With Jeredt Runions

EN: What is the Homegrown Art Festival and what is its relationship to the Homegrown Music Festival? 
Jeredt Runions: The art portion of Homegrown this year has been a work in progress for three years now. I’ve been putting on group shows during Homegrown for many years because I felt that music and art up here in the Twin Ports should be presented together, or at least inspire one another. Finally, the Homegrown crew decided to include it officially this year. I’ve been involved with the music scene for a long time now so it is natural for me to think this way, I guess. For three years I’ve been showing people I’m serious when I say I’m putting on a group show full of awesome talented artists.

EN: How did you first become interested in art and especially painting?
JR: Art is what I live off of, I think. I was raised with art everywhere, a crafty mother and a wild-thinking stepdad.  My good friend Gary Reed, my friends, and my family I considered inspirational during my tender years of growing up. I picked up a paint brush literally to save myself from a crazy path I was heading down in life with drugs. I personally think it was amazing what art did for me to vent and express what I was going through then and now.  Painting just came so naturally for me at that time, and I took to the styles of graffiti and this cartoonish aspect that I really loved.  

EN: Do you have any live painting gigs lined up? How does live painting differ from painting in your studio space?
JR: I have some live painting gigs lined up for the summer. I will be at Harmony Park for the Bella Festival at the end of May, and then some in Iowa in June.  Live painting is a fun way to practice your confidence and quickness in composition. It just brings me back to the days of when I used to run around the city and countryside creating quick street art.  I have also noticed my timed sketches in school have improved greatly because of my past with live painting.  With studio art it’s just really great to sit back and take your time. I like not having anyone shout  to put something stupid in the work like a heart or their girlfriend’s name.

EN: You also curate shows. How did you get into that facet of things?
JR: I feel that curating shows is part of my public duty, so to speak. I’ve had so many people help me out in the long run of my career, but I never forget the people and galleries that couldn’t give a crap.  I feel that I can make a difference in doing this little thing. For the longest time I never saw any group shows being put on. It was sad; I had to change that message that the gallery scene wasn’t doing here. I never received any help from the galleries that should have stepped up in those days. I was a young kid pushing boundaries in a town full of seagull and lighthouse art, but knew there were more artists like me than the ones that were down in Canal Park being displayed to the tourists.  Time and patience show that a scene can build if you establish a network of like-minded people and continue to push limits. Now we have galleries that are helping to create a dream I and others have had here in the Twin Ports. Galleries and people  such as Ochre Ghost, Prove, Phantom Galleries Superior,  Anne Dugan from the DAI, Andy P. from Goin’ Postal, and writers and critics such as Ann Klefstad.

EN: When did you begin incorporating collage and mixed media into your work, and what is it you find interesting about this form of expression?
JR: I have always mixed collage in with my work, but have really enjoyed it now that I’m in UWS. This school is a collage incubator. I really enjoy the quick pleasure of collaging. It is just like my abstract backgrounds I use. I find it very rewarding when you have some time in the day to make a piece of art. This is my quick fix for the break in the day.

EN: What are the dates and places where Homegrown Art can be seen? Do you have a list of artists whose work will be in these various places?
There will be a show at the DAI that Anne put on, which will be showing on Sunday the first day of Homegrown. It starts at 5 p.m.

The shows I curated
this year are as follows:

Monday April 30th
The show “Rent Money” will be on display at the Zeitgeist Arts Building Atrium starting at 4:00 p.m. Show includes a music theme and has work from photographers such as Andrew Perfetti, Matt Stengl, Tommy Kronquist, and Jason Kokal, plus the amazing work of poster artists such as David Moreria.
Right down the street at the Duluth Photography Institute at 5 p.m. the show “Local Walk” will be on display featuring photographers who are just simply amazing at what they do! Artists include Gage Salyards, Christina Micheletti, Anne Woster, Ryan Tischer, and Emily Rose.
Thursday May 3
The Red Mug in Superior will host “Soup Town” starting at 6 p.m. People forget about the beauty Superior can hold and how it sprouts artists that make this community a little better. A show consisting of Superior resident artists and students from UWS.  Artists such as Anndrea Ploeger,  Molly Martin, Letisha Rice, Tiffany Wang, and Kaoru Midorikawa.
Friday May 5
“Abstract Obscure” will be showing at Ochre Ghost and Beaners Central from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
There are some amazing artists in our area that have a very abstract way of doing things. Their art all comes out to best represent the area and what the environment and inspiration bring to us. We have local favorites such as Dusty Keliin, Susan Loonsk, Ed Newman, Tara Stone,  and Robert Adams.
Saturday May 6
“Saturday Morning Cartoons” Saturday at the PROVE Gallery,  7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
This one is going to be the best way to end the week, with some street art and cartoon inspiration from local movers and shakers such as Homegrown cover artist Adam Swanson, Lindsey Graskey, Eric Dudnicka, and Chelsey Miller. The best part of this show is the great work, obviously, but the new younger artists have some great skills and style. These are the catalysts whose work is helping the scene grow even more. Some of these young artists are my personal favorites such as Lydia Komatsu, Emily Ward, and Andrea Boyadjis.

Credits

Ed Newman

Director of advertising at AMSOIL, Inc. in Superior. Newman is also an artist, a musician and author of four books. He has been interviewing interesting people for over 25 years.

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