In Duluth and Superior, the Twin Ports, on Wednesday and Thursday, September 13-14th:
Karin Kraemer, recipient of a Doty Research Grant to map tile sites in the Twin Ports, will be our host
and tour guide for our 2-day stay in the Northland. She has a BFA in Art and Glassworking
and a MFA in Ceramics. She works with maiolica glazing techniques for the color, painting
possibilities and opportunity for narrative. Her studio, classroom and gallery are located
in Superior in the Historic Trade and Commerce Building designed by H.H. Richardson in 1890.
She has taught at the Duluth Art Institute, and presently teaches ceramics at Lake Superior College.
At Glensheen in Duluth on Wednesday evening, September 13th:
Michelle Lee, author of The Myth and Magic of Nemadji “Indian” Pottery, will present "Nemadji Tile: An Ember in the Ashes,"
discussing the history of one of the first local industries to rise from the ashes of the Great
Moose Lake Fire of 1918 and serve as a “spark” igniting the post fire economy. When Michelle is
not out collecting Nemadji-made products, she is a News Anchor and Journalist at the NBC Affiliate,
NEWSCENTER 6, in Duluth.
At the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Friday, September 15th:
David Dahlquist, nationally recognized public artist, will entice us all into the wondrous world of public art.
David was the "Artist-In-Residence" at the Des Moines Art Center in the mid-1980s and later
worked as an Assistant Professor at Iowa State University. The scale of his work has always
been related to architecture, which led him to further develop the relationship between
architecture and the history of ceramics, emphasizing the use of tilework and color as a way
of integrating a story. As a member of the Governor's Summit on the Arts in the late 1990s,
he was charged with involving artists in the design of public projects. David will talk about
the evolution of his work from vessel-maker to the design and fabrication of large-scale
Public Art installations.
Ken Forster, author of the recently published book UND Pottery -- A History and Comparative Study of the
Art Pottery made at the University of North Dakota, will provide a brief history of the Ceramics
Department at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and discuss the variety of tiles and
tile-similar objects made there under the supervision of Margaret Cable, born and raised in Minnesota,
during her 39-year tenure. His topic: “Tile Making at the School of Mines.”
Jennifer Komar Olivarez, curator, author and scholar, will address one of her favored subjects in “John Moyr Smith:
The Life Behind the Tiles,”
delving into the life and accomplishments of the Scottish-born tile designer who established
his reputation with figurative picture tiles while at Mintons in the 1870s. Jennifer is Associate
Curator in Architecture, Design, Decoraive Arts, Craft and Sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute
of Arts. In addition to mounting numerous exhibitions at the MIA, she has published various articles
and essays on modern architecture and design.
Sabra Waldfogel, an architectural historian from Minneapolis, will examine contemporary tiles with subtl
glazes, earth tones, natural motifs, the mark of the maker's hand in “Old is New Again:
the Revival of Arts and Crafts Tile”
illustrating the connections between the Arts and Crafts originals and their modern heirs.
Sabra earned a doctorate in American History and worked as a business writer before turning
to her current work as a feature writer. She writes about historic architecture, design, and
decorative art, with particular emphasis on the Arts and Crafts style.
At the Holiday Inn, Friday evening, September 15th:
Eric Astrachan, the Executive Director of the Tile Council of North America, will present the keynote address,
“Decorative Tile: An American Success.”
In an era of unprecedented global competition and increasing import penetration,
US decorative tile makers have survived and thrived through their hard work, passion,
and ingenuity. Eric will briefly review decorative tile history and then focus on current
trends and economic indicators, concluding with recommendations on how the industry can
stay strong. Eric has been involved in the growth of the art tile community since 1994,
the year TCNA introduced Art Tile Associate membership. In addition to his participation
on numerous tile-related committees, he is a member of the board of the Ceramic Tile Education
Foundation, the National Floor Safety Institute, Tile Partners for Humanity, the Responsible
Solution for Mold Coalition, and Coverings, the tile industry’s premier exhibition and educational event.
Touring the Twin Ports
Wednesday and Thursday, September 13th and 14th
By the beginning of the 20th century lumber, coal and iron had turned the head of Lake Superior
into a thriving metropolis. At one point the percentage of millionaires in relationship to the
population was higher than in any other American city. The houses and buildings from this
period provide a splendid variety of architectural styles and craftsmanship inspired by the
Arts and Crafts movement. Although some of these structures are gone, fine examples still
exist in the Twin Ports, many with extraordinary tiles and architectural terra cotta.
The bus tour will pick up at the Hampton Inn at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday and head for
the 42-room Victorian Fairlawn Mansion
in Superior, Wisconsin. We will see the building’s floors and fireplaces and check out “Orphans,”
the exhibition of historic tiles. A stop at Karin Kraemer’s Duluth Pottery
will come next where the “Tiles of the North”
exhibit will be on display. Following a light lunch we will view a number of terra
cotta sites in Superior before returning to Duluth. In the afternoon Sacred Heart Music Center, where the tile floors have recently been restored, is on the list followed by
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
and the Kithcigummi Club, where Moravian tiles are in abundance.
After a quick stop at the hotel we will tour the historic neighborhoods in East Duluth
on our way to the historic Glensheen Mansion, the quintessential Arts & Crafts estate of Chester and Clara Congden. Resembling an
English country estate, the house is filled with historic tile walls and floors as well
as eleven tiled fireplaces. As tile detectives, we will be treated to private, “after hours”
tours, focused specifically on the tile installations, to see who can identify what!
A reception and dinner is planned before we hear from Nemadji historian Michelle Lee. We will return you to the hotel shortly after 9.
Thursday morning will start bright and early with a visit to the “Marine Wall,”
a ¼-mile tile mosaic depicting the shipping industry on Lake Superior. We’ll then
travel to the Depot,
the old train station in Duluth, to examine the tile floors and terra cotta and to see the
contemporary tile exhibition at the
Duluth Art Institute’s Gallery
followed by a terra cotta tour of Duluth ending at Greysolon Plaza
(the old Duluth Hotel). To whet appetites before lunch we’ll travel up shore to the
private home of a cast iron stove collector! Two tile exhibits will follow lunch,
one at the Blue Iris Gallery
and the other at Sivertson’s Gallery. And finally we see the mystery tiles in Tower Hall at St. Scholastica College. Don’t miss it!
The bus will return everyone to the Hampton Inn by 2:30 where we can jump in our cars
for the drive south to Minneapolis and the reception at Clay Squared to Infinity that starts at 6.
5th Annual Minnesota Tile Festival
Saturday, September 16th, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis
The Minnesota Tile Festival
, hosted by the Handmade Tile Association
, will be a full day of tile-related activities including workshops, demonstrations,
tours of the historic Turnblad Mansion with its eleven tile stoves, and a sale of
one-of-a-kind art tiles and tile-related artwork from across the United States.
The festival will showcase 40 regional and national handmade tile, mosaic, and glass
tile artists. Handmade Tile Association members, many nationally renowned, will
showcase their art for this one day event.
“Twin Cities Contemporary Mosaic Tour”
Sunday, September 17th, 9:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Join mosaic enthusiast Merribeth O’Keefe
and others as we visit some of the finest public art mosaics in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
This six-hour bus tour of contemporary mosaic installations will feature both community-created
and commissioned mosaics and will include stops at a number of interior and exterior installations --
from wall murals, pavements, chimneys, and benches to three-dimensional, figurative sculptures.
Some of the artists will be on hand to talk about their creations—made from a wide variety of materials,
including handmade ceramic and glass tile, commercial ceramic tile, vitreous
glass, smalti, stained glass, mirror, steel, concrete, and stone. As an added bonus,
the tour will also include a visit to Lakewood Memorial Chapel
, the interior of which was inspired by the mosaics of Saint Mark's Basilica in Venice.
It’s considered by some to be America’s most stunning example of Byzantine-style mosaic design.
A box lunch is included in the tour fee.
Conference Registration Form
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