It’s going to be pretty quiet in Cook County this weekend, but maybe that’s good — there’s lots of time to enjoy all the events which are happening.
Look to a fantastic art exhibit that opened last weekend at the Johnson Heritage Post, a plein air painting opening at Tettegouche State Park with an artist’s talk by Neil Sherman on Friday night and a performance and two workshops by a world-class musician from Congo and his quartet, Siama Matuzungidi. And not to forget, this is the Mountain Meltdown Weekend at Lutsen Mountains with 10 different bands. And there are lots of things happening in other communities on the North Shore this weekend as well. Here are the details:
Siama Matuzungidi, a prolific composer and guitarist and native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, will be in Grand Marais this weekend with his quartet, the World Congo Quartet.
A sought-after studio musician, Siama recorded hundreds of popular songs during the golden era of soukous music in the ‘70s and ‘80s and toured Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. His signature sound and commitment to innovation helped fuel the popularization of soukous (“the sound of happiness”), which is still widely enjoyed on dance floors worldwide. Now a Minnesota resident, Siama brings his feel-good acoustic music, including songs inspired by traditional music from his childhood in rural DR Congo, to US crowds. Here’s a recent PBS special about Siama’s life and music:
While in Grand Marais, Siama will teach two workshops at the Grand Marais Public Library on Friday, April 6: at 1 pm and 2:30 pm. The first will be an interactive presentation of word and music at 1 p.m. and a singing workshop at 2:30 p.m. All invited. He will be interviewed on WTIP’s The Roadhouse on Friday night where he and his wife will perform and talk about their music. The Roadhouse airs from 5-7 p.m.
On Saturday night, Siama will perform in concert with his Congo World Quartet. Featuring Siama, singer Dallas Johnson, global music drummer Tim O’Keefe, and renowned cellist Jacqueline Ultan, the quartet creates a unique fusion by blending a colorful palette of musical influences with Siama’s traditional Congolese music. The result is an uplifting tapestry filled with lush textures and dramatic nuance.
Tickets are $15 adults, $5 youth (18 & under) and can be purchased at www.tix.com or at the door.
Also in Grand Marais this weekend, check out the new show at the Johnson Heritage Post, “Chroma/Creature/Vessel/Vision,” which opened last week. It really is an extraordinary exhibit of work by a family of artists — Joel Lewis and his grown children Josie, Forest, and Corrie Steckelberg.
The exhibit will continue through April 22. The Heritage Post is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
On Friday, Grand Marais plein air artist, Neil Sherman, will open an exhibit of his work in the Great Hall at Tettegouche State Park with a reception at 7 p.m. He will give a brief Artist Talk about his work. All invited.
Further down the shore, the Voyageur Art Club’s Spring Exhibit continues at the Cedar Coffee House with works in a variety of media by members of the club.
The show will continue through April 20 with a reception scheduled for April 12 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Cedar Coffee Company is located at 1130 11th St., just a block north of Super One Grocery Store in Two Harbors.
Also in Two Harbors this weekend, “Fences,” powerful drama by August Wilson, will be performed at the Two Harbors High School April 6-8. The play is a production of Lake Superior Community Theatre, based in Silver Bay. Paul Deaner, artistic director of the theater company.
This is the first time “Fences” has been performed north of the Twin Cities. For tickets, see www.tix.com.
In Duluth, the Lakeside Gallery will hold an opening reception for the “Rooster Invitational” from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday.
More than 20 local artists have contributed work to this show, featuring roosters and chickens. It continues through the month of April. Lakeside Gallery is located at 4431 E. Superior St.
The Tweed Museum of Art continues its collection-based exhibit, “Quiet Simplicity” through May.
In Thunder Bay, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery will hold an art opening at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, April 5. Entitled “Strength Through Our Tears: Honoring Our Stories,” the community based art project aims to increase women, police and the community’s understanding of the resiliency and dignity of survivors of sexual violence. The reception is open all.
The exhibit continues through May 13. Other exhibits at the gallery include the Lakehead University Visual Art Deparment Annual Major Studio Exhibition and and the Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School Exhibition.
And for a crazy/wonderful art experience, check out Urban Infill: Art in the Core in Thunder Bay on Saturday, April 7, from 7-11 p.m. Fore the event, he entire downtown Waterfront District is transformed into an artistic experience with art exhibits, music, performance and more. Urban Infill, a production of the Definitely Superior Art Gallery, features works by 400 regional, national and international multi-disciplinary artists at 25 downtown locations, including DefSup, commercial art galleries & spaces, artist studios and empty spaces transformed into new art/performance venues.
Start at DefSup, 250 Park Ave., pick up your Art Map and let Performative Tour Guides show you the way … or explore downtown on your own. If you miss the Gala Opening, the visual art exhibition continues through April 10. For more info on this incredible art experience, click here.
Join the Clay Club! An exciting free program for community youth ages K-12 to learn about creating with clay will begin soon. Clay Club will be held after school in the ISD 166 Art Room from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from grades 6-12 and Wednesdays for grades K-5. Participants will engage with the ceramic process while building connections with others and exploring their own creativity. The focus will be on handbuilding techniques, but there will also be limited opportunities to use the pottery wheel.
The program is led by ceramic artist and educator Melissa Wickwire and co-facilitated by ISD 166 Art Teacher Mila Horak.
Advance registration is required by April 10. Register at the ISD 166 office. Direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make bowls for Empty Bowls: 12 percent of Cook County residents go hungry every month. To address this need, each year the Grand Marais Art Colony makes bowls for the Empty Bowls Dinner and Silent Auction: a community art fundraiser to alleviate local hunger needs. Help support this cause this year by attending the Spring Make-A-Bowl for Empty Bowls, April 13 – 15.
Participants will make one wheel-thrown bowl and one hand-built bowl to donate to the fundraiser. There are several sessions scheduled for April 13-15, but participants must register. For more info, click here.
Here’s the music for this week:
Thursday, April 5:
- Boyd Blomberg, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne, North Shore Winery, 6 p.m.
- Jon Kallberg, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
- Plucked Up String Band, Wunderbar, 7 p.m.
Friday, April 6:
- Eric Frost, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
- Briand Morrison, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
- KutDown, Grandma Ray’s, 8 p.m.
- Frogleg, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 7:
- Mountain Meltdown, Papa Charlie’s:
- Bug Dope, 4 p.m.
- Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, 2:30 p.m.
- Ginstrings, 1 p.m.
- Siama Matuzungidi & Congo World Quartet, Arrowhead Center for the Arts, 7 p.m.
- Jim & Michelle Miller, Lutsen Resort, 8 p.m.
- Mysterious Ways, Grandma Ray’s, 8 p.m.
- White Iron Band, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 8:
- Briand Morrison, Mogul’s Grille, 10 a.m
- TBA, Gun Flint Tavern, 7 p.m.
Mountain Meltdown, Papa Charlie’s, outdoor music
- Cook County’s Most Wanted, 2:30 p.m.
- SplinterTones, 1 p.m.
- Plucked Up String Band, 11:30 a.m.
- Spruce Roots, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, April 10:
- Eric Frost, Poplar River Pub 6 p.m.
- Tuesday Night Trivia, Grandma Ray’s, 7 p.m.
We found lots of icy shots this week. Here’s a selection:
Have a great weekend, everyone!