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Bemidji artist remembers mentor Marlon Davidson

Artists Alice Blessing and Marlon Davidson holding cutouts of bowties.
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Mitch Blessing
Alice Blessing, left, with Marlon Davidson at the Ooh La La for the Arts event in 2014.

Bemidji artist Mitch Blessing joins the KAXE Morning Show to share memories of fellow artist and mentor Marlon Davidson and his impact on the Bemidji art scene.

BEMIDJI — Professor and artist Marlon Davidson passed away at age 88 last week. Marlon was born in Deer River, MN, but his family moved to Grand Rapids, where he graduated high school.

He attended BSU where he met his life partner Don Knudson. They moved to St Paul in 1959 but returned to Bemidji in 1987. Marlon taught as an adjunct and fixed term instructor in the visual arts department in Bemidji.

Marlon retired in 2006 and devoted his time to writing and making art, often with his partner Don. Their collaborations are in public and private collections across the US and in Europe.

After a 61-year partnership, Marlon and Don were united in marriage on Thanksgiving Day 2019. Marlon said, “I got what I wanted in life, someone to love, a safe and happy home, and the freedom to make art.”

"He was a lovely, sweet man, but he was no pushover. He was a serious artist and he knew what he wanted and he said what he wanted all his life and he told us what he wanted... he was a great personal kind of influence," Mitch Blessing said during the KAXE Morning Show.

Listen to our conversation with Mitch Blessing above along with Marlon's appearance with Don on "Call of the Wild."

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