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Closing Reception: Tuesday, July 24, 5 - 8 PM

On View: June 29 - July 24, 2018

Depot Great Hall

The Duluth Art Institute, St. Louis County Historical Society, and Historic Union Depot Corporation are pleased to announce a showcase of over fifty pivotal works by three prolific artists, Carl Gawboy, George Morrison, and Joe Geshick. Each has had a profound impact on contemporary art and how each reflects and celebrates Anishinaabe life. Niiyo-wiij-anishinaabeg is from Anishinaabemowin and is closely translated into “Four Friends.” The four friends include the three artists and a space holder for you, the viewer to become a part of the relationship the artists all have in common, creating art to build community and relationships among humanity. As you explore each unique piece, you are invited to reflect on your path as you experience "traveling with friends together" (wiijiiwaagan).

Niiyo-wiij-anishinaabeg (Four Friends) will include sketches by Joe Geshick and George Morrison as the blueprints for what would become their master works and signature styles. Carl Gawboy will include eight new works on paper that storyboard the artists first major book project, set to be released in Fall 2018. These three Anishinaabe artists, with a long history as artists and friends, have never been shown together before. Their work represents a true shift in contemporary art that forged the pathway for today’s Anishinaabe artists.

A small opening reception will take place on June 29, which will include a ceremony to welcome the art, recognize the land, and thank the artists and their families for bringing together the Anishinaabe community. There will also be a jazz guitar performance by Briand Morrison. The opening reception, from 5-9 pm, begins in conjunction with the Downtown Duluth Art Walk.

A closing reception will take place on Tuesday, July 24, 6-8 pm to include a larger program with pipe ceremony, feast, speakers, and presentation of gifts in The Great Hall in the Depot, 506 West Michigan Street, Duluth, MN 55806.

The following is information on the collaborating organizations.

We thank our collaborators and sponsors for helping make this groundbreaking event possible.

Duluth Art Institute

The DAI has a rich history of 111 years of serving a region that is unique in its breadth of cultures. As a port city, mining region, international trade route, and tribal community, communities share a connection through items such as iron, wood, geology, and water. We value art an expression of language and as a place for artists to strengthen their role as crucial partners in the culture of the region.

St. Louis County Historical Society

Since its inception in 1922, the St. Louis County Historical Society has sought to discover, preserve, and disseminate knowledge about the history, and prehistory, of St. Louis County as well as the state of Minnesota.

The Historic Union Depot Corporation

The Mission of the Historic Union Depot Corporation is to administer, promote and manage the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center, the Depot, for the benefit of the residents of St. Louis County, our guest/visitors and the Participating Member Organizations.

Image: Joe Geshick (1943-2009), sketch for The Feeding of the Spirit, ink and graphite on paper, 9" x 14", ca. 2000, Geshick Family Collection

Chholing Taha: Every Spirit Tells A Story

Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Thursday, July 12, 6 - 9 PM

On View: July 12 - September 2, 2018

George Morrison Gallery

Chholing Taha is a CreeFirst Nations artist based in Anoka, MN who uses Native imagery to express both contemporary issues and indigenous stories. Solitude and wilderness have been a loyal companion throughout her lifetime. 

Taha draws on symbols from tribes from the Northwest coast, where she is originally from, as well as the Great Lakes tribes, including Ojibwe Woodland. It is her heart’s wish to instill a sense of mystery within anyone who views her work and discover that palce within each spirit that beats together as one heart. These narratives find themselves with one hand holding the past bringing the new insights toward the hand holding the future. 

Image: Chholing Taha, River Spirit

Payton MacDonald: Sonic Divide

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 12, 6 - 9 PM

Project Screening: July 12, 7:30 - 9 PM, The Duluth Playhouse

On View: July 12 - September 2, 2018

John Steffl Gallery

The “Sonic Divide: States” film features 30 comissioned scores from 30 different composers performed during MacDonald’s mountain bike journey along the Great Divide. Each musical work was scored specifically for his voice or found percussion instruments, like logs, rocks, or the bicycle itself. 

Four paintings, by Duluth painter Kenneth D. Johnson, accompany the film. The pieces are based on photos taken in each of the four states MacDonald traveled through. Johnson’s paintings introduce performance footage from each state, coupled with still images, to give the viewer a sense of the grandeur of making music in these incredible natural settings. 

A screening of MacDonald’s video project will take place at The Duluth Playhouse opening night, July 12, from 7:30 – 9 PM.

Image: Courtesy of Payton MacDonald

Jonathan Thunder: Suspension of Disbelief

On View: July 12 - September 2, 2018

Corridor Gallery

The term suspension of disbelief has been defined as a willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe something surreal. Thunder’s project will feature sound and what he calls ‘animated canvases’, a hybrid of hand painting and animation. The space will serve as an area for the artist to experiment with a variety of media and modes of installation in working towards a large-scale exhibition. There will be an artist talk at the close of the exhibition.

Operating support is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Operating support is made possible in part by the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation. 

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