Painters Capture Rust Belt, Starting in Twin Ports

By KBJR News 1

October 14, 2010 Updated Oct 14, 2010 at 10:48 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's Newscenter) - Two painters are crossing the nation capturing the American Rust Belt in their work.

The two outdoor artists have known each other for years, and found they have similar passions.

"You know, it's getting beat up by the weather, trying to find a place to paint where you're not standing in the middle of the road and every place has a character that's very unique," said Joe Paquet, an artist out of St. Paul, MN.

They plan to put together a traveling museum after spending three years creating memories that will last longer than the Rust Belt structures that inspired them.

"In a very short period of time they'll be gone so if I can get a record of this, that would be a pretty wonderful thin," said Paquet.

The Twin Ports is the first of several stops on their way to New York, but their stay has become longer than planned.

"So right here in this one spot we got everything we were really looking for across the rust belt all in one area with the old grain mills, the steel mills and the coal docks and the ships and the tugs and the people and the diners altogether," said John Cosby, an artist from California.

The artists say they want to capture structures like the Globe Elevators behind me before they get dismantled and because a photo just doesn't do as much justice as art.

The artists say its art with meaning - and not only historical meaning.

"Follow your bliss, do that thing that's really meaningful to you , maybe if you're fortunate, it'll be meaningful for someone else," said Paquet.

They want to capture it all.

"Different seasons, different spots until we get all the way through to the East Coast," said Cosby.

They say they won't put away their easels until they can't find something new to paint.

The artists plan to call their show "Rust and Roadsides: A Trip Through the American Dream."

They think they will paint pieces of the Twin Ports until sometime next week.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike