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Art Showcase by Area Youth

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UMD alumni Faces of Earth
UMD art education students joined the fun at the Faces of Earth exhibit. The fisherman masks were created by college students for the Magic Smelt Puppet Parade.

Faces of Earth: Creative Fare








art1 University of Minnesota Duluth

Take an empty storefront, mix with a dynamic art education program. Stir in healthy portions of art teacher enthusiasm, energy from young children, creativity from high schools students, and you have a recipe for magic... and Magic Smelt... and a parade... and a magical showcase of art.

Concocted by "chief chef" Alison Aune, professor and area chair of UMD's Art Education program, the Faces of Earth Exhibition displayed artwork by students from area schools. All of the work came from students who were taught by UMD art ed alumni. The "proof was in the pudding" from May 7-11 at the Magic Smelt and Pineapple Workshop and Gallery at 134 W. First Street. A Saturday event included art making activities for artists of all ages.

The project began in Aune's art education fall and spring courses. Aune and her classes went out to schools with original lessons inspired by Tweed exhibitions of contemporary Ho-Chunk artist Henry Payer Jr., and Ojibwe artist Frank Bigbear, and a community building mandala project. She contacted her former students and other UMD art education alumni to organize a group exhibition of their student work in the experimental gallery.

The exhibition of K-12 student work came from the classrooms of six UMD graduates of the art education program who are currently working as area art teachers: Susan Ranfranz, Congdon and Lowell Elementary School, Duluth; Tiffany Quade, Churchill Elementary School, Cloquet; Amber Burns, Marshall Middle School, Duluth; Lucas Anderson, Marshall High School, Duluth; Robb Quisling, Hermantown High School, Hermantown; Adam Kemptar, Esko High School, Esko. Art education student teacher Mady Sandon also participated. The art teachers showcased a variety of their student work including kindergarten animal sculptures, elementary paper collages, middle school mixed media abstractions, and pen and painted portraits from high schools. UMD assistant professor Fatih Benzer helped hang the student work.

The event is an example of how UMD Art Education faculty, students, and alumni are finding new ways to promote sustainable arts education programming. “We are committed to continued university-school-community partnerships for all children and youth,” said Aune. "We are looking for ways to work together with area K-12 art specialists, administrators, community leaders, parents, families, and artists “These collaborations will reinvigorate and support creativity, innovation, and artistic imagination in schools through meaningful art experiences for all.”

The Faces of Earth Exhibition fell right on the heels of the Magic Smelt Puppet Parade, which has held on April 21. The space was used for puppet production and art classes by UMD and the community and immediately after the parade, it was transformed into a gallery space. Support from Duluthian Dan King and the Overman Company made the activities and exhibition possible.

This exhibition was also supported by a University of Minnesota Duluth Strategic Initiative Grant and a School of Fine Arts Professional Development Grant. For information contact Alison Aune, professor and area chair art education/museum education, at 218-726-6216 or


2013 Faces of Earth Exhibit EVENT photos

See ARTWORK by area children and young adults from 2013 Faces of Earth Exhibit

See photos of ART TEACHERS from 2013 Faces of Earth Exhibit
1) Amber Burns, Lucas Anderson, Alison Aune. 2) Susan Ranfranz. 3) Mady Sandon. 4) Robb Quisling. 5) Tiffany Quade. 6. Adam Kemptar

Story by Cheryl Reitan

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UMD home page editor, Cheryl Reitan,

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