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Downtown Duluth's Prøve Gallery hosting special first anniversary exhibit

"Monkey Man Talks and Thinks at the Same Time" by Cecilia Schiller on display as part of the show "Playground" at the Prøve Gallery in September. The gallery showcases contemporary and experimental art. (Photo by Tony Zappa)1 / 2
The entrance of the Prøve Gallery during the opening of the show "Velkommen" last November. The gallery is located at Sons of Norway Hall in Duluth. (Photo by Tony Zappa)2 / 2

It's hard to describe the exhibits at the Prøve Gallery in a few, simple words.

At any given time, visitors to the downtown Duluth gallery might see paintings, sculptures, or photographs. They might hear music or poetry. Quite often, they'll see any combination of the above.

"We do a theme every month, and that theme always changes," said gallery director and co-founder Nicholas Monson. "There's always some sort of direction to each (exhibit)."

Given the gallery's penchant for exhibiting a variety of mediums, it seems only fitting that it will bring back many of its most popular artists for a special one-year anniversary exhibit. The event takes place from 7-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 at the gallery in Sons of Norway Hall, 21 N. Lake Ave.

The event will feature works from local artists Tim Kaiser, Kathy McTavish, Jacob Swanson, Coleman Miller, John Hanson, Andy Mattern, Steve Read, Mayumi Amanda, David Bowen, Anthony Zappa and Monson.

"We're leaving off way too many artists that have given us great work," said administrator and co-founder Richard Hansen. "We love all of our artists and we've had great shows with everybody. These are just some who we enjoyed working with and we thought presented quality art."

Peter Pain of Shaperone records will provide live music. Free food from local restaurants will also be available.

The exhibition will mark the one-year anniversary of what has become one of Duluth's fastest growing art galleries that the founders say comes even as a surprise to them.

The gallery features works from local artists at a variety of levels. Some are well-established as professional artists in Duluth. Others have the opportunity to hold their first exhibition at the gallery.

"It's nice to show new, beginning artists alongside people who are known and have a following," Hansen said. "It's a great arc that we've been able to present and the quality has been fantastic."

Prøve was founded a year ago in order to showcase contemporary and experimental art in Duluth and bring about a greater appreciation of the arts.

"We're trying to bring art to more people," Monson said. "We're bringing a lot of new people in the door."

After a successful first year, the founders say they're hoping to expand.

"We want to do more programming and have more shows for individual artists," Hansen said.

Hansen said they also hope to expand partnerships with other local arts outreach programs and galleries, hold more special events at the gallery and contribute to public art programs.

"Our goal is to help make Duluth into more of an arts culture, commerce and community, so there'll be great strides," he said. "That's what we hope anyway."

A new exhibit opens at the Prøve Gallery every other Friday and remains on display for two weeks. Normal business hours are from 3-7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.