Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Arne/Ivy Vainio. Used with permission.

That means we need to continue to wear masks, keep our social distance, wash our hands frequently, avoid public gatherings and sanitize frequently touched surfaces.

Is this a sacrifice?

Not compared to losing an elder. Ivy and I go to her grandmother’s house and we stand outside the window and we wave and we can talk on the phone. I can see the sadness and longing in Ivy’s eyes and in her grandmother’s. I can see the distance that pane of glass puts between them.

No matter where you're physically located, you can enjoy the North House Folk School's Winter Virtual Film Fest from your couch, and maybe with a bowl of popcorn.

The film offerings change every week and you can find more information online here.

Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash

Annie Dugan says she's not usually into making resolutions, but all the time with her family over the holiday and - face it - the last nine months or so has he resolving to set aside time for art on a regular basis.

You don't have to paint or sculpt; your "art time" might be looking at art.  But Annie's kind of intrigued by the intersection or art and other "cozy indoor activities" - like jigsaw puzzles, for instance.

Copyright Ivy Vainio. Used with permission.

  The cemetery is far from city lights and is surrounded by tall pine trees.  We are close to the same latitude as Finland and my grandmother would have seen the same winter constellations as a little girl in her homeland. 

We walk carefully so we don’t disturb the snow and we reverently place the candles on each grave.

Pictures
Dennis Yang

Reflecting on 2020, Annie Dugan acknowledges and offers her appreciation for artists, teachers and arts organizations in our area. "Artists and arts organizations and folks who enjoy art have had to adapt and be flexible, which is certainly one of the things that art teaches us."  She reminds us that art is "a place of refuge, of escape, [but also a place] for working out the problems and the joys in our world."  

© Ken Bloom

This week, Annie Dugan helps us find some great art available online:

  In the Spirit of Medicine features the essays of Dr. Arne Vainio, an enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and a family practice doctor on the Fond Du Lac reservation in Cloquet. His essays on life, work, medicine and spirit are published in "News From Indian Country," and you can find the link to this story here.

Red Lake Nation tribal member Jonathan Thunder has created a series of Anishinaabeg drawing tutorials for AICHO and Indigenous communities.

He's based the tutorials on the seven grandfather teachings of the Ojibwe (who may not have envisioned his “Bigfoot Riding a Skateboard While Drinking Cranberry Juice").  You can find the tutorials on YouTube.

Craft beer exploded on the scene a few years back and Duluth proudly claimed it's place front and center.

Jordan Whitt/Unsplash

She was looking down into one of the barrels and once she started talking, the words came out and it was like she couldn’t stop. She was sobbing and dipping a watering can into the barrel and she told me about all the things that were going on around the time of my father’s death and all the fears she had for him and how she never talked with him about suicide because she was afraid she would plant that idea in his head and how she blamed herself for his death. We hugged for a long time after she finished telling me and her body shook with her sobs and I could tell she had that bottled up for years and years.

Shop Small Duluth

One of the smart minds behind Warrior Printress Letterpress & Design and the WTF! (What The Feminist) art exhibits, Stacie Renne, has come up with another winner: Shop Small Duluth, "a collective of artists and small business owners who live and work in Duluth, Minn., and have partnered to bring you a unique Holiday shopping experience."

Even if we weren't facing a winter indoors, staring at (or climbing) the same four walls, we'd probably appreciate Patrice Johnson's new Land of 10,000 Plates, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. 

Dale Kakkak/Facebook

You might think of "terroir" in terms of wine: it's the "combination of factors including soil, climate, and sunlight that gives wine grapes their distinctive character," according to Merriam-Webster.

But Annie Dugan says art is what makes our Northland "the way it is," and she's encouraging folks to look for the work of local artists as they head into gift-giving season. 

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