Making It: Happen

ANNOUNCER: Production
funding for Making It Up North is provided by
the citizens of Minnesota through the Minnesota Arts
and Cultural Heritage Fund and by the Lloyd K.
Johnson Foundation. That should get a little
more light on the subject. It’s about just experimenting
and seeing what’s going to work and what sort of surprises
us in interesting ways. There’s the creative
energy that’s– I like. I like being around
creative people in that way. You got to start
small and go big. And it’s been a
work in progress. And it’s been amazing to
see how this has grown. We want this to actually be a
stepping stone for other things to come to Duluth. [theme music] [music playing] Wow. Like, look at what they created. This is incredible. This kind of structure, you
don’t make this anymore. You make, you know,
pole buildings that are cost-effective
and work really well. This kind of investment in this
specific land is incredible. I mean, it really
started from the fact that it’s just a
gorgeous structure. And it had been so lovingly
cared for over the years that we felt this
huge responsibility to keep it going. I’m Anne Dugan, and this is
the Free Range Film Barn. You know, we also wanted
to be able to use it. And so it’s really turned
in to be a wonderful thing to bring together the
agricultural curiosity that my husband explores
with the food farm and then my arts background and our
friends’ film background. To be able to connect all
of that together in a space, I think has turned out
to be a really rich space for exploration of the kinds
of things that we want to do. [applause] It’s such an amazing space. We program the Free Range
Film Festival here every year. So the end of June, we
always do a big celebration of film in all its crazy forms. So we have two-minute
animations about someone’s socks to, you know,
hour-long documentaries about dog grooming. I think we found that having a
space that people have to get to– you know, it’s a half
hour drive from Duluth, two hour drive
from Minneapolis– it’s something where
you have to put yourself in the mindset of I’m going to
go on pilgrimage to see art. I’m going to make that
commitment to art. In that process, you sort of you
go on that road trip of like, OK, I’m going to like
release and let open my mind to see things
that might challenge me. The other thing about it is if
you’re bored with something, we always say, well, just
look up at the ceiling cause that’s really pretty, so. Originally, the guy who built
this, built it for his son because his son was a
little bit of a wild child. And he said, you know, I’m going
to keep him down on the farm by building him this
big beautiful barn. And it was originally
built as a horse barn. And then it switched
over to a cow barn because the son sold all the
horses and moved to Kentucky cause he didn’t want
to stay on the farm. So it’s sort of come full
circle because, you know, I feel like, you know, I had
grand plans to work in a city and travel the world. And you know, be a
curator in urban centers. And here I am in a barn. The title of this exhibition
of Katherine Meyer’s work and Christina Estelle’s
is “Field Trials II” because this is the second
year we’re doing it. I think that, certainly,
Katherine Meyer’s work resonates with the space
really well because she’s interested in wide open spaces. She did this work
when she was out in South Dakota for
the solar eclipse. This isn’t just a
unidirectional conversation. This is a 360 conversation. “Field Trials” is about
collaboration and not so much like it has to be done. It has to be perfect. It’s about just experimenting
and seeing what’s going to work and what sort of surprises
us in interesting ways. So we’re going to the
basement of the barn. So the barn is actually
built into a hill, so there’s three stories. So we were at the upstairs
section, the main section when you walk in. And then it actually, because
it’s built into a hill, you have this really
fascinating basement section. And this year, we have
Christina Estelle’s work. She’ll paint the surface of
a rock outcropping in Duluth, and then it cures. And then she can peel it away
and get a mold, basically, of these rock outcroppings. These walls were poured in 1918. And they just have
such character to them. And so to have the rock
outcroppings on top of the concrete, to me, is just,
it feels really interesting. It feels really good. So it’s been really nice. The schedule that we’ve had for
the visual arts installations here, because with
the film festival, like, we show the
films, and it’s done. But the space doesn’t
really change. But with the artwork,
it comes down, and then we go into winter. And so it’s sort of like
putting the barn to bed. We are trying to spark curiosity
and wonder in the world. And how wonderful to be able
to do that through film. How wonderful to be able
to do that through art. We’re having a dinner tonight
with folks from California who are interested
in local economies. So we’re doing it
with economic studies. I mean, I think I love
the fact that this has become a space for
that kind of exploration. You know no matter
what avenue it takes, it’s going to be something
different and fun. [music playing] So this is the basement of
the former Norwegian Lutheran Evangelical Church
that started in 1903. I was looking for a bigger
space that wasn’t my home or, you know, part
of my homestead. And this is definitely bigger. I’m Betsy Bowen. I’m a woodcut artist
and book illustrator. And we are in my studio
gallery in Grand Marie. The very first memory I have
is about a box of crayons. I remember the way that all
those little specks of color looked on the
cardboard of the box. Because every time
the crayon bumps it, there’s this little
speck of color. And I remember that. I can still see that in my mind. So it strikes me that I’ve
just always had that interest. Voila. My son Jeremy works with me. He’s the printer. He’s like the right hand
man, but he’s actually, I think, both hands. It’s a lot of kind
of planning and time to get a big print done. He’s been doing that
for 25 years for me and has a great eye for color. This yellow background
is the first color we did. And then last is the
black that goes on top. Turns into a pretty
birch street print. Like, we just don’t like
little goobers in the margins. It’s those little things
and Betsy’s fingerprints. I like doing it. I like making stuff. So back here, my featured
show for this studio tour is work from the archives. So this goes back 50 years. And this watercolors, I don’t
even remember doing that one. This bin is all the
original paintings from “The Lost Forest”. This is the whole
storyboard from a book called “Burr and Hamilton”. I did another book
with this poet. The poems were short lines. And I thought they were tall,
so I suggested that the book be long and skinny like that too. So I’ve been digging through
and discovering things. For me, it’s been really fun. I put a lot of it in a book. So this is age zero to 72. But to have it all
together, that was really– I’d been trying to do
that for a long time, and then finally did it. So this effort is related
to that, of finding just how did I get here. What’s upstairs? What’s upstairs? Well, OK, there’s more. Lots of creative people up here. North House is the
most recent new renter. So this was the main door
to the church back when. And it was the community
theater for 35 years. And it was the main
door for that too. Anyway, this is Melissa
Wickwire Clay Studio. And she makes a lot of tiles,
which we have downstairs. And in here, are
four artisans that are here as part of a program
with North House Folk School. So you can come look. Mike Loughler makes these
really cool bird bowls and lots of shavings and furniture. Josh makes boats. He’s pretty well underway
with this kayak project. And Mary Beth makes
brooms and dustpans. Super cool stuff. And then Elise has a
lot going on in here. Holy cow. Yeah, we could go up in the
loft and look down on everyone. Oh, that’d be fun. This is puppet world up here. This is Good Harbor
Hill Players. We can make stormy
weather, animals. Pretty sure that the
bears eat the salmon. Stilted girls wore these. So this was on
top of their head. They were wonderful. You know, did their
kind of crane dances. I like to see something happen. I like to see something
be made out of nothing. Whether it’s transforming
a space into an acted out story with big puppets,
or whether it’s, you know, transforming
a piece of paper into a woodcut, or
a shabby building into something pretty great. There is the creative
energy that’s– I like. I like being around
creative people that way, because there’s something. You know, there’s a search
for something new, something that hasn’t happened before. And they’re making it. They’re going to figure it out. I think I open doors. I think that’s what I do. You know? I just open the door. [music playing] How’s it going? Good, good. Got to get around, right? I got to get around. But hey, let’s get you miked up. Let’s get you miked up. Hell yeah. Come on through. Come on through. This how you do it in
the studio in Minnesota. Hell yeah. Yeah, dog. Haul up in a snowmobile. Yeah, dog. Got that right there. Boom. Get you miked up. Boom. (RAPPING) When I hit
the rhymes, everybody know that I get it popping. This is no lie. Now, I’m from Duluth, Minnesota. Yeah, you know, the
Minne-snowda, where ya… Boom. (RAPPING) Snowmobiles
coming to the store. You know what it do. We work with pretty
much all types of genres, but primarily it’s hip
hop, solo artists, R&B. So my name is Victor Martinez. This is Pinnacle Point Studios. I’m co-founder and
engineer, audio engineer here at the studio. Hi, my name is Anthony Miller. I’m co-owner, co-founder
of Pinnacle Point Studios. This is one of
our hangout rooms. We consider this
Studio B. We’ve got Studio A. This is Victor’s
main spot right here, our head engineer. This is where a lot of the
magic happens, a lot of it. We’ve got the vocal
room right here. So we’ve got you in here. We’ve got one person here. We’ll lay them down right here. Open it up if we’ve
got a bigger crowd. This is where you really relax. Really collaborate, really get
your mind straight in here. We like to hang on here. Watch a little TV. Maybe do some writing. Today, we’re just
kind of hanging out. The main thing what we try
to create here is the vibe. You know? To try to have a place
so that people can come, and they can feel comfortable. And then just being
patient with the people. That’s the big thing. When you bring the
vibe to a certain place or a certain area, even,
other people see that. And they might want to
hop on that bandwagon too and be involved in that. And it grows that. And it helps the community. It helps everybody. And it helps everybody
shine and show the character and get out there. It’s catchy. It is catchy. Well, well, I like that. I like that. I deal with
anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. And I feel like music’s
also therapy for me. It’s not a solve-all,
but I feel like it can be a positive force
in my life and others. And I feel like I’ve kind of
been an advocate for that. (RAPPING) Yeah, I be,
yo, grinding every night. You can find me in
the studio late night. Anybody who comes through
the studio, I like it. I’m going to like it. Because why? I’m supporting them. (RAPPING) This is where I go. This is how I get this
stuff out of my brain. When we have
people in here, you know, we have the
door that’s completely signed with all the artists
that we’ve worked with. And it’s just– the
atmosphere is just wonderful. Like, people come in
here, and they’re happy, and they’re creating music. And it’s like almost like
a little time capsule because when you’re in here,
it feels like, you know, maybe an hour. And then you realize you’ve
been in there six hours making music. And that’s when you know
that that’s the place where you’re supposed to be. So this one we just did. He just released this. Three days ago? This is a country singer. But he just released
the music video to this. [begin video playback] [music playing] We tracked all the
vocals on this song. (SINGING) I was up in
Minnesota for the holiday, anticipating Santa
Claus on his sleigh. Sitting ’round the
fireplace sipping eggnog. And listening to the crack– I just like the fact that
he used this whole family. Right. You know? You know, and we’ve
got a great team here. So we have other engineers
and producers and Anthony. So it’s nice to have
that team behind you. (RAPPING) There
ain’t no competition. And if there is, I’m
stepping on their head. He adds a lot
of flair to this. He adds a lot of excitement. He adds positive vibes. He adds a lot of experience
as far as marketing goes. And I’m I’m very
blessed to work with him and have him believe in me
and create this together. We connect. Our vibe is really, really good. And we connect very well. And I think when
we’re together, we bring that to the
community to happy workers. We’ve got some kind
of vibe going on. We have a good vibe going on. And I felt that we were
just perfect for that. We both do two completely
different things. We’re completely
different people. But when it comes to this
right here, we’re locked in. I was like, well, I
got this aspect of it. You got this aspect. I was like, let’s just do it. Let’s do it. And get more people
involved in this and build it and
see where it goes. (RAPPING) Gotta, gotta
get that cash right. Gotta, gotta get
that cash right. Cash right. Gotta get cash. What I try to project
is the love of music and being around music. And you’re taking something
that didn’t exist at all and creating something new. I feel like this is a
real blessing having this here for the
community, which is one of the reasons we talked
about this, me and Anthony, almost seven years ago. Making it right
now, just being successful at helping others is
probably the easiest way for me to put that. I’m hoping to just keep
progressing and just keep pushing forward. (RAPPING) Gotta, gotta
get the cash right, cash right, cash right. My dad, as I was
growing up, said, don’t let the money
stop you from whatever. He was self-employed, so I guess
I had a sense that you didn’t have to work for someone. That wasn’t what you
were meant to do. Whenever you can jostle people
a little bit in your brain and shake that brain
around a little bit, I think it’s successful art. People want to be in community
with each other and with art. Like there’s just
something about it that still calls for that
connection with other people when you’re seeing it. When you’re vibing
out with a client, and they’re hearing their
music professionally mixed and mastered,
and you see them smile, and you see them happy, that’s
the moment where you’re like, yeah, we’re there. [theme music]

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