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Susanna Gaunt: Integument


 


On View: Fall 2020

George Morrison Gallery

Duluth multi-media artist Susanna Gaunt presents new work investigating materials on a large scale. Manipulating sheets of white paper, she layers, weaves and shapes sculptures into textured forms suspended from the ceiling and mounted on the walls. Creases, peaks and valleys reflect light to create shadowed surfaces juxtaposed against translucent layers of mulberry paper treated with encaustic wax. This collection of forms invites viewers to examine their details, noting differences with curiosity and wonder. Gaunt remarks her work “is often enhanced with the use of layers that conceal enough to raise questions and reveal enough to suggest answers.” Susanna Gaunt has exhibited throughout the United States, including solo shows at the University of Superior Kruk Gallery, Grand Rapid’s MacRostie Art Center, Church Street Gardens in Little Silver, NJ and venues in Missoula, MT. She has been a part of significant juried group shows such as the 62nd Arrowhead Regional Biennial and the UMD Emerging Photographers show, both at the Duluth Art Institute. Gaunt holds a BFA from the University of Minnesota Duluth in Painting, Drawing and Printmaking and a BA in Philosophy from Boston College. Gaunt is a grant awardee of both the Minnesota States Arts Board and the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council. This activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to appropriations from Minnesota State Legislature’s General Fund.


Image credit: Susanna Gaunt


Alyssa Swanson: Material


 

On View: Fall 2020

Corridor Gallery

Alyssa Swanson weaves the influences of her ancestors, family, and mentors into monochromatic abstract sculptures. Beginning with inexpensive acrylic yarns, bulk fabrics and discarded scraps, she embraces the modest materials used by her great-grandmother, great aunt, grandmother and mother. Yarn, thread, needles and crochet hooks construct alternate ways in which women throughout history have extended their voices. In Material, Swanson reveals how the craft of her matrilineage informs her creative process and narrative. Alyssa Swanson earned her MFA in 2D Studies from Bowling Green State University in 2019 and she holds a BA of Art, Painting and Drawing from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. She has exhibited throughout the Midwest and lives in Minnesota.


Image credit: Alyssa Swanson, Embodied Voice Installation Detail



Blair Treuer: Identity


On View: Fall 2020

John Steffl Gallery


Textile artist Blair Treuer’s portraits of herself, husband and nine children move off the walls with emotional energy. Textures and patterns blend and contrast, creating form; fabric mimicking paint while luring viewers to lean in, to observe, to examine detail. Relationships of the materials emerge, as do the relationships between the artist, herself and her family. Treuer explains, “The portraits are an intimate conversation about my life and the lives of my husband and children. My son’s inability to fit in at school; my daughters struggles with drug abuse, incarceration and the loss of her children; the loss I feel about my severed connection to my ancestors as a Scandinavian transplant with nothing left of my heritage to hold onto.” Treuer continues, “This exhibit is about my life as an outsider, the only non-Native American in my immediate family. My work is about my reflections of standing fixed on the outside, but privileged enough to look in.”

As Treuer’s children prepared for a ceremony, the only way for her to participate as a non-native was to make blankets for their spiritual offering. She poured herself into them, teaching herself how to sew and discovering a spiritual process that feels to Treuer like “Inspiration channeling through me faster than my fingers can move”.

In Identity, Treuer becomes a storyteller delivering a message, “magic can be created when two people from different cultures love each other and build a life together.”

Image credit: Blair Treuer, “Evan” English name Niiyo-bines/Four Thunderbirds Ojibwe names


Chesley Antoinette: Tignon

On View: Fall 2020

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The 1786 Tignon Law of Louisiana was enacted to oppress affluent women of African descent, to decrease their beauty and thereby diffuse their alure to white men. Under the administration of Governor Esteban Rodriguez Miro, women of African descent were forced to cover their hair as an effort to control them, their affluence, beauty and intelligence. However, the headwrap became a symbol of rebellion as women donned their hair with exquisite, colorful scarves, adding jewelry, ribbon and other fine material. The Tignon was and is embraced by women of African descent, proving an occasion to showcase one’s creativity and adaptability.     

Artist Chesley Antoinette is the creator and designer of Cantoinette Studios where she explores wearable art and sculpture. Antoinette, teacher at Mountain View College in Dallas Texas, holds a BFA in sculpture from Stephen F. Austin University and an MFA from University of North Texas in Fiber Art. In Tignon, she presents a collection of unique turbans, exhibiting a vast range of color, form and wrapping techniques. The headwraps are accompanied by large scale contemporary photographs and essays providing visual and written historical context to the Tignon Law. 


Image credit: Chesley Antoinette, Rachel Pringle




      


 


  The Duluth Art Institute's programs and services are made possible in part through the support of the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2018.




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