Donmar Studio is located in Bemidji and is part of the residence  of Marlon Davidson and Don  Knudson. They have been producing collaborations for about twenty years.  Both had independent careers in the arts through the early years of their partnership when they lived in St. Paul and then near Pine River, Minnesota on Hand Lake. They moved to Bemidji in 1987 and it was about at this time that they began to produce collaborations. The works of art range in size from possibly a foot square up to several feet  in height and width.

The first of the collaborations resulted from a trip to the south shore of Lake Superior where Don and Marlon slept on the beach and cooked over a camp fire on a late summer evening.  They had picked up driftwood and oval stones through the afternoon, periodically cooling off in the cold water of the lake.  When they returned to Bemidji, they laid all their treasures out on a table and went about their usual work.  Don was in the process of building a large box with doors on the front that opened like the front doors of a church. In a kind of idle way, Marlon began to lay some of the driftwood and other objects inside of the box, putting together a shield-like form.

This work, “Altar,”   is still in the possession of the artists and hangs above the piano in their living room.  It has become the repository of small objects which had belonged to friends and relatives who have departed this life and are commemorated in this art work with tiny iconic objects.

It occurred to both artists at about the same time that this was a new approach that might be worth  pursuing, collaborations. Over a period of months, the artists refined their approach and developed the first series of art works, all wall works with dimension, and not long after that fall, sold the first of these works.
The collaborations are now in collections in the Midwest, across the United States. A Davidson/Knudson work is in the collection of a university in Denmark and also in a private collection in Finland.  Many of their works are in public spaces  and also, in homes locally and across the country.

“Yellow Circle” in private collection

“Fraternal Twins” private collection

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