Tweed Museum celebrates two new exhibits
On Friday, Sept. 22, the Tweed Museum of Art had a double-opening reception to celebrate both “A Thousand Words” photography collection and “Plein Air, America’s Industrial Landscape.”
“A Thousand Words” showcases 47 photographs of humans in a flutter of dynamic situations, intended to inspire imagination and tell a story. Four photographers are native to Duluth and four painters are native to Minnesota.
Ivy Vainio, a UMD alumni who graduated with a history major and American Indian Studies minor in 1992, now has her art in the Tweed.
“For me to have one of my photographs in the Tweed’s Collection and in ‘A Thousand Words’ exhibition is a dream come true,” Vainio said. “To have my image alongside nationally-acclaimed photographers’ images is a life highlight.”
Her photograph titled “Trina Fasthorse” displays a tribal member of the Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe, who was chosen to represent the tribe as royalty, as she dances at a powwow. A cultural and spiritual activity, each step in the dance is a prayer and is frequent among tribes in America and Canada.
Vainio loves to capture racially diverse individuals and cultural activities because “there has been a lack of good representation of the communities in the media.”
“Learning about, and forming relationships, with each other is always a good thing,” Vainio said. “It always creates some form of understanding. More understanding helps diminish personal bias and learned assumptions/stereotypes about a group of people.”
Photography instructor Wanda Pearcy loves the storytelling aspect and the problem solving that’s involved in telling that story. Her photograph in the exhibit has themes of looking at the past, space, feeling lost and history visually packed into it.
Pearcy goes about shooting these themes in a unique way. While shooting she wanted to “just be by myself, use the information on the site, and access what's on my psyche to photograph where I feel.” To aid this she brought no props to the site and wore no clothes.
“My goal was to find a way to bridge the gap between the external world of assigned norms and my internal world of ethereal space,” Pearcy said.
Along with “A Thousand Words,” “Plein Air, America's Industrial Landscape” is being showcased right now at the Tweed.
Rose Frederick, Plein Air Painters of America (PAPA) Executive Director, said that the paintings display “the artist's connections to nature” and that there are “senses and emotions in every one of the paintings.”
All the paintings on display have the theme of industrial America. Andy Evansen, PAPA’s president and plein air artist, said when the theme was first presented, “some artists were having trouble with the theme of Industrial.” But then it was pointed out that industrial is all around us and can simply be people working. Evansen’s industrial painting displays the chaos of replacing a bridge over the Mississippi river.
Jeffrey T. Larson, a guest painter for PAPA and teacher at Great Lakes Academy, spent the whole summer in Duluth painting a grain elevator. Two to three times a week on sunny mornings, Jefferey would come to his location from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Larson also started the prestigious fine arts academy where he teaches in the former St. Peter’s Church. According to his website “Its primary focus is on the classical training of talented and motivated young artists; individuals whose desire is to become full-time, professional fine artists.”
Tweed will feature “Plein Air, America’s industrial Landscape” through November 12 and “A Thousand Words” through December 31.