 Best of Classification at the Santa F e Indian Art Market. She draws from her multi-cultural background and education to create paintings and mixed media works that speak to her upbringing as a Lakota woman in an urban American landscape. This exhibition is sponsored by the Depot Foundation and the North Shore Bank of Commerce.

About the Duluth Art Institute 
The Duluth Art Institute is a 109-year-old nonprofit organization—one of the oldest art centers in Minnesota. The mission of the Duluth Art Institute is to enrich daily life with dynamic, innovative visual arts programming that upholds excellence and promotes active community participation. For more information, visit The Duluth Art Institute's programs and services are made possible through the support of contributing members of the Duluth Art Institute, Bush Foundation, Depot Foundation, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Wildey H. Mitchell Family Foundation

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Meantime, art goes on all around you. Just do it.

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