When Brian DuBois gave up his computer screen for a saw and workshop, he didn’t look back. A carpenter and woodworker by trade, the Detroit maker isn’t happy unless he’s working with his hands. Now Dubois is putting his passion towards crafting a line of high-end furniture made to last. Like the city he calls home, DuBois won’t stop pushing forward until he’s successful.
It is one of the most hallowed of Minnesota winter traditions: pond hockey. It’s a game played not for glory or competition, but for camaraderie and the love of the game. Here, Minneapolis-based director Tony Franklin captures the passion and brotherhood of one group that’s played together for more than 20 years. In that time they’ve seen people come and go, even some of their closest friends pass away, but they keep playing the game to honor their memory. Even though many know each other simply by their nicknames, they are brothers on the ice who have forged a deep bond through years spent rushing after a puck into the frigid cold, when the ice is just right.
Minneapolis folk-pop band Rogue Valley is having something of a moment. A staple on the Twin Cities scene, the band recently garnered national attention when one of their songs got nearly two minutes of play in the Ben Stiller movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Take a listen to their song “The Wolves and the Ravens” and see what all the buzz is about.
Every month, hungry diners get together in Detroit to harness the power of a collective group to make the city a better place. Detroit Soup held its first soup supper in February 2010 with goal to fund micro-grants for creative projects in the city. Four years later, the group has raised more than $55,000. Here’s how it works: People pay $5 at the door for soup, salad and bread. Over the course of the meal people share ideas for how they hope to make Detroit a better place. At the end of the meal, dinner-goers vote on which project they’d like to support with the money raised at the event. Want to join in and give a little to help an interesting project? Then bring an empty stomach on Feb. 9 and join Detroit Soup for its Celebration SOUP! as the group commemorates its fourth anniversary.
Twin Cities street artist Eric Rieger, better known as HOTTEA, spent years as a graffiti artist until a run in with the law convinced him to give up the spray can and turn to something less destructive: yarn. He now creates large-scale installations in underused, run-down public spaces. His “color fields” breathe life into unexpected places, such as a dilapidated tennis court where his most recent work, “Optimist,” takes up residence. The large arc of color took more than 12 hours to tie into place. Here’s to hoping we stumble upon one of his works in person sooner rather than later.
Welcome to the new handmade capital of the United States: Detroit. Shinola is leading the charge to bring high-quality manufacturing back to the city where it was born. While other companies have fled the Motor City, Shinola has firmly planted its flag, making watches, bicycles and leather goods the old fashioned way. They’re rebuilding Detroit using steel and leather, sweat and determination. Shinola is starting a revolution to revive the soul of a city, one meticulously handmade good at a time.
Detroit has long been known as one of the great American cities of music, from Motown to 8 Mile. But what you might not know is that Detroit is also a birthplace of electronic dance and techno music. Juan Atkins is considered by many to be the godfather of Detroit techno, but unlike others he has no plans to abandon his hometown. With buildings crumbling around him, Atkins finds inspiration for his music and for his life in the soul of the ruins.
“The Absent Column” by Nathan Eddy explores one of the world’s preeminent cities of architecture: Chicago. The documentary examines Bertrand Goldberg’s mid-century modernist masterpiece, the former Prentice Women’s Hospital, which is slated for demolition and a redesign. An ongoing debate rages between those who believe great works that inform our present viewpoint should be preserved, and those who think we need to move forward with new projects. As Eddy puts it, “Who determines the future of the past?”
St. Louis-based artist Cayce Zavaglia creates portraits. But these aren’t just any portraits. Zavagalia takes your grandmother’s needle and thread and makes art. Stitch by stitch she creates embroidered portraits that are photorealistic and impressionistic. Drawing obvious comparisons to Van Gogh, this short documentary shows the creative process behind Zavaglia’s work, and why the artist is drawn to embroidery over painting.
Imagine building a full-scale replica of ship. Then, imagine sailing it across the sea to Norway. Well, that’s what Minnesotan Robert Asp did. In 1974, Asp set out to build a replica of the Gokstad Viking ship found in Norway in 1881. While Asp passed away before his vision was realized, his four children and eight of their friends made the journey a reality in 1982. This short documentary tells the story of their 74-day voyage across the sea nearly 30 years later. You won’t believe who greeted them at the end of it.