Sunday, July 29, 2018

Alison Aune's Art Space Inspires Both Eye and Soul

Friday evening during the Downtown Duluth Arts Walk I loitered briefly in the studio of Alison Aune, an arts professor at UMD whose studio space is located above Pineapple Arts with about a half dozen others. It's a great space, if you ever get a chance to visit. I personally love seeing studios and artist spaces. To think that it was once a bare room with white walls!

The image of a pond filling with algae comes to mind... except instead of the studio filling with photosynthetic-green cotton candy, the walls and surfaces accumulate a different kind of life form: art. In Aune's studio, it's Swedish designs.

Much of what lay on the counter had been completed for an upcoming event in Estonia. Aune explained to me how the designs were not arbitrary and merely decorative as many people suppose. Each has symbolic properties. It might be an aerial view of a well or a farmer's field. In short, like many things there's more than meets the eye.

Both she and her sister Kirsten, whose studio I visited last month, work in bright, vibrant colors. Kirsten, who works in fabric, draws inspiration from more contemporary Scandinavian forms. Alison is drawing from the deep well of history, somewhat akin to a genealogist, except she's researching the DNA of form and design, not great-great-grandparents.


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The Art Walk nights in Duluth are taking place the last Friday of each month, rain or shine, wind, snow or hail, unto perpetuity and beyond, initiated by the nonprofit Downtown Arts Collective which includes 25 organizations. Co-chairs of the DAC are Joellyn Rock of the new Rockingchair Studio and Amanda Hunter from the Joesph Nease Gallery.

Related Links
Ornamental Joy, story about Alison Aune at MN Artists .
Alison Aune Wikipedia page
Colors from the North. Article for The American Swedish Institute about Alison and sister Kirsten's upcoming show https://www.asimn.org/exhibitions-collections/exhibitions/alison-aune-kirsten-aune-colors-north
Selective Focus interview with the artist at Perfect Duluth Day . 

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