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Taking the Plunge Into May

The Sawbill Beach Club on their first outing. (Courtesy Sawbill Canoe Outfitters.)

The Sawbill Beach Club on their first outing! Taking the plunge are Sawbill Crew (L-R) Bill Hansen, Huckleberry, Phil Lindgren, Dan Shirley and Brian Henry. (Courtesy Sawbill Canoe Outfitters.)

The 2016 season doesn’t officially start until Memorial Day, but we can get a taste of the great times ahead with an art opening, artist talk, art-making and lots of music.

The weekend kicks off with First Fridays, when participating galleries, shops and restaurants in Grand Marais extend their hours until 8 p.m., and offer refreshments and sometimes live music on the first Friday of the month. This First Friday will feature community art-making at Joy & Company, where participants can create a community mural on its back fence. Gina Macy will also demonstrate how to use a poi in performance art. Other retailers participating this month are Joynes Ben Franklin, Beth’s Fudge and Gifts, Birchbark Books & Gifts and Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply.

Also on Friday, the Grand Marais Art Colony hosts Elizabeth Erickson for an Artist Talk at 4:30 p.m.  in the Print Studio.  Erickson, who is teaching a class this weekend at the Art Colony, is a painter, poet, and educator and was a founding member of the Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota.

"Planes of Light" by Elizabeth Erickson.

“Planes of Light” by Elizabeth Erickson. She will give an Artist Talk, “Influences and Directions” at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Grand Marais Art Colony.

Erickson will share what has influenced and given direction to her own work in the Artist Talk. The event is free. All invited.

Also on Friday, the Johnson Heritage Post opens the season with a new exhibit,  “The Collection of a Lifetime,” with a reception from 5-7 p.m. This is an exhibition and sale of work by a private collector. It should be an extraordinary show with paintings by a great selection of local and regional artists. A few of the artists in the exhibit include Byron Bradley, Mary Cowan, Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens, Jeanne Hedstrom, Tom McCann, Howard Sivertson, Liz Sivertson, Harvey Turner and Birney Quick to name a few.

Don Davidson, director of the Heritage Post, said there are 28 pieces for sale and a like number just on exhibit.

Here are a few examples of the works included in the show:

T"he Grand Marais Art Colony" by Harvey Turner.

“The Grand Marais Art Colony” by Harvey Turner.

"All Mush" by Liz Sivertson.

“All Mush” by Liz Sivertson.

"The Alchemist" by Birney Quick.

“The Alchemist” by Birney Quick.

With this exhibit, the Heritage Post opens for the season. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m daily, except for Tuesdays through May, and then it will be open seven days a week.

Kah Nee Tah Gallery in Lutsen is hosting a “Painting with Mom” class on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. with instruction by Kathy Fox Weinberg. The cost is $30 per person, and includes supplies, snacks and refreshments. For more info and to register, call the gallery at 387-2585.

Kathy Fox Weinberg will teach a Mother's Day Paint at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery on Saturday.

Kathy Fox Weinberg will teach a Mother’s Day Paint at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery on Saturday.

And next Thursday, the Grand Marais Public Library presents “Graphic Memoir: A Day in a Life” presented by COMPAS Artist, Pat Owen. on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 3:30 p.m.  The program focuses on creating a graphic memoir page – a story of a person’s day in words and pictures. Using simple techniques, each person, regardless of skill level, creates a colorful, fun, and meaningful graphic memoir page suitable for framing. The event will be held at 3:30 p.m. and is free.

In Duluth, the Homegrown Music Festival continues through Sunday. In all, 200 bands will perform in venues throughout the city and across the bridge in Superior, Wis. To see the complete schedule, click here.

The Duluth Art Institute has developed an interesting sidebar to the event with the Two-Part Homegrown Photo Show at the Red Herring Lounge in Duluth.

Andy Miller took this photo at the Homegrown Music Festival last year. It was in the opening exhibit of the Two-Part Photo Show.

Andy Miller took this photo at the Homegrown Music Festival last year. It was in the opening exhibit of the Two-Part Photo Show.

The first part of the photo show opened earlier this week with photos taken at last year’s music festival. At the opening, the Art Institute gave away a free camera to the first 30 people who showed up, with the caveat that they take photos during this year’s music festival and turn in the cameras with the results. These photos will be printed and exhibited at another opening at the Red Herring at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Also in Duluth, the Earth Day exhibit at Siiviis, “Waters Deep & Bright” continues through this month. The gallery’s artists each submitted 12×12 inch works created for the theme. One of the pieces is Marian Lansky’s “Soft Seas, Spring Hills.”

"Soft Seas, Spring Hills" by Marian Lansky.

“Soft Seas, Spring Hills” by Marian Lansky.

Also in Duluth, Bob Dylan fans and local history buffs should check out the new exhibit at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 902 E. 1st St. in Duluth. Curated by Bill Pagel from his huge personal collection of Dylan memorabilia, “Einstein Disguised as Robin Hood” features photographs, documents and more of Dylan’s life.

An exhibit on Bob Dylan opened at the Karpeles

An exhibit of rare Dylan memorabilia opened at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum this week.

Some highlights of the exhibit, according to a recent article in the Duluth News-Tribune, include a photo of him getting the Medal of Freedom from President Obama while wearing sunglasses, and a copy of the document when he changed his name from Bob Zimmerman to Bob Dylan in Hibbing in 1962. The exhibit continues through May 29. To get a flavor of Bill Pagel’s interest in Dylan, click here.

In Thunder Bay, three exhibits at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery will close this weekend. The contemporary art exhibits, which were part of the Urban Infill events, include “Canadian Contemporary 32,” from the collection of Dr. Bob Chaudhuri, “Three Minute Miracle,”  a film/multimedia presentation by Amalie Atkins and “Boundless,” a sculptural/drawing presentation Michael Belmore.

One of the pieces in the "Contemporary 32" exhibit at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay.

One of the pieces in the “Contemporary 32″ exhibit at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay.

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is gearing up for the Art In Design Spring Home Tour 2016, a self-guided home tour featuring Thunder Bay home designers as well as work by selected Thunder Bay artists in each location. The Home Tour is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, May 14. Tickets can be purchased the Art Gallery.


 A Call for Poetry –The Grand Marais Public Library is seeking poetry submissions for a Poetry Walk. The path will lead from the library’s front entrance toward the corner across from the Visit Cook County offices and Dairy Queen.  Application forms for those wishing to submit a poem may be picked up at the library, City Hall or on-line via the library website at www.grandmaraislibrary.org.  For more information, call 387-1140.

The Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness is sponsoring a photo contest for the photographer’s favorite spot in the BWCA. For more info, click here.


 The 3rd annual YMCA Dance Recital, “Reprise,” will be performed at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts at 7 p.m. May 13-14. Stay tuned for details.

Dancers perform at last year's YMCA Dance Recital. Photo by Bruce Johnson.

Dancers perform at last year’s YMCA Dance Recital. Photo by Bruce Johnson.

The Beaver House Family Fishing Festival and Grand Re-Opening will be held all day on Saturday, May 21 with a walleye fishing contest, minnow races, kids games with prizes, scavenger hunts and more.

Phil Heywood and Tim Sparks will be in concert at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. May 21. The concert is sponsored by the North Shore Music Association.

Art Along the Lake, a special celebration of art and artists in galleries in Cook County, is planned for Memorial Day Weekend. Special events and openings will be held at the Cross River Heritage Center, Last Chance Studio and Gallery, Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery,  Thomsonite Beach Inn and Suites on Lake Superior, North House Folk School, Grand Marais Art Colony, Joy and Company, Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery, Betsy Bowen Gallery & Studios, Sivertson Gallery and Nigii-Ozhitoomin Ojibwe Art Gallery. Brochures of the activities are available throughout the county. Stay tuned.

In other art news, a great new gallery has opened in town. Upstate MN: Northwoods Modern, the the dream shop of Kristofer Bowman,  had a soft opening last week where his many fans, with laughs and cheers, ripped the brown paper from the front windows, letting in light and a public view.

The celebration is just the beginning for what Bowman plans for his home decor/gift shop/art gallery at 16 1st Ave. W. in downtown Grand Marais, in Threads’ former space.

Kristofer Bowman opened Upstate MN last week.

Kristofer Bowman opened Upstate MN last week. The gallery is currently open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

“I want to connect people to beautiful things and I want them to use them,” he said. Bowman, who grew up in Aurora and lived and worked in Indianapolis for years, has a degree in art history and has a deep philosophy about what he puts into his shop.

The contemporary work he is buying from artists and artisans in the region and around the world reflect “where we are, through tones, materials and form,” he said. The shop is an experience of the Northwoods and the modern world. There is delicate pottery and rough-hewn pieces, sensuous textiles, brass pencil sharpeners, painted paddles, carved wooden spoons, lavender … The collection surprises and sparkles the eyes. And it will grow, he said. Bowman believes in purchasing from artists outright to support their work and their lives. And, to help stock his shop with artists’ work, he has started an indiegogo campaign to raise $15,000 to that end. He’s raised more than $8,000 so far, which has already gone out to his artists, he said. Bowman hopes to reach his goal in the next two weeks. Meanwhile, there’s a shop to run, people to meet, creativity to be shared. Upstate MN is open on the weekends.

And here’s news about another completed project. Kathy Rice’s second cookbook, “The Secrets of the Pie Place Cafe:Recipes and Stories Through the Seasons,” published by Lake Superior Port Cities, Inc., will be launched at the Johnson Heritage Post on May 24. The reception is from 5-7:30 p.m. Rice will read from her book at 6:30 p.m.

Sivertson Gallery has received new paintings by David Gilsvik from his birch tree series.

Painting by David Gilsvik.

Painting by David Gilsvik.

The gallery is expecting 10 paintings in the series.

The Blue Moose opens for the season on Friday with a number of new artists. including  potter  Joan Slack of River Run Arts, who decorates her vases, wall plates, plaques and tiles with Northwoods images. The gallery is also featuring Jan Johnson, a jeweler who lives on the Gunflint Trail who uses Lake Superior stones on her earings and necklaces.

And finally: Keeping Up with Cellist Yvonne Caruthers. As we have noted, Caruthers is performing in the symphony for Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Kennedy Center with the Washington Opera. The opening was April 29. Here’s a link to her latest blog: reviews of the first two operas in the cycle performed so far. (Caruthers always adds lots of links and related (and non-related) material in her blog, plus photographs, etc., so they’re fun to read.)

Now, the music for the weekend:

Thursday, May 5:

  • Gordon Thorne, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.

Friday, Mary 6:

  • Timmy Haus, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • Paul Mayasich, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 7:

  • Plucked Up String Band, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • The SplinterTones, American Legion, 7 p.m.
  • Paul Mayasich, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 8:

  • Briand Morrison, Moguls Grille & Tap Room, 11 a.m.
  • Jazz with Briand Morrison, Gun Flint Tavern, 3 p.m.
  • Jim & Michele Miller, Gun Flint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 10:

  • Jon Kallberg, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.

We found lots of photographs this week. Here’s a sampling.

First, some wildlife shots.

Spruce grouse by Thomas Spence.

Spruce grouse by Thomas Spence.


Northern cardinal by Paul Sundberg.

Northern cardinal by Paul Sundberg.


Northern River Otters by Michael Furtman.

Northern River Otters by Michael Furtman.

And, some landscapes.

Jay Cooke State Park by Becky Poirier.

Jay Cooke State Park by Becky Poirier.


"Vacation was lovely, but home is pretty special, too" by Sarah Jorgenson.

“Vacation was lovely, but home is pretty special, too” by Sarah Jorgenson.


Photo by Kristofer Bowman.

Photo by Kristofer Bowman.


"Clear Reflection at Sunset" by Don Davison.

“Clear Reflection at Sunset” by Don Davison.


"Digging to keep it cool around here" by Jamie Rabold.

“Digging to keep it cool around here” by Jamie Rabold.


Here are some people who kept it cold… swimming at Sawbill at ice out.

And this beauty!

Milky Way at Split Rock by Greg Lundgren.

Milky Way at Split Rock by Greg Lundgren.


True, blue…

Shovel Point Overlook by Glen Sande.

Shovel Point Overlook by Glen Sande.

Enjoy this one!

"Harley's Boat (iPhone app) by David Johnson.

“Harley’s Boat (iPhone app) by David Johnson.

Have a great weekend, everyone!




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