Never underestimate the creativity of people in Cook County. This weekend is no exception. On tap is the Dark Sky Festival, Wunderbar’s Holiday Market, a Curry Cook-off and Broadway Showcase, and a Holiday Character Dress-Up Contest, just to name a few things scheduled for this weekend.
Let’s start with author Tim Cochrane, who will give a presentation about his latest book, “Gichi Bitobig, Grand Marais: Early Accounts of the Anishinaabeg and the North Shore Fur Trade” at the Heritage Visitor Center at the National Monument in Grand Portage from 2-4 p.m. on Thursday. All invited. Free. The book is available at local booksellers as well.
On Thursday night, Wunderbar hosts more than 20 artists, artisans, local businesses and galleries for its second annual Holiday Market.
Local artists at the Holiday Market include painter Anna Hess, potters Hannah Palma, Natalie Sobanja and Kari Carter, weaver Julie Arthur, illustrator Kari Vick, felter Mary Reichert, author Rose Arrowsmith Decoux and Mueller Studio and Sannerud Studios Furniture. Local galleries and shops, even a few restaurants will be there. Open to all.
On Friday and Saturday, Grand Marais will host the first annual Dark Sky Festival, honoring the fact that Cook County has one of the darkest skies in the nation.
UMD’s Traveling GeoDome, which provides guided tours through the night skies, will be set up at Voyageur Brewing Co. on both days. The GeoDome will be open from 5-9 p.m. on Friday and from 8-10 p.m. on Saturday. There will be telescopes set up outdoors as well, weather permitting. On Saturday, photographers Bryan Hansel and Travis Novitsky will host “Dueling Photographers,” a friendly showing of their nightscape photographs. The “duel” will be held at North House Folk School from 5-6:30 p.m.
At 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jim Rock and Joel Halvorson will present “Native Skies: The Stars and Indigenous Peoples,” also at North House. After the presentations, there will be a bonfire and s’mores as well as more stargazing, weather permitting, and the GeoDome will re-open at Voyageur’s. And finally, Wunderbar will Twilight Zone Move Marathon starting at 9 p.m.
Also on Saturday, the Grand Marais Art Colony will hold Community Ink Day, a chance to learn about making prints and create one of your own. It will be held in the Art Colony’s print studio from 1-3:30 p.m.
Everyone is invited, but children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. This is a drop-in event — no registration is required — but a $5 donation to cover materials expenses is requested.
And, an added perk for the weekend, the annual Curry Cook-Off and Broadway Showcase, a fundraiser for the Grand Marais Playhouse, will be held at the 1st Congregational Church on Saturday, Dec. 15.
This is always a tasty event, in more ways than one. This year, 10 different curries will be in competition, and the public is invite to vote for their favorite. The tasting feast is followed by holiday and Broadway music performances by local actors. The curry tasting starts at 6:30 p.m, the showcase is at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary. The event is a fundraiser for the Playhouse. It will hold a membership meeting at 5:30 p.m before the event. For details, click here.
Also on Saturday night, Voyageur Brewing Co. will hold a Holiday Character Costume Contest and Elves off the Shelves Party starting at 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to come dressed as their favorite holiday character, whether Frosty, Rudolph, the Grinch, Santa or ??? Best costumes will win gift cards, judging is at 7 p.m. Bring along your elf and some props to create a winning scene for a prize. Judging is at 7:30 p.m.
In Duluth, raku potters Richard Gruchalla and Carrin Rosetti will be having their annual Christmas sale at their studio in Duluth Dec. 14-16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
The raku artists are well-known in Grand Marais. They hold a “Do You Raku? We Do” event at Siverston Gallery every fall. Their studio in Duluth is located at 1600 London Rd. It’s at the east end of the building, lower level.
On Wednesday, Dec. 19, the Grand Marais Art Colony will host “Community Conversations with Neil Sherman: Let’s Finish It!” from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Sherman, a plein air painter, will lead a discussion on how to finish two-dimensional pieces with the most appropriate and long-lasting framing materials. He will be demonstrating as well. Everyone invited. Free.
Also on Wednesday, Voyageur Brewing Co. will host the Artisan Spotlight and Sale from 4:30 pm. to 6:30 p.m. at the brewery. The artists include potter Kari Carter and jewelry maker Terry Lord-Lewis.
The Artist Spotlight and Sale runs from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
The exhibit, “Remains of the Lake & the Northern Landscape”continues at the Johnson Heritage Post. The exhibit features work by photographers John Gregor and Tami Phillippi. Gregor’s pieces feature his work in black and white highlighting Lake Superior’s past. Phillippi’s photographs focus on colorful northern landscapes.
This is a highly regarded exhibit and a must-see. Gregor shows us parts of Lake Superior we’ve never known about or noticed, while Phillippi celebrates the beauty of the North Shore. The exhibit continues through Jan. 13. The Heritage Post is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
A new exhibit has opened in the Great Hall at Tettegouche State Park. Watercolor painter Dennis Murnyak has a wide variety of work on view.
Murnyak’s exhibit will be up through December.
In Duluth, the Tweed Museum of Art continues its exhibition of Manifest’o, an installation by Jonathan Thunder. There are three animation vignettes featuring Anishanaabe stories:” Supernaut Becomes The Water Lily”; :The Mishu Bizhiw Awakens” and “Goldfinch Counts Leaves.”
Three are three exhibits currently on view at the Duluth Art Institute: Patrick Luber’s, “Exceptionally Ordinary,” Darren Houser’s, “Real-Unreal” and Nik Nerburn’s, “Nik Nuerburn is a Camera.” All the exhibits continue through Dec. 20.
Also, Alyssa Johnson has opened a photography exhibit at the Red Herring Lounge entitled “Once Upon an Imagination.”
In Thunder Bay, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery has opened three new exhibits this week including “21 Pillows,” an installation by Cheryl Wilson-Smith, “Lessons: The Artistry of Learning” and “Carl Beam’s Exorcism,” from the Permanent Collection.
One of the finest celebrations of the winter: The Winter Solstice Shadow Puppet Show by the Good Harbor Players is Friday, Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. outside at North House Folk School. All invited. Free.
The Shadow Puppet Show always includes great puppets, a funny storyline and music. And not to forget, the bonfire to throw in your “gloomier” and a community potluck afterwards. Partiipants are asked to bring their own plates and silverware to the potluck. Stay tuned for details.
The 2019 Winter Plein Air Retreat at YMCA Camp Menogyn is set for Jan. 27-Feb. 1 this year, with an exhibit at the Johnson Heritage Post to open Feb. 1.
The application deadline is Dec. 24. To find out more and to apply, click here.
Here’s the music for this week:
Thursday, Dec. 13:
- Maria Nickolay, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne & the Wildcats, North Shore Winery, 6 p.m.
- Plucked Up String Band, Gun Flint Tavern, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 14:
- Nate Weiler, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
- Plucked Up String Band, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
- Shakey Ground, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.
- Snowball Music & Ski Festival, Papa Charlie’s, Jon Wayne & The Pain, 9 p.m.; WookieFoot, 10:45 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 15:
- Snowball Music & Ski Festival, Papa Charlie’s, Smokin’ Joe, 12:30; The Limns, 2 p.m., Jon Wayne, 4 p.m.; Heatbox, 9 p.m., Wookiefoot, 10:45 p.m.
- A Hovland Family Christmas, Hovland Town Hall, 7 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
- Eric Frost, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.
- Plucked Up String Band, Wunderbar, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 16:
- Briand Morrison, Mogul’s Grille, 10 a.m.
- Open State with Joe Paulik, 6 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 17:
- Holiday Show with the North Shore Community Swing Band, Wunderbar, 6-8 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 18:
- Gordon Thorne, Poplar River Pub, 68 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 19:
- Jam Session, Gun Flint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.
We found some interesting photos this week. Here’s a selection:
And, a photo for the season.
Enjoy your weekend!