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County Board to Honor Duluth Artist Gail Olene Dahlberg

N E W S   R E L E A S E

October 10, 2011   

Chris Dahlberg, County Commissioner
St. Louis County Courthouse
Duluth, MN   218-726-2562


County Board to Honor Duluth Artist Gail Olene Dahlberg
In keeping with the St. Louis County Board’s 2011 theme of recognizing those county residents who have excelled in the fields of arts and sciences, Third District County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg will take his turn by recognizing his mother, Duluth artist Gail Olene Dahlberg, with the Board’s “Excellence in the Arts & Sciences” award on Tuesday, October 11th.  Ms. Dahlberg will be honored by the County Board at 9:30 a.m., at the beginning of the County Board meeting to be held in the County Board Room of the St. Louis County Courthouse, Duluth, MN.

Gail Dahlberg, a life-long local area artist, developed her love of art while growing up around the family farm in Iron, Minnesota. She was encouraged to develop her artistic talent by her uncle, Albert Maki of Iron. Ms. Dahlberg returned to college at age 40 to receive a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1975, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has worked in various mediums, but is best known for her portraits. Frequently, she was commissioned to paint individual portraits for special occasions. These paintings were popular for capturing the unique character of the individual subjects, such as one 50th birthday gift commissioned by the wife of a banker, who requested Dahlberg to paint her husband inside a $50 bill.

In sharing the reasons for selecting his mother for the award, Commissioner Dahlberg said, “My Mom has touched lives in many ways, and her works can be found throughout the community, including backdrops for dance studios, murals for restaurants, signs for community clubs and even stained glass windows at the old Clark Shoe Store at 16-18 North 1st Avenue West. I’m extremely proud of my Mom. She has passed on to those around her a contagious zest for life and trying new things.”  The commissioner notes that while some families have their children run off and join the circus, he had a mom who ran off, when he was age 16, to travel west for a few months, painting in Santa Fe, New Mexico and drawing portraits at Disneyland.

Her love of learning has continued. Recently, with the birth of her granddaughter Maija (Deng Wei Jie), Gail began learning Chinese to communicate with her Chinese in-laws.  Since then, she has traveled to China several times, including a study program through UMD at Qingdau, China.

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