Get To Know Local Artist Offering An Internship Opportunity

Natalie Salminen Rude, owner of Haiku in Duluth. Photo by Jake Barnard

Natalie Salminen Rude, owner of Haiku in Duluth. Photo by Jake Barnard

As we sit in her quaint studio, Natalie Salminen Rude sips her cup of tea. Owner and creator of Haiku, her travel experience has helped shape her into the artist she is today. Her studio, Haiku, started as a workshop, but eventually, the walls of the building whispered to Rude - to open up and share her art with the public.

Haiku was introduced to Duluth on Small Business Saturday of 2018; it features Rude’s paintings and encaustic work. Encaustic is an ancient medium used by the Egyptians. It consists of pigments mixed with hot wax and then heat to fuse layers of wax together. Another unexpected delight found in Haiku is her poetry; thus the name of the gallery.  Haiku is a family gallery and also features Rude’s husband’s woodworking pieces.

Rude creating a piece. Photo by Jake Barnard

Rude creating a piece. Photo by Jake Barnard

Before Haiku came to be Rude began college in her home area but then took six years off to travel. When she came back to the states she still did not know what her next path would be. She wanted to go back to school but didn’t know what the best option was for herself.

Later she said, “I’ll just go for art because it is the one thing I enjoy doing.”

She decided to go to the University of Wisconsin Superior and graduated in 2003 with a major in studio art with a concentration in painting.

Upon graduation Rude, was ready to travel again — this time she explored South America. She sold her truck, left her apartment and paid her bills; she wanted no ties to Minnesota when she left.

As she traveled, she still grappled with what she was going to do “when she grew up” even though she had a major in studio art. It was during this time she came across midwifery. She found what she was destined to do and applied to an Oregon based school that allowed her to do her clinicals internationally.

She planned to start in the fall of 2004. Unfortunately, as she sat in her apartment in Ecuador, she realized she was running out of money and could not get back to the states from there. She ended up making her way to Honduras, where she was able to find a travel agent who found the only flight she could afford, a flight to Miami.

Fortunately, she had a friend who lived an hour from the airport. Her friend worked for an artist named Clyde Butcher. His gallery was tucked in the middle of the Everglades. Butcher provided housing for the gallery employees on site and her friend offered for Rude to stay with them. Butcher also offered Rude a job and he said she could stay for as long as she liked. Rude only needed enough cash to get back to Minnesota and planned to stay for six weeks.

On her days off, Rude started to paint. Butcher and his wife saw her work and said, “what are you doing going to school for midwifery when you’re an artist?”

She was ready with her list of preconceived notions of a starving artist and each excuse she made could not withstand Butcher and his wife’s rebuttals. They continued to say, “We believe in you and we want to mentor you.” She decided she was no longer heading to Oregon and would take up the Butchers’ offer of mentorship.

As she began to focus all of her time on painting, it sparked her career in the art world.  Her first art festival in 2004 was the gateway into selling and displaying her works in galleries.

As she continued to grow her artistic skills, she left Florida and eventually made her way back to Duluth to begin Haiku.

As we sit soaking in her colorful paintings, Rude begins to talk about how she is in the works of creating an internship in partnership with the University of Minnesota Duluth.

She wants to mentor student artists because this is an opportunity Rude wished she had when she was a student.

Supplies inside Haiku. Photo by Jake Barnard

Supplies inside Haiku. Photo by Jake Barnard

Rude is looking for a summer intern who can learn the ins and outs of her business while hopefully helping her in the areas of web design, poster design, and social media presence.

“It is a lot of work and you do need a wide skill set, but it is a good opportunity to see how someone is successfully creating art in this industry,” Rude said energetically. “Someone with flexible summer hours, third or fourth year in school recommended but it depends on their skill level and their drive and passion for art.”

Natalie Salminen Rude is your neighborhood artist and wants to create a supportive relationship between Haiku and UMD. If interested in the internship, stop by and chat with Rude at Haiku located at 2311 Woodland Avenue on Wednesdays from 10 to 7. Haiku and Rude will embrace you with warmth, inspiration, storytelling, and creativity emanating from every wall and being.

CultureAnna Rasmus