In late June, the Duluth Art Institute (DAI) hosted an opening of Jonathan Thunder's latest show, "Peripheral Vignettes," of large-scale paintings and animations. Fellow Ojibwe artists including Jim Denomie and Karen Savage-Blue, The Tweed's Director Ken Bloom, DAI staff and board members, and young and older aficionados of contemporary Native artwork crowded the series of narrow high-ceilinged rooms.
I think about lighting and placement: which objects would look best with indirect sunlight and which will blow away if too close to the Pavilion's overpowering air-conditioners. I am still madly writing artist statements in the final hours and ferrying them over to the Northview Bank which kindly donates the use of their color printer.
The men of my college class of 1968 who died in Vietnam. Ancestors whom my brothers, cousins and I never knew personally. That they made life decisions and gave us so many gifts. Their humor, their courage, their loving, their music. And, some not-so-great traits for us to struggle with.
Late last month, the Cromwell-Wright community mourned and celebrated Ray Mowers' life. Among his achievements are his work as the local "go-to" man for people struggling with alcoholism. In an interview five years ago, Ray — who grew up on a Cromwell farm — talked with me about his life and work.
Last week, I had a wretched experience trying to buy airplane tickets. I am working for an upcoming month in Brazil. I wished to buy tickets for my husband and I to fly from Minnesota to Belo Horizonte, the third largest city in Brazil — the prosperous mining and auto manufacturing capital of the province of Minas Gerais.
Everyone pitched in, grabbed tools, approached "the wall" and talked over with Whited the best approach. Knowing we'd generate a ton of material, we created a side alley where we could dispose of whole branches and logs. With my shears, I began snapping off inch-thick branches and jettisoning them into the forest. I always enjoy feeling so many of my muscles brought into play. The men took turns with the two-man saw — quite a workout when a downed tree is two feet thick.
Trump's anti-immigrant stance has emboldened hateful confrontations. My cousin, Martha Markusen, was driving home through New Mexico last month. At a truck stop, the white man in front of her said loudly to the African-American woman serving him behind the counter: "Why don't you go back to where you came from!" Martha gasped out loud "What??!!!"