Saturday, November 12, 2016

Local Art Seen: Full House Fills Opening Receptions Thursday for DAI Biennial and 4North

Dyani White Hawk addresses the gathered crowd.
The DAI Biennial is always a stellar show. This year was no exception, especially when accompanied as it is this year with the 4North exhibition in the George Morrison Gallery. After a few comments I will share some images and encourage you to make time to visit the Duluth Art Institute this month.

The turnout included the 34 artists whose work is featured (30 pieces selected for the Biennial plus our four Scandinavian women), plus family, friends and fans, as well media and the DAI staff. At times such crowds can interfere with seeing the work itself, but if you are a social animal you don't mind. Not all artists are extroverts, however, so the congestion in the gallery during  during a big event like this can be intimidating. No problem. The halls and walls are open for meditative contemplation most days of the week.

Printmaking, oil on canvas by Matt Kania
Did you know that one of the membership benefits of the DAI is a discount on classes? Thursday evening's Zentangle workshop at the Lincoln branch with Esther Piszczek, for example, would have been 20-25% off if you are a DAI member. And if you purchase art from one of the DAI shows, you get a 10% discount if you are a member. And did you know that you also get reduced admission prices for all the museums and exhibitions in the Depot, including the Train Museum? Now you know.

Thursday's opening reception, though, was free and open to the public. There was an electricity in the rooms, not unlike the energy that surges through our regional arts scene the rest of the year. In her Curator's Statement, Dyani White Hawk noted the power of this place as a place to live. "It is alive, graceful, fierce, and not to be ignored. How could you (as artists) not respond to this?" For this reason, much of the work selected for this show has a sense of place to it, as can be seen in Leah Yellowbird's Otters or Ryan Tischer's Lake Superior shakedown, Shattered VI.

Leah Yellowbird's Otters, acrylic on canvas.
Winterbook by Marty Harris.
Work in a wide variety of mediums could be found in this year's show including colored pencils (Rhythm and the Turtle, by Lindsey Schmitt), silk (Patty Sampson's Tunic), woodcut/relief print (Dance with the Devils by Thomas Rauschenfels), mixed media (In Dreams #3/The Collector, one of my faves in the show, by Ann Pellant), photography, collage, pastels, archival inkjet, oils, watercolors, screenprinting, pen and ink, and embroidery. And Kathy McTavish's wall mounted digital devices, which half defy categorization.

I can't share all of it here, so you have to find your way downtown sometime and engage the work in person.

As for 4North, the show featuring Alison and Kirsten Aune, Ann Klefstad and Arna Rennan, I will share impressions and images from that show soon.

50 Million Acres, woodcut and screen print by Brendan Baylor.
Tara Austin's Orchidaceae, acrylic on panel.
Kathy McTavish's br1Nk:::st1tch
* * * * 
In other local arts news, tonight at 5:00 p.m. is the exhibit St1tch::: red from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Red Herring Lounge on First Street. Featuring textile and fiber works, this is a collaborative show assembled by Karen McTavish. Kathy McTavish's mixed media will rule the room from 9 p.m. till 1 a.m.
Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage it.

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