Welcome to 2019!
We’re excited to report that winter has clamped down on the North Shore with more than a foot of fluffy white snow, coating the trees in splendor and the trails with deep coverings for skis, snowshoes, fat tires and mukluks.
It’s a great harbinger for one of the most popular sled dog races on the North Shore, too –the Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race , which starts 8 a.m. on Saturday at Trail Center, with a full complement of enthusiastic mushers and sled dogs.
There are several exciting things to do and see before then.
First up is the launch of the Friday Night Reels, the winter film series at the Grand Marais Public Library on Friday at 6 p.m. when it will screen the film “Neither Wolf Nor Dog,” based on the novel of the same name by author Kent Nerburn. This is a great opportunity to see the film because it is not in general circulation yet. Check out the trailer here:
The screening is free. All invited.
Also on Friday night, the Finland Group of Painters will open an exhibit in the Great Hall at Tettegouche State Park with a reception at 7 p.m. Friday. Exhibitors include oil painters Gary Olson, Marc Smith and Deb Birkeland and watercolorist Sandy Maxwell.
The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, continues through January.
Also on Friday, Papa Charlie’s and Lutsen Mountains will host the 4th annual Ski Party featuring singer/songwriter Erik Koskinen and Trampled by Turtles on Friday night and Superior Siren and Lissie on Saturday night. On Friday night, Koskinen plays at 9 p.m., Trampled by Turtles at 10:45 p.m. Here’s a video of a favorite Trampled by Turtles song:
Doors open at 8 p.m. on Friday night. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. For more info and tickets, click here.
The Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race begins and ends at Trail Center this weekend. It is a continuous race consisting of two legs of equal distance, separated by a mandatory layover. There are two classes in the race: a 12-dog, 100-mile race and an 8-dog, 65-mile race. The races begin at 8 a.m. at Trail Center.
Temps won’t be nearly as cold as they were last year. At the start in 2018, the temperature was -27℉, according to local reports. This year, it will be considerably warmer with a projected high of 37℉.
The race will feature lots of great mushers, including Ryan Redington, who has won the past two Mail Runs and also won last winter’s John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. Also competing this year is Ryan Anderson, who has won the Beargrease three times, most recently in 2017. Local mushers include Erin Altemus, Frank Moe, Matt Schmidt and Mary Manning, to name a few.
Check out this video about the start of the Mail Run:
Also this weekend, the 3rd annual Norpine Fat Bike Classic will be held. The long course is 24 miles long, the short course is 16 miles. The racers will compete predominately on the Norpine cross country ski trails.
The mass start is at the Superior National clubhouse at 10:30 a.m. For details about this weekend event, click here.
Indoors, look for the first organizational meeting of the North Shore Arts League at the Johnson Heritage Post on Tuesday, Jan. 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All fine art artists are invited, including painters, writers, sculptors, potters, photographers and fiber artists — in short, any artist who may benefit from having a go-to network is welcome to attend. The group will discuss organizational details as well as make plans for a group show at the Heritage Post in April. Participants are welcome to bring their lunch. For more information, click here.
And then on Wednesday, the Grand Marais Public Library will begin it’s Winter Wednesday series with the reading of Henrik Ibsen’s play, “An Enemy of the People” in conjunction with the Grand Marais Playhouse. This is an opportunity for participants to gather together to read and/or just listen to the play in an informal setting. All invited. The event starts at 6 p.m.
The exhibit, “Remains of the Lake & the Northern Landscape” featuring black and white photographs of historic sites on Lake Superior by John Gregor and colorful North Shore landscapes by Tami Phillippi continues at the Johnson Heritage Post.
The exhibit continues through Jan. 13. The Heritage Post is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
The Betsy Bowen Studio and Galleries will be open on Friday and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. all winter. The studio features a variety of local artists’ work as well as Bowen’s woodcuts. And it’s an active studio as Bowen continues to make woodcut prints.
Lauri Slanga has work at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery in Lutsen.
This is the last weekend to see Anne Labovitz’ exhibit, 122 Conversations, at the Tweed Museum of Art. It closes Jan.6.
The Joseph Nease Gallery in Duluth is exhibiting work by Allison Aune.
The Thunder Bay Art Gallery has a number of exhibits this month, including “Exorcism” by Carl Beams.
North House Folk School will hold Thursday Night Film screenings starting next Thursday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m. This week’s films: The Backcountry Film Festival, featuring a compilation of films orbiting around human-powered outdoor winter experiences. Doors open at 6 p.m. The films start at 7 p.m. $10 admission, kids are free. There will also be a raffle and silent auction.
Hovland’s annual Winter Gathering & Dance will be held at the Hovland Town Hall from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 with the SplinterTones. All invited. Sponsored by the North Shore Music Association.
The Robert Burns Dinner honoring the Scottish poet’s birthday will be held Jan. 26 at The Wunderbar. The event includes piping in the haggis, a full-course dinner, poetry readings, and a sing-a-long.
Reservations are required and must be made by Jan. 19. For more information and to make reservations, contact Jeff or Mary MacDonald at (218) 387-1221 or email@example.com
And the Grand Marais Art Colony will host a series of Winter Reading Groups, which will read a book and discuss it within the group. Each group will meet on Jan. 29 and then again on Feb. 21. Open to all. The suggested donation is $10, and registration is open through Jan. 22.
The morning groups meet from 9:30-11:30 a.m., the evening groups meet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Founders Hall at the Art Colony. Click on the listings below to learn more.
- Winter Morning Reading Group: The Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime by Patricia Hampl with facilitator Nina Simonwicz.
- Winter Morning Reading Group: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan with facilitator Ann Possis.
- Winter Evening Reading Group: The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde with facilitator John Books.
- Winter Evening Reading Group: Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Cron with Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux.
And last, but not least, we are sad to report that internationally acclaimed potter, Warren MacKenzie, has died. He was 94.
In his lifetime, MacKenzie taught hundreds if not thousands of students about how to make pots. and dedicated his life to crafting clay into usable, functional and beautiful vessels. He is the father of the Minnesota pottery tradition, which combines Japanese, English and American techniques and values into making a pot. His creative life is honored all over the world. In 1981, he was named one of the 12 greatest potters in the world, and his work is featured in museums and collections world-wide. His studio is in Stillwater.
Here’s the music schedule for this week:
Thursday, Jan. 3:
- Eric Frost, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
- Briand Morrison & Roxann Berglund, North Shore Winery, 6 p.m.
- Plucked Up String Band, Wunderbar, 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 4:
- One Less Guest, Voyageur Brewing, 4 p.m.
- JohnRuss, Cascade Lodge Restaurant, 6 p.m.
- Jon Kalberg, Poplar River Pub, 7 p.m.
- Ski Party with Erik Koskinen, 9 p.m., Trampled by Turtles, 10:45 p.m. Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 5:
- SonofMel, Cascade Lodge, 6 p.m.
- Briand Morrison, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
- Woodblind, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.
- Ski Party at Papa Charlie’s, Superior Siren, 9 p.m., Lissie, 10:45 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 5:
- Open Mic with Joe Paulik, Wunderbar, 5:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 6:
- Briand Morrison, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
- Erik Koskinen, Singer/Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 7:
- Joe Paulik, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
- Open Mic at Papa Charlie’s with Boyd Blomberg, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 8:
- Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8:30 p.m.
Lots of photos this week. Let’s start with a vegetable.
And a droplet of water:
And a burning meteor in the sky: (Look for it)
And an ice mushroom:
And a bear cloud:
Surfing at Stoney Point at -10℉.
And a few wildlife shots:
And lots of icy shots:
Have a good weekend, everyone!