We are in the final countdown of the holiday season, and winter is upon us. Sea smoke, icy shores, snow drifts on the Gunflint Trail, glimpses of mushers training their dogs — all point to signs of the season.
The week kicks off with one of the newest holiday markets in Grand Marais–“It’s a Wunderbar Life: Holiday Market.”
Organized by Abby Tofte, owner of The Big Lake, this is the third year the event opens up the entire Wunderbar building to artists, artisans and local businesses for a very busy four hours of holiday shopping. Prints, pottery, fiber art, jewelry, glass artists will be represented, as well as a number of local businesses, including The Big Lake, Crosby Bakery and Sawbill Outfitters, to name a few. DJ Beavstar will play the music. The event is free and is from 4-8 p.m. Dec. 12.
Also on Thursday, the 11th annual Light Up a Life, a tree lighting ceremony organized by Care Partners, will be held at the Johnson Heritage Post at 5:30 p.m. Dr. Mary Ellen Ashcroft will speak. All invited.
On Friday, woodblock print maker Betsy Bowen, sculptor Tom Christiansen and ceramics/glass/monoprint artist Lee Ross will give an Artists Talk at the Grand Marais Art Colony entitled “Crafting the Artist’s Life” from 5-7 p.m.
The artists will speak about what inspires them, turning points in their careers and how they see their homes on the North Shore influencing their work. Refreshments will be served. Suggested donation, $5. Open to all.
This is also the weekend for the 2nd annual Dark Sky Festival, celebrating the beauty of dark skies on the North Shore.
The festival kicks off on Friday night with “Turn Out the Lights!” at 6 p.m. in Harbor Park, as Grand Marais goes dark for a moment or two. The UMD Geodome will be set up at Voyageur Brewing Co., to show off the beauties of the night sky, and photographer Bryan Hansel will give a presentation at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts at 6:30 p.m.
Cook County has some of the darkest skies in the lower 48, and Hansel will talk about this and its importance, as well as share some of the images he has made of the dark sky in the Lake Superior region and beyond.
By the way, Hansel has offered to give away a print of the image below through comments on Facebook about a favorite dark sky memory. Check it out here and make a comment to win the drawing.
Then at 7:30 p.m., the screening “City Lights, Starry Night,” a documentary film with IDA, the International Dark Sky Assocation, will be screened at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.
On Saturday, the Dark Sky Festival continues at North House Folk School with an open forum panel discussion with Bryan Hansel, Joel Halvorson, a naturalist from the Superior National Forest and a representative from the Duluth chapter of the International Dark Sky Association. The forum will be held at 3:15 at the North House Folk School.
At 6 p.m., author and ethnoastronomer Mark Hollabaugh will give a presentation at North House entitled “Dancers in the Sky: Native Americans and the Night Sky.” Hollabaugh has just published “Spirit and the Sky: Lakota Visions of the Cosmos.” The presentation is free and open to all.
Then at 7 p.m. Mike Lynch, meterologist at WCCO, will give a presentation and guided telescope time, also at North House. If conditions are good, participants can look through Lynch’s telescope.
And finally, at 8 p.m. photographer Travis Novitsky and Joel Halvorson will give a presentation at North House entitled “Dark Sky Adventures.”
Also this weekend, the final Downtown Duluth Arts Walk for the season will be held in downtown Duluth from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13.
The event features a variety of art shows, entertainment as well as holiday sales in the downtown area. For a complete listing, click here.
Registration is closed, but stop by Voyageur’s Brewing from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday and check out “Paint Your Dog’s Portrait,” a paint-by-number opportunity to paint a portrait of the family dog.
Also this week, those who want to learn about and participate in the 100 Day Project can meet at the Grand Marais Art Colony from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18. The 100 Day Project was developed by a group in Michigan and has spread all over the country. Participants commit to working on an artistic project (even if only five minutes a day)for 100 days. It is an extraordinary experience, according to all accounts. Artists not only discover new techniques and interests, they also explore their own artistic views and philosophies as the project progresses. The event is free. All invited.
The Johnson Heritage Post exhibit, “Art In Process: The Exhibition,” with works by Molly Ovenden continues through Dec. 29.
The Heritage Post will host a brown bag lunch at noon on Monday, Dec. 23 with Ovenden. The artist will lead a walk-through of her exhibit at that time. All invited. The Heritage Post is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
The Holiday Art Underground Show continues at Betsy Bowen’s Gallery and Studio exhibiting work by more than 40 local and regional artists.
The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. most days. The show continues through Dec. 29.
Wednesday, Dec. 18, is the final week for Artists in the Taproom & Holiday Music at Voyageur’s Brewing Co. Potter Kari Carter, weaver Mary MacDonald and glass artist Jeff Morgan will be exhibiting their work. Roxann Berglund will play.
At the Tweed Museum of Art. the photographic exhibit, “Space” Time and Place” continues.
The exhibit is open through February 2020.
And Shannon Cousino’s exhibit of her woodcut prints at the Duluth Art Institute closes this Sunday.
The Art Institute galleries are located in the Depot building in Duluth.
Here’s the music schedule for this week:
Thursday, Dec. 12:
- Gordon Thorne & Friends, North Shore Winery, 6 p.m.
- Briand Morrison, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 13:
- Portage, Grandma Ray’s, 6 p.m.
- Fred Anderson, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec.` 14:
- Joe Paulik, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
- Brothers in Arms, Grandma Ray’s. 8 p.m.
- Plucked Up String Band, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 15:
- Briand Morrison, Mogul’s Grille, 10 a.m.
- Open Stage with Joe Paulik & Pat Flack, Wunderbar, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 16:
- Joe Paulik, Lutsen Resort, 6 p.m.
We found some interesting photographs this week. Here’s a selection.
Let’s start with wildlife:
And then, a few surprises:
And this intriguing shot taken after the Duluth blizzard:
And last, but not least, this evocative photograph by Christian Dalbec.
Last week, the Sea Stack at Tettegouche State Park fell into Lake Superior during a ferocious winter storm. Photographer Christian Dalbec, who regularly dons a wet suit and goes into Lake Superior to take photographs, found the spot where the Sea Stack tumbled into the sea and captured it in perfect light.
Have a good weekend, everyone!
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