Chris J. Benson

Chris J. Benson

David Bowen

David Bowen

Eric Dubnicka

Eric Dubnicka

Kristina Estell

Kristina Estell

Samantha Goodall

Samantha Goodall

Gruchalla and Rosetti

Gruchalla / Rosetti

Karin Kraeme

Karin Kraemer

Angela Kric

Angela Krick

Alberta Marana

Alberta Marana

Chris Monroe

Chris Monroe

Crystal Pelkey

Crystal Pelkey

Adam Swanson

Adam Swanson

Ryan Tischer

Ryan Tischer


Chris J. Benson | Photographer

Through Minnesota and its land of sky-tinted waters, Chris J. Benson realized his true passion: enjoying nature and all it has to offer. Over the years he has explored and photographed hundreds of different lakes, rivers and streams, trails, and natural areas throughout Minnesota. Photography has given him the opportunity to capture and share these explorations.

Chris created an online gallery,, to allow a glimpse into his love of the outdoors and the beautiful views our state provides. The website will also be updated with a new design in the new future, so check back soon!

The more time Chris spends out on our waters, trails, and natural areas, the more he appreciates how fortunate we are to have them.

David Bowen | Kinetic Sculptor

David Bowen is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

46.699546 lat. -91.996948 long. 30 meters @ 1406676360, acrylic, 64mm x 230mm x 230mm, 2014
46.699546 lat. -91.996948 long. 30 meters refers to the location and time where the three-dimensional data was collected to create this work. An autonomous aerial vehicle hovering above the surface of Lake Superior scanned the surface of the water. The collected data was used to create a three-dimensional model. The model was then carved into a block of clear acrylic with a three-axis CNC router. This process captured the dynamic movements of the waves and ripples from a specific time and location and suspended this ever-changing water pattern into a static transparent form.

Eric Dubnicka | Painter

A problem solving creative-type from the start, Eric Dubnicka was raised in a small-town in NW Wisconsin. After a number of years with the Forestry Sciences Lab in Juneau, AK as a "destructive data collector", he returned to the Midwest and attended the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN where he received his BFA in 2002. For over twelve years now he has lived and worked in Duluth at the Tweed galleries. 

The objects he creates, though at times "pretty", are grounded in the depths of ugliness, the fractured mental state created by society's expectations and the frenetic surroundings in which we exist. Often, with a sardonic eye, the work relies heavily on the figure or the withered self that remains, a caricature. The most recent works have become portraits or candid everyday snapshots of unknown folk, just slogging… surviving for a reason perhaps even unknown to them, an ambiguous setting that suggests loss and isolation.

Kristina Estell | Visual Artist

Kristina Estell is a Duluth based visual artist who is interested in the function of the human gesture within the complex environment of natural and built environments. Using a wide variety of processes and materials, she creates sculptural installations, watercolors and found object works that create uniquely sensitive material experiences.

Estell is a graduate of Herron School of Art at Indiana University and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She has exhibited nationally and internationally as well as attended artist residencies within and outside of the US. In 2010, she was selected by artist Dan Graham to receive a full fellowship at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany for a competitive 10- month visual arts residency. In 2011, she was the winner of the James Hotel Chicago Artist Studio purchase prize for their permanent art collection. Invited in 2014 by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Estell completed a large-scale sculptural installation project working from the spatial features of the Stephen D. Paine gallery as part of the resulting Surface exhibition.

Samantha Goodall | Knitter

There are many reasons people get excited on this earth. For the artist in question, luxories such as a warm cup of coffee and a quiet paddle in the North country serve her soul well. But few others strike a sparkle in her eye such as a trip up the shore to visit the yarn store. One step in the door and the ideas forge in her mind like an elven blade to it's hilt. Samantha Lynn Goodall, now of Duluth,MN is a humble wizard of the knitting needles. Her Elegant and Impeccable attention to every project she creates leaves her work colorful, sensible and full of warmth and love. Sammy specializes in hats, leg warmers, thumber gloves and cowls. Her recent passion is less in keeping peoples body parts warm and more in keeping a good local craft beer cold!!! She is designing patterned coozies for cans, bottles, coffee cups and growlers!!! You can often find samantha sitting at a camp fire in the woods, in her cozy orange lounge chair or a local tavern to enjoy the inspiring music scene in Duluth with her needles in hand. The proprietor of Too Legit To Knit, a true Minnesota Nice Sweetheart, and the first to beat her nieces and nephews to ask for crayons and a kids menu at a cafe. Her creations are intricate, comfortable and beautiful. Samantha Lynn Goodall is creative, motivated and a Wonderful wool worker from Wilmar, MN.

Richard Gruchalla & Carrin Rosetti | Pottery

We are a husband and wife team. In the studio, we are also a collaborative team. Ideas are shared. Each of us brings different skills into the process of creating our work. Carrin started out as a fiber artist ... a tapestry weaver. She came into the pottery studio, with her sense for color and surface arrangement, almost 20 years ago. I have spent my whole career as a studio potter, first making functional stoneware and porcelain in the Leach-Hamada tradition, and now working exclusively in raku.

Our pottery is, before all else, a statement of form. We look first for the silhouette of the piece; the lift from the surface, the graceful extension from the foot to the belly into the curve of the body, the strength of the shoulder, the grace of the neck, and finally the finish of the lip. All the parts are connected, and all the parts should be cohesive.

We call our style of work 'American Raku' to distinguish it from the original, Japanese style of fast-firing and quick-cooling raku. (The Japanese did not put their raku through the smoking part of the firing.) We do, however, try to follow the example of Donyu, the third in line of raku masters, who was noted for his innovation in the use of the raku process. We hope to continue with OUR innovation of this technique to produce work that will add to the library of contemporary American ceramics.

Karin Kraemer | Artist

I grew up in Minneapolis and received got my BFA in glass working from St. Cloud State University in 1986. After blowing glass in Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin, I moved to West Virginia, where I began to make clay work and pit firing it in my yard, and was hooked. I moved to Carbondale, Illinois and did graduate work in Ceramics, there. I received my MFA in 1996, moved to Victoria, British Columbia and spent two years making pots, gardening and traveling. Duluth became my new home in 1998. I teach at local colleges, and my studio, the Duluth Pottery, as well as selling work in galleries and at art fairs.

For my own work, I enjoy working in pottery and tile, because they bring art to the table and every day use. Clay is a great medium for expression. I love that I exist in a long line of potters through history and a reflection of our culture.

My work is Maiolica, an in-glaze hand painted tin glaze technique. I make functional pots and tiles that are meant to celebrate the day. My individual wall pieces and compositions of tiles are hand built and decorated with colorful, loose brushwork.

I draw from every day scenes and objects for my imagery. Capturing the color and movement of the moment is my aim … the flowers in my garden trembling in a slight breeze and the sun glowing through them, or the light coming in the window and lighting the room.

I also do public art and get involved in the arts community here in Superior and Duluth by involving myself in the organizations and projects around town. I am a member of the Duluth Art Institute, founded and former chair of the North End Arts Council of Superior, (now the Superior Council for the Arts), and am a member of the SPACES committee in Superior.

Angela Krick | Painter

"I am Angie Krick and painting is a hobby. I love exploring what paint will do- whether it is thick or thin, how it mixes, moves and blends or accents other colors. I use splats, drips, water, scrapers, anything available to the experience. My inspirations come from everything, even nothing. I feel like the newness and complete raw, experiential plunge into painting was where anything could happen. These days, I have two little ones, and I am not sure how organic the process will ever be again. Thanks to good people, like Blake Shippee, I am free to reinvent myself and share my spirit, style and expression. Painting for me is like singing or dancing, not a lot of thought in it for the moment, just absorbed in the movement. I tend to move freely along the canvass, not holding on to any part of it until it hangs. peace."

Alberta Marana | Pastel

Alberta Marana graduated from Hamline University with a degree in Art and Sociology in 1973. She graduated with a Master's Degree in Studio Art from UW, Superior in 1995. She lived in Bennett, Wisconsin for 24 years and began working with pastels in the mid 80's, when she was a full-time parent of small children. Pastels were handy to use in that she could pack them in her car and drive to a spot where she could work on location.

Much of her work is of scenes from northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. She especially loves working in the fall, when the colors of the trees are at their peak. Since her move to Duluth, in 2002, she has become inspired by the evocative mood the lights of the city create at night.

In 2007 she received an Artist Fellowship from the Arrowhead Arts Council to allow her time to pursue oil painting. Ms. Marana has been doing some oil painting since then as well as continuing her work with pastels. She also volunteers with the English Language Program at the Adult Learning Center in Duluth, gardens intensely in the summer and enjoys cooking ethnic food as well as artisan breads.

She has exhibited nationally and internationally and has won several awards, including a Milwaukee Arts Commission Purchase Award, 1st at the Florida Pastel Society Show in 1995 and Best of Show, the Duluth Art Institute, 1990. In 2003 she was a recipient of a Career Development Grant from the Arrowhead Regional Art Center and in 2007 received the McKnight/ARAC Individual Artist Fellowship.

Chris Monroe | Painter

Chris Monroe is an author, illustrator, and cartoonist who lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She is a graduate of the Minneapolis College Of Art And Design. Chris is the creator of the weekly comic strip "Violet Days," (which will soon celebrate its 19th year in print,) and the author of "Ultra Violet- Ten Years Of 'Violet Days'." She is also the author and illustrator of the award winning picture books "Sneaky Sheep," "Cookie The Walker," "Bug On A Bike," and the "Monkey With A Tool Belt" series. Her books have been translated into five languages.

As well as being a freelance commercial illustrator, she has illustrated several other children's books, including "Totally Uncool," by Janice Levy, "Big Little Brother," and "Big Little Mother," both by Kevin Kling, and "Trash Mountain," by Jane Yolen..

Chris continues to show her work in galleries and museums. She was featured in "Chris Monroe- New Work," at the Duluth Art Institute during the summer of 2012, and was honored as "Artist Of The Month" in April, 2011 as part of the permanent collection of The Tweed Museum. She travelled to Vaxjo, Sweden in November 2012 as part of the Sister City Exchange Program, and presented her work at Linnaeus University and other schools and libraries in the area. She was a recipient of a 2014 Minnesota State Artist's Initiative Grant, and as part of her grant is working on preliminary sketches for a graphic novel.

Crystal Pelkey | Jeweler

Crystal Pelkey is the Producing Director at the Underground theater in Duluth, MN located in the Historic Depot, and a freelance jewelry designer. Her designs are custom one-of-a-kind pieces designed to enlighten and inspire, and make the wearer feel beautiful. She loves collaborating with other local artists, and is inspired by our vibrant arts scene in the Twin Ports. When she's not making jewelry she's a Hug Dealer, writer, producer and director.

Adam Swanson | Painter

In my work I deconstruct the ideas that are part of our childhood and adult culture. My work also addresses the future, fragility of the human presence, perseverance of nature and underlying threads of danger that underpin societies. I use my work to encourage thought and interest in science.

After three years in New York and a few stints in Antarctica, I have called Duluth, MN home since 2008. I paint full-time, am married and a father of two. More of my work can be seen on my website or at Lizzard's and Siiviis Galleries in Duluth, MN and Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN.

Ryan Tischer | Photographer

Ryan Tischer was born and raised in Carlton, Minnesota. As a child he was exposed to the outdoors on camping and fishing trips throughout northern Minnesota. Tischer travels the Midwest exhibiting his fine art landscape and nature photography at juried art shows and festivals, where he sells his work to homes and businesses across the world. 

Artist Statement: My goal as a landscape photographer and artist is to capture the emotional essence of a scene. The natural world is filled with an incredible energy and mood that is often indiscernible to the naked eye, but occasionally can be captured with a camera. Sometimes the unique mood of light and interaction of elements within a composition create a truly magical photograph. My greatest reward is capturing this natural magic and sharing it with the world.