Northern Wilds February 2018

Page 12

na. Though new to northern Minnesota, Mueller has been a part of several Grand Marais Art Colony workshops and Art Along the Lake, and through those experiences has become familiar with the North Shore. He said he is looking forward to becoming part of the community. “It’s beautiful here,” Mueller said. “The people are creative and very welcoming.” As Mueller takes over the business, perhaps the most noticeable change is that Last Chance will no longer be open as a gallery. Instead, the retail side of the business is shutting down this February and re-opening in Grand Marais in the spring. The change will allow Mueller to focus more fully on his own art, specifically public art for cities and commissioned work. Sculpture artist Greg Mueller will take over ownership of Last Chance Gallery on Feb. 1. | RAE POYNTER

Gallery changes hands LUTSEN—When Tom Christiansen opened Last Chance Fabricating in 1989, he considered it his last chance to make a living as an artist. You could say the chance paid off. For nearly 30 years now, Last Chance Fabricating has served as a sculpture studio, an art gallery, and a last resort for designers with unique projects to build. Tom Christiansen and Marcia Hyatt built Last Chance to be “a welcoming stop along the North Shore.” After many years of welcoming artists and visitors alike, Last Chance will be undergoing several chang-

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es this year as Greg Mueller takes over the business and Christiansen moves his work to his in-home studio. “I want to concentrate more on 2D art,” said Christiansen. “I will be working on sculpture too, just downsizing.” Last Chance’s new owner, Greg Mueller, is also an experienced sculpture artist, having studied sculpture in art school and apprenticed under Paul Granlund. Before coming to Lutsen, he taught art across the country, from Ohio to South Caroli-

Despite the closing of Last Chance Gallery, Mueller is glad that the building will still be used as a studio: a site for keeping the arts alive and celebrating creativity. “I’d like to grow the sculpture garden,” he said of his future plans for the property. In addition to his own work, Mueller plans to host art events at the studio and let Christiansen continue some of his sculpture work there. “Last Chance isn’t stopping,” Christiansen affirmed. While Mueller looks forward to having more time for his sculptures, Christiansen is ready for the freedom to pursue his own art from home. Even though he is moving on, Christiansen is grateful for his years at Last Chance Gallery and the opportunity to connect with so many people. One of his favorite aspects of operating the busi-

ness was working with Stan Tull and Lester Morrison for five years. “They came out of curiosity and worked alongside me to learn about casting art. They were extremely helpful to me and I learned as much from them. We had a lot of fun together.” While the gallery will be closing Feb. 1, Last Chance Fabricating will continue to be an important part of the arts culture along the North Shore: a place to celebrate the need for creativity and the good that can come from taking the final chance. For more information on Last Chance Fabricating, visit —Rae Poynter

Caribou Moved WAWA— In January, the Ontario government used a helicopter to capture woodland caribou from Lake Superior’s Michipicoten Island, where they are being wiped out by wolves. Eight females and one male were moved to the Slate Islands, which have long supported caribou. Wolf predation had reduced the Slate Island population to about four bull caribou. Wolves are now absent from the archipelago. It is hoped the released caribou will breed and repopulate the islands.


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