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Inspired Art

September 1, 2017

Collaboration and connections acknowledged in art professor's exhibitions and events.

Professor Alison Aune, who teaches art education at the University of Minnesota Duluth, recently received several honors. She exhibited her paintings at the 4North exhibition at the Norway House in Minneapolis, she was selected to participate in a week-long program at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Mass., and she received funding from the Finlandia Foundation for an upcoming exhibition at the Nordic Center in Duluth.

Read more about these projects.

Aune exhibited her paintings together with Kirsten Aune, Ann Klefstad, and Arna Rennan in an exhibition called 4North at the Norway House in Minneapolis from May 19 -July 16. The four artists all share a heritage from Scandinavia and make their homes in Duluth. While the work diverged in style and medium, the artists have something in common, a dual identity and connection to place. Threads throughout the show revealed a deep reverence for the natural world and the translation and transmutation of patterns and symbols.

Emily Dickinson: Person, Place, and Poetry
Aune was selected to participate in the week-long National Endowment for the Humanities Emily Dickinson: Person, Place, and Poetry program at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Mass. The event was organized “to encounter [Dickinson’s] poetry in the place it was written.“ The program is in its fifth summer and two separate week-long sessions brought 72 teachers, from around 35 states, to Amherst in July. The teachers were selected from over 200 applicants. 

Aune incorporated Dickinson into her work — which includes museum-based teacher training — by developing art projects for younger children. One project involves using original materials and constructions, such as collages, and it follows the poet's process of writing her lines on used scraps of paper. For Aune, getting a firsthand look at the Dickinson archives was a real eye-opener, especially since she grew up in Amherst, graduating from Amherst Regional High School in 1979. “I played in her house when I was a kid," Aune says. As Aune examined some of Dickinson’s letters and manuscripts, Aune felt she was seeing a side of the poet — and their mutual hometown — that she’d never known about. “It’s a whole new level of detail and richness,” Aune says.

Finlandia Foundation
In an upcoming exhibition, Luova Taide Yhdessä: Creative Art Together, Aune will exhibit her art, based on Finnish ceiling crown mobiles, at the Nordic Center in Duluth from October 20- November 9. She received funding from the Finlandia Foundation for this collaborative research project which includes Lisa Fitzpatrick and Kirsten Aune. The exhibit and events celebrate 100 years of independence in Finnish art, design, and digital media. Aune will lead a workshop on Himmeli (traditional ceiling crown mobiles) at the Nordic Center, 23 North Lake Avenue, on October 22 from 3-4:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public. 

UMD B.F.A. in Art Education


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