Wonderful to be on this side of the opening of the exhibit and book release-

Wonderful to see all of the incredible artists within the series being recognized as well as the ripple effect of recognizing the arts in the Twin Ports area.

The wonderful of the past three weeks:

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Portrait of an Artist was installed in the George Morrison Gallery.

Self Portrait of an Artist, an exhibition featuring the works of many of the artists in the portraits, was installed in the John Steffl Gallery.

Flo Matamoros installed her beautiful exhibition in the Corridor Gallery at the DAI.

The book Portrait of an Artist was published by Holy Cow! Press.book

I sent or delivered over 100 pre-ordered copies from the Kickstarter that made it happen. Wowee!

The book was released at the incredibly attended exhibition opening October 15th, full of much excitement and light. As part of the celebration Kyle Elden, Asha Long, and Ryan Vine read selections of their work, and Rachael Kilgour and Tyler Scouton performed. This video, filmed by Jim Richardson a.k.a. Lake Superior Aquaman, captures some of the wonderful energy of the evening.

Ripple Effect opened October 16th at Prǿve Collective: an exhibition celebrating and reflecting, honoring and highlighting creative mentorship and inspiration. The opening was accompanied by Dan Branovan from the Crunchy Bunch and Shook Production.

On October 17th Ann Kelfstad and Ryan Vine read selections of their inspiring work at Zeitgeist Arts.

The Library at the College of St. Scholastica hosted a reading and book signing October 22nd.

At Prǿve Collective, October 23rd, Richie Townsend hosted a Cosmic Walk with the music of his band Lesser Planets.

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On the 24th, Tyler Scouton gave an interactive performance featuring a mixture of original music and influential tunes interacting with a dynamic video piece.

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Wednesday, October 28th, Sproutlings Children’s Boutique hosted a signing of the book, where it is currently still available for purchase.

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The talented actor and director Lawrence Lee was kind enough to feature the work on MPR’s Art Hounds.

The project also had wonderful stories on local news sources such as NBC, KUMD (Both on Northland Morning and Radio Gallery), and in the CSS Cable.

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And that was just in the first three weeks!

So where does that leave me? Humbled. Humbled and in awe. And tired. In a good way.

The exhibitions remain open to the public, and the book can be purchased locally at the Duluth Art Institute as well as at the Tweed Museum of Art, Lizzards Gallery, and Sproutlings.  If you aren’t local, the book is also on Amazon.

Incredibly excited for the below continuing events, and I hope to see you there!

This Thursday’s Round Table Discussion featuring Patricia Hagen, Jim Richardson, Erika Mock, Wanda Pearcy, Matt and Laurie Kania lead by James Klueg.

I’ll be giving an Art History Lecture on November 16th at the Duluth Art Institute Lincoln Building.

Patricia Canelake will be teaching a Trace Monoprint class at 1 pm on November 21st.

December 10th from 5-7 pm I will be doing a book signing and question-and-answer session in the gallery for anyone that is interested in learning more and/or wishes to purchase a book (or have one signed!) for gifts or otherwise.

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December 18th at 6pm Erika Mock and Karin Kraemer are opening their studios for visits at the Trade and Commerce Marketplace in Superior.

January 7th will feature the Mill City Requiem in the Gallery, featuring the works of Sheila Packa, Kathy McTavish and Kathleen Roberts.

January 9th Liz James will be doing a demo at the DAI Lincoln Center at 5pm.

January 14th at 7 pm a panel discussion called “Ready to Hang” will occur at the Duluth Art Institute.

…and January 21st

January 21st will be the final, full-circle event. All the artists who are able will be on hand to take their portraits off the wall from 7-8 pm and take them home.  It is an image that fueled the entire project, and I couldn’t be more excited for it.

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So what do you do with all of that wonderful? How much ‘grateful’ can a gratitude project grow? For my part, I’m just trying to share the huge amount of light that pours out of my community.  It is a honor to have been given space to share it all.  It is a gift that continues to give.

I have one last piece of this project that is meant to thank YOU.  You.  The person reading this, who has supported me at various steps of the way.  Even by your energy in reading this!  The announcement for that is just around the corner.

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SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!

Every day this week has been action-packed with prep for the exhibition and book release which opens next Thursday.

Monday:  Delivered all my work to the Duluth Art Institute, and picked up the special prints I’ve been working on with the Warrior Printress and Kenspeckle.

Important Delivery

Important Delivery!

Yesterday, I sent out my first batch of prints, after signing them, and stopped at the Art Institute to see the progress of the hanging of the accompanying exhibition (Self) Portrait of an Artist. I also got a sneak peek of another amazing exhibition going up in the corridor gallery by the awesome Flo Matamoros, one of my past students, and current awesome human being that also happens to be a subject in my Portrait of an Artist exhibition.

Wednesday! My students are volunteering to set up a classroom at the Duluth Art Institute’s Lincoln Building for St. Scholastica’s Community Day and then I headed over to the Depot to check out the hanging of the portraits! How exciting!

Thursday:

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Next week… big things!

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Dan Branovan of SHOOK Media interviewed me about five months ago about the project… and then revisited my studio a couple of weeks ago.  He happens to be in my Artist Series, is one of my past students, and as you can see from the video, a very talented individual.  I bet you’ll be able to catch an image of his painting in the interview!

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About a year ago, I was contemplating beginning a project focused on gratitude.

At age 35, as a practicing Artist, I have many people to be grateful for- who create space in which I am able to create.  I decided the best way for me, as a painter, to truly say ‘Thank you’ was to create a portrait of some of these people… 35 to be exact, as this was to be a birth year project.

The idea of painting so many portraits in a year seemed daunting, even more challenging, painting 35 portraits of Artists who inspire and influence me.  This seemed like a pretty impossible goal, given all of the other hats I wear in my life, but I decided, at the very least, I would try.

As I sat down to compose the list, I created some parameters to follow:  Each Artist had to be within range for me to photograph them, I couldn’t have painted them before (I know a lot of awesome Artists I have painted, by the way), and each portrait would be 20″ x 20″  I was left with more than 35 Artists, but after narrowing down who I would ask, I took a deep breath and began what has been the most exhausting and exhilarating project of my life.  The asking, the photographing, the painting, the revealing… all on repeat…all overlapping, given the time constraint. I was invited into many spaces, and had some of the most inspiring dialogues about ‘why’ one would choose to make Art… and my gratitude doubled and tripled.

With each of these Artists I recognize an honesty in their approach to making- what I see of them in their work I connect with as another maker, with a hope to do the same. The list is a personal one, covering the scope of Artists who are the fabric of my life.  For each I can point to at least one or two moments, but often many more, that I felt personally, positively affected by what they have done.

Nearing the close of the series, finishing the last few works, I have found there is more than gratitude in this project.  It is highlighting the thread connecting us all; a true marker of a community.  The thread reaches far beyond this year long project, but the witnessing I have done this year is a beautiful start.

My Portrait of an Artist series will be on exhibit in the George Morrison Gallery at the Duluth Art Institute October 15, 2015- January 22nd, 2016.  A paired exhibition featuring work of the Artists in the portraits will run (and open) concurrently in the adjoining John Steffl Gallery.  If that isn’t exciting in its own right, there is also a book of the series in the works, in which I was fortunate to receive a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, which funds the finalizing of the series as well as the run up to the publication of the book.  I am launching a Kickstarter to help pay for a portion of the printing costs, which will be published through the local awesome publisher, Holy Cow! Press.

Unbelievable!  Awesome!!  I truly cannot believe that I am so fortunate to even consider it.

So here it is!  Check out the video if you are interested  in learning more about being part of the project.  I am humbled and honored you are interested enough to have made it through my rambling.

Draft cover of the Book!

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