Art Hounds: The Pines, Kruse & Niemi, and a budding gallery district in Duluth

The Pines (photograph by Cameron Wittig)

The week's hounds embrace a brooding Americana masterpiece, two storytellers absorbed in the human wreckage they've wrought, and the origins of a visual art scene in Duluth.

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Writer and comedian Brian Beatty was swept up recently by "The S****y Things We've Done," a remounting of a show by storytellers Colleen Kruse and Loren Niemi at the Bryant Lake Bowl. It's a daring, painfully funny recounting of the human toll taken by their platonic and romantic misadventures, organized around the 'Seven Deadly Sins.' The show is being performed every Saturday in February at the BLB, and Brian, who hosts's monthly literary podcast "You are Hear," says audiences have been growing steadily so you might want to get your tickets in advance for the last show on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Jen Dietrich, who teaches in the art and design department at the University of Minnesota Duluth, thinks the beginnings of a gallery district in Duluth may be taking hold. Ochre Ghost Gallery and Prove Gallery are two spaces focused on emerging artists which opened in the last year. They're two blocks apart on Superior Street and are coordinating their openings and using their proximity to spark a 'young artist' energy and excitement downtown. Jen thinks it's just in time to complement Duluth's burgeoning music scene.

Carl Atiya Swanson, writer, actor, and co-founder of the arts and culture blog "Cake in 15," has come up with a string of superlatives to describe The Pines' new album, "Dark So Gold." Carl says it's the Minneapolis folk band's most penetrating, profound work to date, and a must-have for any Minnesota music lover, even if the group's roots are in Iowa. Carl suggests Pines' fans grab the record to hold them over until the band returns from a national tour for a gig at Bo Diddley's in St. Cloud on May 18.

For more Art Hounds' recommendations, check us out on Facebook and Twitter. And you can get an early sneak peek at the Art Hounds' picks every week by texting the word ART to 677-677. Art Hounds is powered by the Public Insight Network.