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An online exhibit reflecting how artists are processing and observing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic

Artists often process events and emotions through creating new work. Some find peace, some find inspiration, some find more questions. Response provides an avenue of expression, a place for artists and viewers to explore, heal and vent. Submissions were received from throughout the nation as well as abroad and reflect the variety of issues faced during this time. From drawings to dioramas, photography to ceramics, realism to abstract, submitted work is on view throughout 2020. 

Because our everyday lives are changing every day, Works in Progress as well as completed work continues to be accepted on a rolling basis. Apply on submittable. 

Sale prices do not necessarily include shipping, framing or taxes. Please send inquiries to Avarsek@duluthartinstitute.org

<< All album photos 22/60 photos
Joe Karlovec
"Fake Fireplace"
jacquard tapestry
53 x 43"

West Palm Beach, FL

Shaun Chosa: War Paint

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 6, 5-8 PM

Artist Talk: March 17, 5-7 PM canceled

On View: January - April 9

John Steffl Gallery

Pulling from popular culture, nature and his Ojibwe heritage, Shaun Chosa creates detailed pen and ink work that is evocative and at times whimsical. In War Paint, Chosa translates his ideas onto large canvas with acrylic, “War Paint is a social commentary on popular culture and its intersection in Indian country. Some blatant, some coded in ways only those people growing up on the Red road would understand.”

Chosa traveled the United States throughout his youth, visiting and living among various Native American tribes alongside his mother, an artist. Many of her friends were free thinkers: poets, musicians, hippies, veterans; they had a large influence on Chosa’s constant search for knowledge.

Exploring line and color, Chosa searches his way around his subjects like the contours on a landscape. Each elevation rising with another color and pattern, lines creating depth and form with a graphic style inspired by street art. Subjects range from political to familial, highlighting strengths and obstacles of Native American people. Strong images capture emotion, evoke reaction, and encourage introspection, pushing against perceptions and challenging stereotypes.  

Chosa’s design work has been seen around Duluth in the form of posters, CD covers, and apparel for local artists, venues, and concerts including Charlie Parr, Save the Boundary Waters Music Festival, and Homegrown. Chosa fills the gaps in his community’s art programming, bringing an art club to Ely High School, creating a puppet troop, hosting the Great Nordic Beard Fest and organizing music concerts.


Image Credit: Shaun Chosa, Survivor, acrylic

Andy Messerschmidt: Creepy Crawl 

Artist Talk: March 17, 5-7 PM canceled

On View: February 17- April 12

Corridor Gallery

Andy Messerschmidt’s work reflects popular culture’s consumption and hoarding of images. Individuals are massing collections of photos online, images representing a life we wish to be living, maintaining facades that can bring personal conflict and stress. His kaleidoscopic realms layer assorted objects with backdrops of wrapping paper, hand drawn mazes and elaborate patterns. Messerschmidt likens the gallery to a temple, reasoning that artwork is elevated simply by appearing in the space. His paintings therefore become the alter, “Shrines to ornamental multiphrenia.” 

Messerschmidt operates the Ornamental Hermit Studio in Ely, Minnesota where he creates and displays his artwork. Represented throughout the United States and abroad, he has appeared in multiple solo and group shows, including being awarded first place in the 2012 Arrowhead Regional Biennial.

    Image Credit: Andy Messerschmidt, Morecore, acrylic, cut paper on routered MDF

Emerging Photographers 

Artist Talk: March 17, 5-7 PM canceled

On View: March 9-29

St. Louis County Depot Great Hall

This year DAI hosts 10 University of Minnesota-Duluth photography students in the Saint Louis County Depot Great Hall.  Selections made by Exhibitions Director Amy Varsek include digital prints and collages that represent passionate emerging voices.  The artists in the 2020 Emerging Photographers exhibition are developing meaningful personal relationships with their subjects and therefore producing authentic, thought provoking work.”  Students are led by Art + Design professor Gloria DeFilipps Brush whose own work merges literature and photography, embracing and encouraging differences in the observer’s perceptions.

Congratulations to UMD 2020 Emerging Photographers: Michael Dahmen, Jason Fredrickson, Alayna Heglund, Eema Ibrahim, Samantha Maynard, Dannyelle Moon, Emily Paulson, Sarah Roesler, Stevie Twining, Alison Wieber

Image Credit: Jason Fredrickson, Sink, photograph

Youth Art Month: Take A Journey Through Art 

Opening Reception: March 4, 4-6 PM

On View: March 1-31

Whole Foods Co-op Denfeld

Whole Foods Co-Op and the Duluth Art Institute partner to showcase young artists in our community throughout the month of March. Together we highlight and celebrate youth art at WFC Denfeld with The Council for Art Education bringing us this year’s national theme, Take a Journey Through Art.

Work on view includes students from Duluth Art Institute’s Home School class, Lincoln Park Middle School, Raleigh Edison, and Woodland Hills. Join us to celebrate and recognize students during the opening reception on Wednesday March 4, 4-6pm.  Light refreshments will be available along with an opportunity to get creative with local art teacher Chrissy Valento.

Image Credit: Ben, print

Sharon Dawson

On View: January - March

City Hall Mayor's Reception Room

Sharon Dawson’s work invites viewers to investigate with emotion, the forms encouraging viewers to linger and emerge with a connection outside of oneself. Pulling us in with depth, color and texture, the images reflect Dawson’s practice, “While creating art draws the internal world outward, awareness in meditation draws the attention inward”. Applying multiple layers of oil and acrylic before rubbing, scraping and carving into the surface, Dawson’s process becomes meditative. Her movements, visible as strokes on the canvas, promote stillness and harmony.

Painter and adaptive Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist Sharon Dawson lives and works in Duluth, MN. After earningher BFA from the University of Minnesota, Duluth she studied Buddhist meditation in Nova Scotia then relocated to Albuquerque New Mexico to study art therapy, deepening the connection she found between the practices of mediation and the artistic creative process. Dawson has received numerous awards for her paintings and has exhibited at the Tweed Museum, the Duluth Art Institute, and the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Competition.

Image Credit: Sharon Dawson, Blessed Born, oil acrylic, mixed media on paper

Our Neighbors: Exhibiting Artists from BAM

On View: January - March

City Hall Rotunda

The Duluth Art Institute hosts the Birkenstein Arts Movement, a year-long program for middle school students based on the art and principles of Jean Birkenstein. Fifteen BAM students joined this movement to focus on growing their art and leadership skills, working towards communicating through drawing, ceramics, painting and mixed media.  

Youth, primarily from Lincoln Park Middle School, work in the Duluth Art Institute’s Lincoln Park Building, exploring the new Print Studio and creating work in the historical building’s painting and drawing space. Weekly sessions have included field trips to the Duluth Art Institute Galleries and leadership development classes with artist instruction by local artists, including Carla Hamilton, Ashley Hise, Karen Keenan, Flo Matamoros, Adam Swanson and Jonathan Thunder. Duluth Art Institute and Duluth City Hall proudly present BAM participants work in the next City Hall Rotunda exhibition with program funding provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Access grant. Work on view includes mixed media self-portraits, animal inspired acrylics on canvas, and drawings in ink, graphite, and colored pencil.


Image Credit: Brenna, Self Portrait, mixed media



  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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