Greetings from the North Shore, where we are waiting for rain.
So yes, it is very dry. Everybody is being advised to be very cautious when they’re out in the woods. Visit Cook County, after consulting with Sheriff Pat Eliasen, decided to cancel the Gunflint Trail’s Biggest Blueberry Contest due to the state’s ongoing drought.
“The drought has led to a shortage of berries and overall food source for Minnesota black bears preparing for hibernation in addition to creating a very high fire danger,” VisitCookCounty stated in a press release. “Participating resorts, outfitters and other weigh stations may continue to weigh blueberries, however, winners will be selected from any submissions made prior to July 20.”
Nevertheless, people are still enjoying this beautiful place.
There’s lots happening this week, too.
First up, Grand Marais potter Melissa Wickwire will be interviewed by MPR’s Angela Davis today, Thursday, July 22, on a program Davis is hosting about loneliness in older people. The program will air from 11 a.m. to noon. Wickwire is scheduled to be interviewed around 11:30 a.m.
During the pandemic, Wickwire, who makes ceramic tiles, responded to a call for artists from Springboard for the Arts to apply for a mini-grant entitled “Artists Respond: Combating Social Isolation”. The organization offered a mini-grant for artists to support projects that impact their communities within a 60-day timeline.
“I thought about this and what came to mind was how much we are all missing real life hugs,” Wickwire writes. “As I was drinking from the mug I use daily, often several times daily, I recognized it’s comforting presence in my day holding my hot beverage with two hands and nearly hugging it. Of course, this is no substitute for real human interaction, but nonetheless it is a comfort.
“I felt inspired to request funding for a project I called Mug Hugs to create handmade ceramic mugs to be delivered with our local Meals on Wheels. My hope is that some of our most isolated community members received a bit of comfort and human connection in the form of these 25 mugs.” (Note: Wickwire’s mugs were delivered to members of the community in March.)
Also, starting on Thursday, basketmaker Jo Campbell-Amsler will be demonstrating willow basketmaking at North House Folk School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. She will be demonstrating on campus through Sunday.
This week’s Grand Marais Art Colony‘s Instagram Artist Takeover is with Steven Spazuk and Danielle Delhaes. They will be posting to the Art Colony’s Instagram page on Thursday and Friday.
Steven Spazuk is a visual artist internationally known for his work with fire. His work highlights the duality of human nature which is reflected in destructive and constructive forces of fire, his medium of choice. Danielle Delhaes is a sustainability educator and consultant. Together, they are the creators of the Reverence series, a unique collection of works of art based on the traces left by living creatures. To see their posts, click here.
On Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m., Sylvia Berka will be exhibiting a series of paintings she created during her senior year of high school entitled “Art Behind the Novel.
The paintings will be on exhibit at Studio 21. All invited.
Also on Thursday, the Grand Marais Playhouse will open the first in-person play of the season at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. “The Birthday Club” is a comedy where five women get together for their birthdays, each with her own story, to drink, celebrate, commiserate and support each other as they negotiate through marriage, work, divorce, birth and kids, while solving the problems of the world.
Performances will be July 22-25 at 7 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. The cast includes Diane Stoddard, Claire Smith, Alyssa Hedstrom, Amanda Hand and Jaye White. The play is directed by Sue Hennessy.
Tickets are $15 for under 18, $25 for adults and $50 for groups up to 5. Tickets are available at grandmaraisplayhouse.com Performances will follow current Covid-19 protocol.
On Friday, Hazel Belvo and Marcia Cushmore open a new exhibit at the Johnson Heritage Post entitled Two Stories: Juxtaposition During a Covid Conversation. The opening reception from 5-7 p.m. on Friday.
Each work in the exhibit consists of two paintings, a square and a rectangle, observational and abstract, glazing and impasto and two entirely different expressions by two very different painters.
According to the press release, the exhibition is a result of living in isolation during the Covid quarantine. Both artists had different responses to this experience. Cushmore could not paint and Belvo had to paint to maintain sanity. So Cushmore read constantly and Belvo designed a different challenge in painting – one of intense observation and classical still life (which she had never pursued) oil painting on 20’ x 16” rectangle canvases as in her 1950s training.
This developed into a conversation between the two artists and the post-modern concept of Juxtaposition became the subject. Cushmore, a colorist and abstract painter, started responding to Belvo’s works using the same palette and deconstructing the imagery. She chose her traditional format of 12” x 12” canvases. More information about the exhibition can be found at: https://www.cookcountyhistory.org/johnson-heritage-post-art-gallery
The opening reception is from 5-7 p.m. Friday. All invited.
Saturday begins with the opening of the Cook County Market, which is held in the parking lot of The Hub from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring a wide variety of local artists and artisans.
Also at 10 a.m. on Saturday, the Grand Maris Art Colony will host an Artist Talk at Studio 21 featuring painter and printmaker Carolyn Swiszcz.
Swiszcz, creator of colorful, texture-filled images of architecture and businesses from the first-ring suburb in St. Paul that she calls home. She’ll share what she sees in these subjects and the simple but innovative techniques used to render them. She will also describe some of her tricks for finding surprise and inspiration in an often hum-drum world. All invited. Free.
At noon on Saturday, the Grand Marais Garden Club will hold its annual flower show at the Cook County Community Center. The theme this year is Oldies and Goodies.
The Flower Show will featured beautiful flower arrangements, a Master Gardener display and a plant exchange/sale. The community is invited to bring arrangements for display by 11 a.m. Donations accepted. All welcome.
And, for the big event of the day: The Celebration of Life for Joan Drury will begin at 3 p.m. on the beach by Drury Lane Books on Saturday to honor her and her amazing legacy.
Beverages and light snacks will be provided. A potluck will follow. All invited.
Also on Saturday, the Clearwater Historic Lodge will hold its annual birthday celebration with a night of music and dancing starting at 7 p.m. The North Shore Community Swing Band will play.
Refreshments and snacks will be available. All invited.
On Tuesday, July 27, Elise Kyllo will showcase her work in an exhibit in the Boat Barn at North House Folk School entitled “Fully Felted Finale” with a reception from 5-7 p.m.
Fully Felted Finale showcases of the felt work of Elise Kyllo and celebrates her two and half year journey working with wool and the great gifts of time, space, and mentors in the Artisan Development Program at North House Folk School. Opening night is from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27. Exhibit dates are Tuesday-Thursday July 27-29 and Sunday-Tuesday Aug. 1-3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Artists at Work:
Here is a small collection of what we found this week:
Thursday, July 22:
- Kilborn Quartet, Cascade Lodge Restaurant & Pub, 6 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne, North Shore Winery, 7 p.m.
Friday, July 23:
- Bug Dope, Birch Terrace Deck, 5 p.m.
- Jim McGowan, WTIP The Roadhouse, 6 p.m.
- Gunflint Tavern, TBD
Saturday, July 24:
- Tom Knutson, Cook County Market, 11 a.m.
- Fleetwood Maki, Birch Terrace, 3-7 p.m.
- Joe Paulik, Cascade Restaurant & Pub, 6. p.m.
- North Shore Community Swing Band, Clearwater Lodge Annual Birthday Dance, 7-10 p.m.
- Gunflint Tavern, TBD
Sunday, July 25:
- Harrison Olk, North Shore Winery, 3 p.m.
- Fleetwood Maki, Music by the Lake, Skyport Lodge, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, July 27:
- Gordon Thorne & Friends, Gunflint Tavern, 7 p.m.
Here are a few photos we found this week:
Landscapes, Skyscapes & Waterscapes:
Have a great weekend, everyone!