Greetings from the North Shore, where spring peepers wildly celebrate the season and marsh marigolds pepper the wetlands with their joyous yellows. The skies are gorgeous. The first mosquitoes have been documented. Welcome to Spring.
We continue to be careful up here–masks indoors at least, social distancing everywhere, as we slowly open to a post-pandemic normal. We aren’t too sure what that is, of course, but, we’re ever hopeful.
There’s lots happening this first weekend in May, with various combinations of live, in-person events and virtual opportunities.
First up is the Grand Marais Art Colony‘s weekly Instagram Takeover event, with artists posting about their art and their lives on Thursdays and Fridays. This week, two artists will be featured: painter and printmaker Andy Ness and illustrator Sarah Ann Nelson.
Andy Ness is a painter, drawer, and printmaker who splits his time between Grand Marais and Minneapolis. This summer, he will be teaching Monoprints: One of a Kind, June 21 – 24. In this class, students will explore the versatile medium of monoprinting, bringing together drawing, painting, and printmaking. Andy will also be teaching several mini-classes throughout the summer that allow students to explore and draw on Artists Point. https://grandmaraisartcolony.org/people/andy-ness/
Sarah Ann Nelson is an artist and illustrator originally from Minnesota, and currently working in Los Angeles. Her work ranges from large scale pen and marker drawings to client and passion projects using digital mediums. She will be teaching a Pen and Marker Illustration class, Aug. 23 – 27. Students will learn technical drawing methods, techniques specific to drawing with pens, and how to blend markers for dynamic layering and a painterly quality. https://grandmaraisartcolony.org/people/sarah-nelson/
North House Folk School’s Landscapes Festival 2021 OnlineEdition begins this Thursday with a free webinar on Spring Ephemerals with Master Naturalist Margie Menzies at 7 p.m.
The forest floor blossoms this time of year and the vernal ponds are alive with the sounds of frogs and toads. Join Margie Menzies for a virtual tour of her favorite ephemerals of the boreal and maple forests, as well as dive into the chilly spring waters to discover some of our friendly local amphibians. Next time you get out for spring walk, you’ll be sure to remember a few more names of these welcome signs of spring. Click here to register. The webinar is free.
Note: If you’d like a live, in-person experience of ephemerals, take a walk in the woods this week and/or visit the Devil Track Wildflower Sanctuary at 33 County Road 60. It is open to the public and the first wildflowers have started to bloom.
The Devil Track Wildflower Sanctuary is a privately maintained wildflower sanctuary established in 1958 and is open to the public. It is located at 33 County Road 60.
The Northern Landscapes Festival continues in May with two other webinars: “Dragonflies of the North Woods” May 13 and “An Evening with Bob Janssen” May 20. Both are free. There are also a number of classes offered during the festival. To find out more, click here.
On Friday, The Tenacious Woman Art Gala opens at Joy & Co. and continues through the weekend. It will be held indoors and outdoors and will feature a large selection of work by local and regional artists, entertainment, refreshments and more. The weekend culminates with performances and celebrations on Sunday.
The gala will present a wide variety of art in a number of different mediums, including a retrospective of the fiber art crafted by Dr. Robin. Her daughter, Rachel Rae, is setting up the exhibit. Examples include a reproduction dress from the 1800s, a Victorian car coat, Irish hardanger, woven baskets, beaded moccasins, horsehair jewelry, wool felted pillows and animals, embroidery, cross stitch, quilts, and knitted shawls.
Also this weekend, the Grand Marais Playhouse will present “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare, abridged by Cass Foster on May 7, 8 and 9. Live performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Virtual tickets can also be purchased. In-Person tickets are $25 for singles and $50 for households up to 4 people. Covid protocols are in place for performances, which will be held in the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Virtual tickets are $7 individual and $15 for households. Show supporters may also purchase a $25 ticket.
This is the community youth play for high school students. On Friday after the performance, High School One Act cast will receive their trophy and medals for achieving second place at the regional competition in January. The awards were delivered late. And on Sunday, following the performance, the Playhouse will be awarding four seniors with the Excellence in Theater Arts Award and $250 to Sylvia Berka, Sara Smith, Izy Sparks, and Abbey Stoddard.
Here’s a video about the Playhouse that was produced by MN Original in 2018.
Also this weekend, the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, one of the most popular pottery events in Minnesota, will be held virtually again this year. The event features 60 guest potters and the virtual format allows the public to visit the potters’ studios as well as see their work.
“Once and Future,” Corrie Steckelberg‘s woodland caribou project, was installed around Grand Marais on Thursday, with her sculptures located in the city and the Rec Park, including Harbor Park.
Steckelberg received a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board for the project. She worked closely with the Grand Marais Park Board, the Creative Economy Collaborative (CEC) and the City of Grand Marais to get the project approved and installed. The caribou are covered with burlap, which is filled with soil and seeds and, as the weather warms, the caribou’s appearance will change. Look for flowers, grasses and mushrooms in the months ahead. Note: A hunt for the caribou should be on your To-Do list for this summer.
Nan Onkka is exhibiting her woodblock prints at the Johnson Heritage Post this month. Her Northern Horizon exhibit features a variety of new work as well as exhibits showing the process of her printmaking.
The Heritage Post is open to the public, Covid Protocols in place. Hours are 1-4 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. Free.
The Thunder Bay Art Gallery, which is temporarily closed to the public, has extended its exhibits.
The Grand Marais Art Colony will hold a Summer Exhibition of work by Moira Bateman, Annie Hejny, Moheb Soliman, and Nick Wroblewski to open May 21 in Studio 21, their new building on Hwy. 61. The artists completed a 7-day residency at the Art Colony in 2019 focused on “The Water Cycle.” Each of them explored the nature of water and how it inspires, informs, and challenges their work. In this exhibit, they show work that was begun during that time, and found its completion in their home studios.
The exhibit continues through Aug. 31.
The Cook County Market, featuring arts and crafts by local artists, opens in the parking lot of The Hub (formerly called the Cook County Senior Center) on Saturday, May 29, with new hours. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday through MEA Weekend. Covid Protocols will be in the place. The artisans are offering a wide variety of goods including fiber art, weaving, woodworking, ceramics, jewelry, North Shore rocks, maple syrup and books. There’s live music, too.
North House Folk School‘s Wooden Boat Show is in-person and virtual this year.
North House will host the Boat Show on campus, in person June 18-20 AND online June 3-25. On-campus events include the wooden boat display, craft demonstrations, boat building demonstrations and family drop-in crafts event. The schooner The Hjordis will also be sailing. The Boats to Tools Auction will be live and online, and there are lots of other presentations and classes planned. To learn more, click here.
Learn how to juggle: The Grand Marais Public Library will be giving out free 30 Take-and-Move Art Kits this month. Designed by COMPAS Teaching Artist Benjamin Domask-Ruh, the juggling-themed kits provide recipients a primer on the ancient art form by introducing its history, science, theory, and beginning technique.
Artists at Work:
North Shore artists have been busy this winter. Here are some examples of what they’ve been doing.
Senior Quilt-Picking Day: Five graduating seniors, who are members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, were invited to choose their favorite quilt, an annual tradition for graduating seniors at the church. The quilters included Eleanor Waha, Jody Daugherty, Joan Bieber, Kathy Bolstad, Carol Berglund, Renette Pearse, Gwen Lenz, Ethel Johnson, Ruth Tice, Theresa Oberg and Teresa Chmelik.
“The Mushroom Hunters”by Neil Gaiman read by Amanda Palmer.
For laughs:Building the Perfect Squirrel Feeder … or not. 20 minutes.
And, remember this? We ran it during the first weeks of the Covid pandemic.
Thursday, April 29:
- Gordon Thorne, Date Night at the Winery, North Shore Winery, 6-8 p.m. Reservations at https://www.exploretock.com/northshorewinery or call 218) 481-9280.
We found lots of images this week. Here is a selection:
Plant and Fruitscapes
Read this cutline.
Landscapes, Skyscapes & Waterscapes
And last, but not least …
Enjoy your weekend, everyone, and Happy Mother’s Day!