Greetings from the North Shore where pristine waters beckon and a balmy summer continues. We are all grateful for that.
Changes continue to happen in the community, though, as the coronavirus plays out on the landscape. To find information about businesses, lodging, dining opportunities and protocols, as well as the latest news about Covid-19 in Cook County, click here.
Social distancing and wearing masks are in play for everyone, and VisitCookCounty is offering free masks at the Information Center. Free hand sanitizer is also available there. VisitCounty County has also designed a T-shirt with the logo, One Moose Apart, as a fundraiser for the Cook County Coronavirus Relief Fund.
In general community news, here’s a heads-up: This is the last weekend to participate in the Gunflint Trail’s Biggest Blueberry Contest. Participants are invited to bring their biggest blueberry to be weighed at a number of different venues on the Trail. Cash prizes, including $100 for First Place, will be awarded. And yes, the blueberries aren’t exactly prolific this year, but they can be found. Check out what Nancy Seaton picked the other day.
And not to be obnoxious or anything, but here’s a reminder: Aug. 11 is Primary Day in Minnesota.
Meanwhile, there are some interesting things going on this weekend. some virtual, some live.
First, North House Folk School. Master basketmaker Emily Derke is the Instructor in Residence at North House Folk School this week. Derke, who makes beautiful baskets, is a a Resident Artisan at North House. She will present a Lunch & Learn about willow basketry at noon on Thursday, Aug. 6, on the North House Facebook page.
And the Grand Marais Art Colony will feature mixed-media artist Bevie LaBrie as the takeover artist on its Instagram page Thursday and Friday. Bevie taught at the Art Colony for several years. She explores the intersection of nature and human experience through an intuitive process that uses reclaimed materials and mixed media.
Also on Thursday at 7 p.m., Bill Hansen will give a presentation about being a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda before he was evacuated due to the Coronavirus pandemic. He has great stories to tell and photographs to share about his experiences in the East African country.
Cook County Higher Education is sponsoring the online event. Registration is required to listen to his presentation, “Uganda: My Peace Corps Story.” Click here to register or call 218-387-3411. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WTIP’s The Roadhouse is setting up the back deck as a mobile music studio these days, and inviting musicians to play “live” for the program, which is aired from 5-7 p.m. on Fridays.
Last week, Nashville singer/songwriter Jerry Vandiver & Friends (including Caitlin Evanson and Jay Gustafson) played a few sets and talked about their music on The Roadhouse.
You can listen to their performance here. (Note: Vandiver makes a point of canoeing in the Boundary Waters every year, and he came again for his adventure this year.)
This week, tune into The Roadhouse from 5-7 p.m. Kenna Rose will be playing on the back deck.
There’s a great selection of new painted trash barrels around town this week, thanks to a grant from the Cook County Chamber of Commerce’s Great Place Project and a collaboration between the City of Grand Marais, the Creative Economy Collaborative and the Grand Marais Art Colony.
Earlier this year, the City of Grand Marais, in response to requests by downtown business owners, decided to increase the number of trash barrels to account for more people gathering outdoors this summer.
The Creative Economy Collaborative, as the arts advisory council to the City of Grand Marais, put out a Call for Artists for applications. Artists were invited to propose original artwork for the 8 new trash barrels donated to the city by Sawtooth Mountain Maple Syrup Company in Lutsen.
The two artists chosen were Sam Zimmerman, a Duluth-based painter and muralist who is a member of the Grand Portage Band, and Ole Sorensen, a Grand Marais-based abstract artist who just recently graduated from Perpich Arts High School. Zimmerman painted six barrels, Sorenson, two.
A new exhibit has gone up in the windows of the Grand Marais Art Colony‘s new building at 17 W. Highway 61. Entitled “Upcycled,” the exhibit features collages by artists crafted from the Art Colony’s summer catalog, which was rendered largely obsolete by the pandemic.
Here’s another piece in the exhibit:
The window exhibition continues through Aug. 31.
The Johnson Heritage Post is open for the season and is featuring an exhibit of works by George Morrison and Marcia Cushmore. The framed and archival and poster prints are available for purchase.
The Heritage Post is open from 1-4 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Covid protocols are in place.
In a few days, head up to the children’s playground at the Cook County Community Center to see the large mural crafted by youngsters in the Y Camp this week. Artist Sam Zimmerman designed the mural and then showed the children how to paint it, instructing them in a number of Ojibwe values and concepts as well.
The mural was a collaborative effort between the YMCA, the Grand Marais Art Colony and the Cook County Community Center.
Grand Marais has a grand tradition of plein air painting, started by Birney Quick and his art students from the Minneapolis Institute of Art, who trekked up here every summer to paint what they saw. Eventually, it led to the creation of the Grand Marais Art Colony, which is the oldest Art Colony in the state.
That plein air tradition has continued and grown through the years, eventually developing into a Plein Air Competition, drawing artists from all over the region to paint what they see in Cook County for a week, culminating in a great show at the Johnson Heritage Post. This year, though, Grand Marais Plein Air 202o is going virtual, and instead of fanning out all over the county in early September, participating artists are encouraged to “Paint in Place” in their home communities from June 1 – Sept. 18. This means the artwork is coming in early, and a new website has been developed to highlight all of the new work. The site includes an online store which opens Friday, bios and examples of work by the artists, a history of Plein Air in Grand Marais and much more. The Online Store opens at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7. Check out the new website and the store here.
Local Artists At Work:
Tom McCann has been in the Quetico.
Layne Kennedy was in town recently. Here are a few images he captured.
Fran Koscielak is knitting socks.
Jan Attridge has been painting portraits. This one: a deeply loved member of our community who passed away recently: Bob Pratt.
Ron Piercy is painting.
Felter Elise Kyllo is still in love with lichen.
Betsy Bowen has a new set of Comfort Cards.
Lee Ross is exhibiting her reconstructed collages at the Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis.
The Minnesota State Arts Board is now accepting applications for FY 2021 Creative Support grant programs for individuals and organizations. To find out more, click here.
Thursday, Aug. 6:
- Joe Paulik, Music on the Beach, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne & Friends, Date Night at the Winery, Make reservations at https://www.exploretock.com/northshorewinery or call at (218) 481-9280.
Saturday, Aug. 8:
- Tim Fast, Music on the Beach, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 9:
- Black River Revue, Weekend Wine Down, North Shore Winery, 3 p.m., Make reservations at https://www.exploretock.com/northshorewinery or call at (218) 481-9280.
- Music by the Lake, DJ Beavstar, Skyport Lodge, 4-7 p.m.
This is really a potpourri.
We found lots of photographs this week. Here’s a selection:
Flowers and plants:
Landscapes, waterscapes and skyscapes:
And finally, this beauty:
Have a great weekend, everyone! Stay safe.