Stormy weather, a snow dump in Duluth and the loss of the iconic Sea Stack in Tettegouche State Park marked the first few days of December on the North Shore. We have documented some of it in the photo section, see below.
Now, the wind has died down, Lake Superior is quiet, and we continue gearing up for the holidays.
This weekend is one of the high points of holiday celebrations in Cook County — the Northwoods Fiber Guild holds its annual open house and sale at the Grand Marais Art Colony, the Girl Scouts help youngsters secretly pick out and wrap presents for their families in Santa’s Workshop and more than 100 members of the Borealis Chorale and Orchestra hold their annual Christmas program on Sunday and Monday night.
.We start the week on Thursday, Dec. 5, when Grand Marais author Staci Drouillard will be the featured guest at a Writer’s Salon at Drury Lane Books to celebrate the publication of her book, “Walking the Old Road: A People’s History of Chippewa City and the Grand Marais Anishinaabe.”
The book, published by the University of Minnesota Press, is the story of a once vibrant, now vanished off-reservation Ojibwe village near Grand Marais, and it is a vital chapter in the history of the North Shore.
Blending memoir, oral history, and narrative, Walking the Old Road reaches back to a time when Chippewa City, then called Nishkwakwansing (at the edge of the forest), was home to generations of Ojibwe ancestors. Drouillard, whose family once lived in Chippewa City, draws on memories, family history, historical analysis, and testimony passed from one generation to the next to conduct us through the ages of early European contact, government land allotment, family relocation, and assimilation.
“A book 35 years in the making, “Walking the Old Road” adds an important layer of human history to the bedrock of the North Shore,” Drouillard writes.
The Writer’s Salon is from 5-6 p.m. Free and open to all.
Friday features two art openings:
“Art in Process: The Exhibition” featuring the work of Molly Ovenden, opens with a reception at the Johnson Heritage Post from 5-7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Ovenden primarily works in acrylics, watercolors and felt-tip pens. The exhibit continues through Dec. 29. The Heritage Post is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
Also on Friday, Tettegouche State Park will host the opening reception for an exhibit by landscape painter Lisa Kosmo. The opening reception is from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Great Hall at the park.
Kosmo’s exhibit continues through Dec. 29.
Also, starting on Friday, Lutsen Mountains will host the Snowball Music & Ski Festival, continuing through the weekend. One of the headline bands, Heatbox, will be on WTIP’s The Roadhouse on Friday, to talk about his music and play a few songs. The Roadhouse airs from 5-7 p.m. To see the band line-up for the festival, check the Music Schedule, below.
Saturday will be busy. Santa’s Workshop starts at 8 a.m. at the Cook County Community Center with a pancake breakfast, bake sale and kid’s play corner. Kids can start shopping in a separate space at 9 a.m. with Scout elves there to help them pick out presents and wrap them. Santa will be there for pictures from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All invited.
At 9 a.m., the Northwoods Fiber Guild opens the doors at the Grand Marais Art Colony for the annual Open House and Holiday Sale. The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features high quality handmade clothing and gifts. Everything from mittens to scarves, sweaters to felted purses, socks and more are featured here.
There’s also a Christmas tree decorated with a wide variety of handmade ornaments. Homemade treats and refreshments, as well as spinning, knitting and weaving demonstrations are on-tap during the day and the craft table is open to all.
In annual Holiday Craft Sale will be held at the Grand Portage Lodge from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday featuring a variety of art and artisans as well as food and Ojibwe beadwork. All invited.
Saturday is also Community Ink Day at the Grand Marais Art Colony, and the public is invited to create their own art piece while learning about the print studio and techniques. Youth under 9 must be accompanied by an adult. A $5 donation is requested.
In Knife River, this is the weekend for the Julebyen or Christmas Village featuring a great variety of exhibits and activities throughout the weekend, including train rides. In fact, the North Shore Scenic Railroad is running a Julebyen Train from Duluth to Knife River on both Saturday and Sunday. The Julebyen is right across from the train station in Knife River..
At the event, look for outdoor and indoor markets, a Troll Village, a book corner, the Gnome Dome as well as children’s activities.There will be lots of Scandinavian food as well as performances, and a great selection of art and artisans. Two Cook County residents, printmaker Betsy Bowen and illustrator Kari Vick, will be among the artists exhibiting at the event. Open to all. For more info, Click here,
Quite a bit further down the road, SVEA, Grand Marais’ a cappella Swedish group, will be performing at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday as part of the Institute’s Christmas activities.
On Sunday, Voyageur Brewing Co. continues its Artists and Holiday Music series with artists Hannah Palma Laky, Emily Wick, and Katy Attleson exhibiting their work from noon to 4 p.m. Roxann Berglund will play holiday favorites.
The Borealis Chorale and Orchestra will perform this weekend, too, with concerts at Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 7 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.
The concerts are an annual Cook County tradition that is nearly 70 years old. This year’s concert offers seasonal favorites and the world premiere of “The Lingering Light of Day,” by composer Craig Carnahan and poet Julia Klatt Singer.
The creation of this new choral and orchestral work, written by Carnahan and Singer for the Borealis Chorale & Orchestra was funded in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. The piece is based on material gathered from community listening sessions the artists hosted in Cook County last February, in which participants discussed what makes the North Shore a unique place to live. The concert is free, but donations are welcome. And come early to get a good seat.
On Wednesday, Voyageur Brewing hosts three artists: Nancy Seaton, Terry Lewis and Joan Farnam, for its Artists and Live Holiday Music Series.
Roxann Berglund will play. The event runs from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
And last, but not least, Wunderbar hosts “It’s a Wunderbar Life: Holiday Market” on Thursday, Dec. 12 from 4-8 p.m. A popular holiday event, the market will feature more than 20 local artists and businesses scattered around the building as well as live music. Open to all.
Also on Thursday, the 11th annual “Light Up A Life,” sponsored by Care Partners, will be held at the Johnson Heritage Post at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The event offers community members the opportunity to celebrate the life of a loved one during the holiday season. Each $5 donation lights one bulb in memory of a loved one. The tree will be located in front of the Heritage Post. A Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held inside. Dr. Mary Ellen Ashcroft will lead a brief reflection, and Yvonne Mills will play. The ceremony will be followed by refreshments. For more information, contact Kay Grindland, Care Partners director at 387-3788 or email email@example.com.
The Holiday Art Underground Show continues at Betsy Bowen’s Gallery, 301 1st Ave. W., featuring a wide variety of local artists and art.
Prints, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, glass, fiber art, photographs and more are on exhibit at the show. The artists are bringing in new work, too.
The Tweed Museum of Art has opened a new exhibit entitled “Ceramics by Glenn C. Nelson.”
Nelson taught at the University of Minnesota-Duluth for years and is well-known for the ceramics program he developed there, as well as his impressive international ceramics collection, which he donated to the Tweed. The exhibit continues through February.
A new exhibit has opened at the Duluth Art Institute. Entitled “Laura Andrews & Paul Gudmundson: Integrated Vision,” the exhibit combines digital landscapes with meditative harmonies.
The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is opening a new exhibit on Friday. Benjamin Chee Chee: Life and Legacy, is a retrospective exhibit of the work of the Canadian artist. The exhibition presents a personal perspective, achieved through multifarious collaborations, including those with close friends of Chee Chee’s.
The exhibit runs through Feb. 23.
Crafting an Artistic Life, an Artist Talk featuring Betsy Bowen, Tom Christianson and Lee Ross will be held at the Grand Marais Art Colony from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. Participants will learn about the artists’ inspirations, their turning points and how they see their home on the North Shore influencing their work. Refreshments included. Suggested donation, $5.
Also, the Dark Sky Festival will be next weekend, Dec. 13-14. The event features a variety of events, including presentations, night sky viewing, slide shows and more. Stay tuned. And, to learn more, click here.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, the Grand Marais Playhouse will hold the Curry Cook-Off, a fundraiser for the Playhouse. The event will be held at the First Congregational Church and includes curries and musical performances. If you are interested in cooking up a curry for the event, contact Jane Gellner at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Cook County has a page this year detailing Winter Trail Conditions.
Information about the condition of cross country ski trails, downhill skiing, snowmobile trails and winter bike trails is updated frequently. To find out more, click here.
Photographer Bryan Hansel is making a series of videos about the making of a photograph. Check this one out: It’s about photographing ice patterns in the Grand Marais Harbor.
And last, but not least, the North Shore Readers & Writers Festival got a thumbs-up from Publisher’s Weekly recently. The biennial festival was launched in 2015 and is a collaboration between the Grand Marais Art Colony, Drury Lane Books and the Grand Marais Public Library.
“This year’s festival, held Nov. 7–10, featured 18 authors and seven publishing professionals giving talks, participating on panels, leading seminars, and teaching classes on writing for about 175 attendees comprised of readers and aspiring writers from all over the state,” writes Claire Kirch, who wrote the article for Publishers Weekly.
Thursday, Dec. 5:
- Gordon Thorne & Friends, North Shore Winery, 6 p.m.
- Jon Kallberg, Lutsen Resort, 6 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 6:
- Southpaws Lite with Al Oikari, Wunderbar, 7 p.m.
- Pushing Chain, Gun Flint tavern, 7:30 p.m.
Snowball Music & Ski Festival, Papa Charlie’s, Lutsen Mountains
- Heatbox, 9 p.m.
- Wookiefoot, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 7:
Snowball Music & Ski Festival, Papa Charlie’s, Lutsen Mountains:
- Pat Forsyth & The Diggy Trio, 12:30 p.m.
- The Limns, 2 p.m.
- Smokin’ Joe, 4 p.m.
- Frogleg, 9 p.m.
- Wookiefoot, 10:30 p.m.
In other venues:
- Brothers in Arms, Wunderbar, 7 p.m.
- Southpaws, Grandma Ray’s, 8 p.m.
- Jim McGowan, Lutsen Resort, 9 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 8:
- Briand Morrison, Mogul’s Grille, 10 a.m.
- Open Stage with Joe Paulik & Pat Flack, Wunderbar, 6 p.m.
- Borealis Chorale & Orchestra, Christmas Concert, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 9:
- Luke LeBlanc, Voyageur Brewing, 5 p.m.
- Borealis Chorale & Orchestra, Christmas Concert, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 10:
- Jim Miller, Poplar River Pub at Lutsen Resort, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 11:
- Roxann Berglund, Holiday music, Voyageur Brewing, 4:30 p.m.
- Jam Session, Gun Flint Tavern, 7 p.m.
It was a wild week on the NorthShore, with a record-breaking blizzard and high winds roughing up Lake Superior and doing some damage. One of the results? The Sea Stack at Tettegouche State Park disappeared, falling in a jumble of rocks to the bed of the lake.
Here’s a photo of the Sea Stack before …
Here’s a photo of after …
NorthShore ArtScene put out a special issue in memory of the Sea Stack earlier this week, gathering some of the photographs posted by local and regional photographers of one of their favorite places. Like this one, by Jeffrey Doty.
Meanwhile, we found other photographs this week. Here’s a short selection:
And Lake Superior roared.
Even when the waves weren’t crashing on rocks, they still looked dangerous.
Waves plus freezing temps equals ice.
And, in Duluth, it snowed — a lot.
In short, it was quite a a storm.
Here’s to a quieter weekend: