Yesterday afternoon saw the opening of an exhibit of works done by Thunder Bay area high school students participating in the Thunder Bay Youth Art Exchange. Students aged 14-18 from seven area high schools participated in the exchange, which began in the summer of 2015 in Duluth with the Art = Bridges to Understanding project.
During the course of that summer, selected Duluth middle school students attended class where they created works that were intended to educate others about their town thanks to funding from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council and the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, with the intent to showcase the art in each of Duluth’s Sister Cities. After being exhibited at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth and the Duluth Art Institute these works traveled to Thunder Bay in 2016 and were shown at the Baggage Building Art Center; thus beginning the exchange as it is now.
The Thunder Bay Sister Cities Committee facilitated the current exchange, and Thunder Bay artist and educator Elizabeth Buset curated the works. Selected “for their content, craftsmanship and creativity,” this grouping of various themes and mediums reflects “the diversity and strength of youth voices and culture in Thunder Bay,” Buset explains.
Now on display at The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) galleries, the works are able to be viewed as per AICHO’s open hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 5:00PM until they travel back to Thunder Bay in mid-September. Students from Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay were able to attend the opening yesterday, allowing the public to interact with a handful of those “youth voices” that Buset made mention to.
It is of note that many of the works that were featured included themes from First Nations culture, pairing well with the venue within which they are housed. DSCI looks forward to being able to partner with First Nations communities in Thunder Bay and Native American communities here at home in the future.
Yesterday afternoon at Enger Park, Duluth Sister Cities International board members and participating families welcomed students and teachers from Ohara Isumi-City for a week-long visit as part of the DSCI student exchange program.
Duluth area students traveled to Ohara Isumi-City last summer to meet their Japanese hosts; this summer they have the opportunity to return the favor as they show off the Zenith City to students who are experiencing American life for the first time.
Area news stations were present at Enger Tower yesterday to interview party attendees about their experiences within the exchange, check it out!
Duluth Sister Cities International board member Dr. Tom Morgan was recently published in the Duluth News Tribune Opinion section after submitting a piece relating to the current delegation visit to Petrozavodsk, Russia. Dr. Morgan, in addition to other members of the board, is visiting Russia with hopes to reinvigorate the sister city relationship that is being tested by current geopolitical tensions.
The delegation travels with a letter signed by current Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, as well as past mayors Don Ness, Herb Bergson, Gary Doty and John Fedo, who have all served during our span as sister cities with Petrozavodsk. The letter, Dr. Morgan writes, “celebrates the achievements that we have made over the past 30 years and that calls for continued people-to- people exchanges”.
The official visit to Petrozavodsk follows the successful exhibition of artist Anne Labovitz’s project 122 Conversations at the Petrozavodsk City Exhibition Hall this month. Labovitz’s project features art inspired by each of Duluth’s sister cities and allows for interactive displays that will then travel with the exhibit to the subsequent cities it visits.
122 Conversations interactive exhibit "The Choice" as show in Vaxjo, Sweden
122 Conversations in Vaxjo, Sweden
The suitcase full of art, packed up and ready to travel
DSCI is excited to announce the opening of Anne Labovitz’s project 122 Conversations in Petrozavodsk, Russia at the Petrozavodsk City Exhibition Hall! The exhibit will run until mid-June of this year and will feature the works inspired by conversations with citizens from each of Duluth’s Sister Cities (shown in the slideshow above) in addition to multiple interactive art projects that allow for anyone visiting the exhibit to add their mark.