Sunday, July 16, 2017

Local Art Seen: We've Got Murals! Plus, Two Events To Check Out

Two weeks ago the Zenith Bookstore opened here in the Twin Ports, next door (or across the parking lot) from Beaners Central in the old Wild West building in Spirit Valley. The opening was fun, but as with any bookstore, the heroes are the books themselves, as well as the people who create the character of the store. You might call it Bob and Angel Dobrow's Big Adventure.

Last month when I was at the State Fairgrounds for the annual Back to the Fifties Car Show, I noticed that my two favorite bookstores that I used to visit when we lived in the Midway 35 years ago were still there in the Midway and in Dinkytown, though if you go the Dinkytown store has moved out of the basement to an upstairs location around the corner.

The Dobrows moved here from Northfield, where Bob taught math and statistics for two decades at Carleton College. A story at Perfect Duluth Day has photos inside the store and offers some backstory about the Dobrow's quest to find a building here and more. Be sure to follow the links at the end of the story for other related items of interested.

The aim of this post is to draw attention to the decorative entryway to Zenith's storefront, a mural of books by Proctor muralist Tom Napoli. Napoli's books are a great addition to the aesthetic lift he provided Ganucci's Italian Restaurant across the street and down the block. If you have never eaten there, you must go for lunch or dinner sometime and take in the interior design as well. The food is fab, pure Italy, and may be one of Duluth's best kept secrets that ought to be shouted to the world.

For what it's worth this is not the only book mural in town, though. Scott Murphy's mural of books graces the library downtown, and curiously he, too, hails from Proctor. It's great to see these exteriors getting dressed.

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Which bring me to the two events. First, on Tuesday evening Zenith Bookstore is Going Coastal. That is, there will be a book signing and reception for a new book of short stories by area writers titled Going Coastal. At least three of the nine authors will be part of a panel discussion, reading from the short stories they produced for this Lake Superior Writers anthology published by North Star Press. Phil Fitzpatrick, Judy Budreau and Max Reagan will each be reading and sharing. Beaners will be providing free cupcakes, though I suspect we'll all be there for other reasons.

If you have not yet checked out our newest bookstore in Duluth, then you can use this event as a prod to get you over here.


"Yes, we're going to a party, party." --Lennon/McCartney

From 3:00-4:00 this afternoon there will be a ribbon cutting and block party to celebrate the new Paul LaJeunesse mural on the Frost River building in the Craft District. LaJeunesse was the Duluth Art Institute's first Artist-In-Residence. The ceremony will be part of a celebration that includes music by Teague Alexy and an ice cream stand by Love Creamery (yummm) in the Pocket Park. More details here on their Facebook event page.

Sponsored by Bent Paddle Brewing Co. & Duluth LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation.)

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In case you haven't noticed, the Twin Ports arts scene is bursting with life. Get into it!

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