Monday, July 21, 2008, 10:55 PMThe Uptown Art Fair is one of the oldest and most respected art shows and summer events in Minneapolis. Because it is such an important fair, the juried show draws artists from all across the country. We print for a couple of artists who show, or have shown at the Uptown, but artist Marni Tobin went one better. She not only got into the fair again this year, but she is the featured artist!
Marni and the Uptown are a perfect match. The Uptown neighborhood is known for its hip night life and exciting social scene. Likewise Marni's art depicts urban settings and urbanites in cafe's and bars in vivid colors and wonderful expressionistic detail. Seeing her work I am transported back to my urban Minneapolis years hanging out at Hennepin and Lake and imagine myself listening to jazz at a pub with a tequila sunrise in my hand.
Stop by Booth 316 at the Uptown Art Fair and see her work, including two new prints we recently made for her of street scenes from Italy. We were thrilled to help Marni again this year; with our newest printer we were able to match Marni's vivid color pallet perfectly.
And when you are around the town (in this case Dinkytown) you may even see her image on a bus shelter. Cell phone photo by David Husom
Marni's site: www.oilandwaters.com/
An interview with Marni in Minnesota Monthly: www.minnesotamonthly.com
Friday, July 18, 2008, 03:22 PMI am just old enough to remember downtown Minneapolis before it became a series of less than successful experiments in urban renewal: The old Donaldson's store between 6th and 7th on Nicollet, the Art Deco Forum restaurant on 7th Street, the Marigold Ballroom just south of downtown, the Washington Avenue Gateway District, the Nicollet Ave Woolworth's and Kresege's dime stores, and the Union Depot station.
(Downtown Minneapolis skyline showing the Foshay Tower, about 1960).
Copyright Minnesota Historical Society. All rights reserved.
I must confess I do not recall ever being inside the poster child of Minneapolis' nearsighted city planing: the Metropolitan Building. But I do recall Maynard G. Krebs in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis regularly going downtown to see the Metropolitan Building being knocked down by a big ball. (The creator of the show was former Minneapolis resident Max Shulman. The show allegedly took place in Minneapolis, but it was never mentioned other than the Metropolitan reference). Where the masterpiece once sat is still just a parking lot.
In 1960 the Minneapolis Star (now the Star Tribune) sent a couple of photographers out with both 4X5 cameras and a panoramic camera to document the city before it was forever changed. They also documented some of the new construction including the first modern building in the Upper Midwest, the 1st National Bank. The photos sat unpublished in the paper's library and they were eventually given to the Minnesota Historical Society. The Mill City Museum asked us to scan and print 20 images from the collection for an exhibit that is currently up at the downtown Minneapolis museum. We printed the 4X5 shots at 16X20 and panoramas at 11X30. It is a must see for anyone who remembers, or wants to know what Minneapolis looked like - before the tear down.
Before the Tear Down - Mill City Museum. The show ends August 31st 2008.
Friday, May 9, 2008, 04:54 PMIn 1956 Joseph Mertle, a well known expert on photomechanical printing, joined the Printing and Publishing Division of 3M Company. Although he was only at 3M for a few short years, he left behind his extensive collection of books and samples of historic printing and photographic processes. Mertle was an obsessive collector and his collection had long outgrown his home. Eventually the Mertle Collection was also too big, and probably a bit outdated, for 3M. Therefore the whole collection was given to the University of Minnesota Libraries.
On two occasions I accompanied 3M executives to visit the collection. Although there was talk of an exhibition of some of the work, nothing ever materialized. Fortunately, by the time 3M Printing and Publishing was spun off into Imation it was obvious that the collection would have a prominent place in the new Elmer Andersen Library for Special Collections and Rare Books. This was particularly appropriate since Elmer Andersen was himself a newspaper publisher (along with being a former Minnesota Governor, businessman, and University of Minnesota Regent) and a very important collector of rare books.
On my visits to the collection I was aware that there was a copy of William Henry Fox Talbot's 1844 Pencil of Nature, the first book to use photographic prints and one of the first examples of the process of photography (there are only about 15 copies known to still exist). But not wanting to handle it any more than necessary I did not really study it as closely as I should have. It took Peter Martin, photographer and University of Minnesota faculty member, to remember that he had seen a paper negative that was slipped into the book in an old envelope. He recently decided to put some effort into researching the negative and we agreed to scan it.
I decided it would be best to scan it as a color image since that would give more options in converting it to black and white. The original is only about 6X7 inches, so I scanned it at 2000 pixels per inch on our Scitex scanner to see the detail and in case we needed a larger print. The detail is so astonishing for a negative on paper that we made a 20X21 inch print for the University of Minnesota Library. But with such a stunning image I will make a larger version in the future—40X44 inches.
Talbot expert Larry J Schaaf has confirmed that it was probably made by Talbot’s one-time valet, Nicolaas Henneman, who worked very closely with Talbot. In 1843 he left Talbot’s service and set up a photographic works in Reading England to print his own and Talbot's images. According to Schaaf the photo is of Coley Avenue in Reading and was almost certainly taken by Henneman. However, the negative was owned by Talbot. It was taken sometime between 1843 and 1848.
I scanned the image as a black and white negative, color negative (transparency) and color (reflected) print. The color negative image is perhaps the most interesting since the scanner, looking for the normal orange masking and instead finding the yellowing of the paper, produced a rich sepia brown with a cyan-blue area in the sky. It may not be what Talbot and Henneman had in mind, but then they would have never guessed it could be enlarged and printed with archival pigment ink either.
Here is what the print looks like:
(Click on the image to see a larger view)
For more on the Mertle Collection see: special.lib.umn.edu/rare/mertle
For more on Talbot see: foxtalbot.dmu.ac.uk
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 04:39 PMWe had the great pleasure to work recently on the Guatemalan Textiles Trunk Show and Sale in Minneapolis. Curated by Mary Anne Wise, a well known textile artist from nearby Stockholm Wisconsin, the proceeds will benefit Friendship Bridge’s credit and education programs in Guatemala. The program serves over 17,000 women throughout rural Guatemala with micro-loans and other assistance.
We provided the photography and prep of the digital images for the catalog. The catalog is available at the show or here online as a pdf: Guatemala Textile Catalog in PDF format
The show runs Friday and Saturday April 24th & 25th at Stephanie Odegard’s showroom in downtown Minneapolis, and it looks wonderful! There are literally hundreds of beautiful pieces available for purchase. We could not help but buy one for ourselves, and help a great program in the process.
Click on the image to see larger.
For more information see Mary Anne Wise’s site at: www.maryannewise.com
Odegard’s is at: Odegard, Inc. 210 North Second Street Suite 100 Minneapolis, MN 55401 www.odegardinc.com
Sunday, April 13, 2008, 02:53 PMWhen we first moved to the Red Wing area eight years ago one of the first artists we met was Marge Vogel. Marge had been Red Wing’s first art teacher in the 1930’s. But back then you could not be married and teach public school, so Marge decided to devote herself to promoting the arts and creativity in other ways. Over 50 years ago she founded the Red Wing Arts Association She is still an active member of the association and serves on the Board of Directors. She also remained an active artist, and when there was a suggestion of there being a show of her work a few years ago she responded that she was too busy.
Marge is still pretty busy, but at least she found time to work with the Red Wing Art Association to do a show of her work in the Depot gallery in Red Wing. The show contains an amazing collection of work, covering her 75 years as an artist. We helped put together a section of her work as the art director on the 1933 University of Minnesota yearbook. But that was just the beginning of her tremendous output as an artist, involvement in the community, and her never ending career as an educator and leader in the visual arts. The show is a real treat to see her work, from watercolor, to printmaking to ceramics—including plates designed, but unfortunately never produced for the Red Wing Pottery company. But to see a list of her community involvement is truly awe inspiring.
We were also pleased to make a limited edition Giclee print in two sizes for the Art Association. It is available at the Depot Gallery.
Click to see larger
Mar 27 – May 11 “The Marjorie Gray Vogel Exhibition” www.redwingartsassociation.org