Thursday, September 7, 2017

Local Art Seen: Snapshots from the Duluth Arts District (It's A Puzzle)

Last night after work I drove downtown, parked my car, putting on my walking shoes and did a walkabout, snapping photos at various venues where art was happening, is happening or was about to happen. It was a variation on "a random walk down Wall Street," except that the only investment was time, and the aim was to collect photos, not investment ideas.

When I go home last night I did an inventory of my take and decided it might make an interesting game. Can you identify where each of these photos was taken?


There are all kinds of puzzles in the world. When we're growing up they are a way to test our wits. Though I'd heard about Richard Hansen's latest venture (Andy Bennett's imaginative mind is in the mix) I really didn't understand it till last night. Evidently this is something catching on elsewhere, the next level of immersive entertainment. It's one thing to be dropped into a virtual world where you have to solve puzzles and collect clues in order to move to the next level. Solve Entertainment has created an actual environment in which you enter the story in real life. The "Game Rooms" can be found upstairs from the new Blacklist Artisan Ales at 120 East Superior Street. Richard Hansen gave me a tour last night and guess what? Over 5000 people played Solve at their former location. Find out more here on their website.

As for today's Local Art Seen Puzzle, it's basically aimed at getting you in and out of some of our local venues where you can see art downtown. Here are the identifying remarks about the photos above. 1. Blacklist Artisan Ales (formerly the Last Place On Earth) is the latest venue to decorate their walls with local art. Paintings by John L. Peyton are currently on display, billed as one of Duluth's most prolific artists.  2. Duluth Art Glass, view through the window with reflection. I love reflections, and nothing reflects like glass.  3. The Zeitgeist Atrium is featuring large format photography by Kip Praslowicz, local documentarian, titled Watershed: Wild Humans. This photo here is from the attempt to set a Guinness World Record for snow angels that took place at UMD a few winters back. Thanks for the memories, Kip.  4. Window dressing at Steampunk artist Richard Roswall's space.  5. Red Herring Lounge is decorated with pictures by Rooster Tail Ink. Last night Janet Kennedy and Rich Updegrove spoke to a gathering crowd about the issues that are propelling them to run for city council this fall. Kennedy's slogan is, "Meet, Talk and Find A Way."  6. If you didn't figure it out, photo number six is inside one of the puzzle rooms at Solve Entertainment.  7. The last, of course, is the sign pointing the way to Solve.

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There's always plenty happening here in the Duluth Arts Scene. Tomorrow night Sarah Brokke will have an open house / reception at Gallery 315, the former Washington Studios Gallery. 5-8 p.m. There is also an opening at the Duluth Art Institute called Reservation Pop with Wendy Red Star, followed by a talk at The Underground, and a Saturday workshop titled The Artist As Culture Producer. FOR BEST RESULTS, print out my blog post from this past weekend and carry it around in your purse or pocket. That's what some people do anyways.

Meantime, art goes on all around you. Get into it.

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