It’s Summer Solstice week in Cook County, and summer has definitely arrived with shirt-sleeve weather and a gradual re-emergence from the isolation of the pandemic. Safety first, of course, but it’s great to be outdoors again with friends, even if we’re wearing masks.
As in past weeks, there are lots of changes in the community: Here are some links to help you navigate them:
Our virtual life continues as well.
Today, at noon, the Grand Marais Art Colony will feature the Facebook premiere of the video, “Getting Centered” with potter and ceramics studio facilitator Natalie Sobanja and one of her students, Elsa Sorenson.
And to forget to check out the Art Colony’s window exhibition at its new building at 17 W. Hwy 61, next to the Hungry Hippie. Artists responded with works to the theme, “Our Changing Habitat.”
The exhibit continues through the end of June.
Also, North House Folk School‘s Wooden Boat Show, the Online Edition, continues this week.
The online event includes a great variety of webinars, Lunch and Learns, and craft demonstrations, as well as online courses. There are other goodies to watch, too, including video boat tours, Hjordis Slow TV, as well as videos of past Summer Solstice Pageants. Everything is free, but online registration is required to get links to the virtual events. Click here to learn more.
One of the features of the Wooden Boat Show is the Online Auction, a fundraiser for North House Folks School’s endowment fund. Work by Folk School instructors is highlighted in this live auction.
To see what is being offered this year, click here. Bidding is live through June 21.
Also on Thursday at 7 p.m., join Jaye White for her presentation: “Notorious North Shore Gangsters, Gamblers, and Ghost Stories,” a Zoom webinar sponsored by Cook County Higher Education.
White was raised on the North Shore of Lake Superior and spent part of her 20’s being a Camp Director. She knows all the in and outs of the shore and what she doesn’t know she is eager to research and to discover. She is a passionate storyteller around the campfire, on social media, through her podcasts, or on her website, www.exploringthenorthshore.com
The webinar is free, but donations welcome. Registration required. To register, click here.
For music, bluesman Pete Kavanaugh will present a virtual live concert on WTIP’s The Roadhouse. The program airs from 5-7 p.m. on Friday night. Author Sue Leaf will also be on the program, talking about her book, “Minnesota’s Geologist.” And there is live music on the deck of Voyageur’s Brewing during the day.
In other local news, The Fisherman’s Daughter at Dockside Fish Market opened for the first time this week for curbside service, from Dock to Table, with Lake Superior fish and chips and other delectables that can be enjoyed curbside. Hungry Hippie Tacos has also set up tables outside the restaurant for outside dining. See VisitCookCounty for all the restaurant openings and hours and protocols here.
For book lovers, Drury Lane Books has opened its doors for in-store shopping. (Bring your mask!) This week, the bookstore is highlighting “The Wolf’s Trail: An Ojibwe Story Told by Wolves,” a new novel by Thomas Peacock.
Other shops in downtown Grand Marais, including Siverston Gallery, The Big Lake and Joy & Company have also opened, with Covid-19 protocols in place.
The Wunderbar Eatery and Glampground, which has been setting out free meals prepared by its chef, Chris Callender for the community throughout the pandemic, announced this week that it will not re-open.
But it will hold a farewell celebration this weekend, June 20-21, on-site, with a cook-out, live music, games and more.
Betsy Bowen’s Gallery and Studios has set up an open-air gallery outside the gallery at 301 1st Ave. W. The gallery, featuring a variety of Bowen’s work, is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Come to the door and ring the mini-dinner bell.
The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council announced this week that Duluth painter Alison Aune has won the George Morrison Artist Award.
The George Morrison Artist Award is named after internationally acclaimed visual artist, George Morrison, a member of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Morrison was an important member of the second generation of American abstract expressionist artists. The annual award is given to an artist who has made significant contributions to art in Minnesota.
Aune is a painter and professor of art education at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Her mixed media paintings are inspired by Scandinavian and indigenous Sami patterns and motifs. Her art has touched thousands of people in galleries, classrooms, and conversations, not just in Minnesota, but across the world. She has exhibited her paintings throughout the United States and internationally in solo and group exhibitions.
ARAC also announced that Wendy Savage, a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and a powerful arts advocate, has been named the winner of Maddie Simons Arts Advocate Award.
Savage has been a key initiator and promoter of Native American Art since the 1970s and, as an arts advocate, has been taking down structural barriers to opportunity for Native American artists in the Minnesota and Dakotas and offering Native artists places to show and sell their work.
ARAC also announced a new award: the Transformative Art Award. Terresa Moses and Jordon Moses, the founders of Blackbird Revolt, are the inspiration for and winners of the award. Blackbird Revolt is a social justice-based creative studio specializing in graphic design, branding, campaigns, illustration, typographic layout, videography, and events. They won the new award for making a positive, transformative change in the arts culture of the region.
They are recognized for work they have done for the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, Inc, in Duluth, for the NAACP, the Umbra project, as well as the many projects of Blackbird Revolt. This new award was created because of the significance of what they have done and the importance of work like it in the arts.
And finally, this piece, part of the PBS series on the arts, “Canvas.” Entitled “Connecting Through Art When A Pandemic Keeps Us Apart.” It features work by a variety of artists, including Duluth painter Carolyn Olson.
Local Artists at Work:
Vicki Biggs-Anderson created a large slow-stitched piece depicting the farm where she lives.
She says: “Slow stitching means setting aside time to find myself somewhere in the thread and spread myself out on a piece of fabric.”
Duluth artist, Adam Swanson, has just completed a large, new mural for the Grand Rapids Area Library.
Hovland bead painter Jo Wood has been working, too.
Here is plein air painter Neil Sherman at work.
And finally, another piece from Betsy Bowen’s Comfort Series.
And a little music for you:
Lizzo, covering Sam Cooke’s, “A Change is Gonna Come.”
It was a good week for photographs. Here’s a selection:
This is the season of flowers …
And the forest is green …
This is the season for beautiful skyscapes and seascapes, too.
On a final note:
This will be a tough year for fans of the Good Harbor Hill Player’s Summer Solstice Pageant, traditionally held on the campus of North House Folk School during the Wooden Boat Show. Everyone enjoys the quirky, funny show with great music and community puppet players and then cheers at the end when the Sun King comes out on his incredible stilts and dances in celebration of light and hope.
The pageant is cancelled this year, but you can get into the mood and watch past performances here. And Betsy Bowen, one of the founders of the Players offers this:
“We are all fiercely missing each other and the energy that this brings. Let’s all envision the Sun King shedding the dark heavy cloak of illness, fear and injustice and burst out, brightly and high in the sky, to exhuberant drums and dancing all around!” Bowen said these words were inspired by Kimberly Soenen, who now lives in Chicago.
Happy Solstice, everyone!
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