Thursday, September 1, 2016

Local Art News: September Happenings

It's September already. Labor Day weekend ahead, a time of beginnings and endings. Summer is ending, the school year beginning. Days are getting shorter, the leaves will soon be getting brighter. It's harvest season for gardens and fruit pickers, and soon a time to batten down the hatches for the approaching winter.

In the arts realm we have transitions taking place and plenty to look forward to.

North End Arts Gallery
The gallery located upstairs in the Red Mug Building is closing this month. There will be a closing reception September 9. The gallery space will be vacated afterwards.

I remember the very first event held in that room, a book release by Savage Press. The Superior oard of Trade building was seeking new residents, opening after a long hiatus. There was no furniture, there were no other occupants. I imagined it would be a really fun place to play hide and seek if you were kids. There was a carpet on the floor and we all sat cross-legged for a discussion about the book. A humble beginning.

These past many years the Superior Council For The Arts (SCFTA) used that upstairs room for their gallery. A lot of nice work has been shown over the years, though the irregular hours made it a problem for patrons who were not well-versed as regards when the space was open. You can follow their future permutations on their website at

Duluth Art Institute
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.

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
Oct. 1, 2016
Kathy McTavish is offering free workshops and lectures exploring digital-based art throughout August and September, held at an off-site location (3 West Building on Superior Street.) 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. This is an eight week project which I introduced here. This week's discussion theme is code / algorithms ::: the confluence of text & choreography (literary forms in action) ::: code as improvisation / orchestration

EdNote: Congrats to Catherine Meier who has been appointed to serve as the new Program Coordinator at the DAI with Amber White joining as Interim.

Best Bets
Recommendations from the DNT
Lakeside Gallery
Photographer Ryan Tischer is the featured artist for September in the newly opened gallery space at 4431 East Superior Street. Saturday there will be an opening reception from 1-3 p.m. It's Free & open to the public. The weather will be nice and if you are heading up the North Shore for a drive you might want to time it to make a stop here before you head out of town. The event is featured today in the DNT's Best Bets.

Saturday evening the Vista Cruise has a special entertainer on board for what promises to be a very special evening on the "high seas." Mary Bue is slated to perform as Bellisio's caters the meal, and there will be hearts a-thumpin' on a port city dinner cruise that is sure to be tinged with magic. Mary Bue's effusive energy and spirit create atmosphere wherever she goes and I'm certain that whether you're with friends or lovers, you will enjoy Saturday evening if you get on board.

There's much more happening than I have space or time for here. You can rustle up info in all the usual places to learn more about the music and theater scenery here.

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

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