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Shakespeare, Van Gogh & a 25th Anniversary


Sarah Reller and Josh Capps climbed up the stairs of the fire tower on Mt. Sophie recently and here’s what they saw. Enjoy! Photo by Sarah Reller.

Mmmmm-mmm– fall colors are at their peak on the North Shore. This weekend also brings an incredible array of art experiences.

It kicks off at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in Thunder Bay on Thursday with the opening of an exhibit of nine paintings by European masters, including Vincent Van Gogh, Peter Paul Rubens, and Jacopo Tintoretto.

"Circle of Jan Gossart (called Mabuse)(Netherlandish, about 1478 – 1532)
Unknown, portrait of a man, c. 1520

“Circle of Jan Gossart (called Mabuse) Netherlandish, about 1478 – 1532)
Unknown, portrait of a man, c. 1520, is one of the works in the new exhibition at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

Entitled “The Unvarnished Truth: Exploring the Material History of Paintings,” the exhibit, developed by the McMaster Museum of Art, is exciting because not only can we see these incredible works, but each painting also includes texts and images of what a team of researchers found when they examined the paintings closely. Using a variety of techniques, including x-ray technology, they looked at how the paintings were created and what lies beneath the surfaces. They found some surprising things.

It’s a fascinating exhibit, according to The Walleye Magazine. And, this Thursday, one of the researchers, Dr. Brandi Lee MacDonald, will give a presentation at the gallery at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) on the challenges and rewards of doing this kind of investigation on honored art works.  MacDonald is currently the Senior Research Scientist at the University of Missouri nuclear reactor. Her interest in analyzing paintings for “The Unvarnished Truth” project was sparked by the unique intersection of physics and art history. The presentation is open to the public. Pay-What-You-Can (Suggested $5). The exhibit continues through Nov. 27.

And, to really complicate your traveling life, the Tweed Museum of Art is opening the exhibit “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare” with the opening reception on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Tweed.


“First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare” opens at the Tweed Museum of Art on Thursday. The First Folio! is on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the first time it has been on nationwide tour, and the only place it will be on exhibit in Minnesota.

The exhibition of the First Folio!, which is a collection of 36 of the Bard’s plays, including “MacBeth” and “Julius Caesar,” launches Shakespeare-themed programming throughout Duluth, including dance performances, art exhibits, theater productions, music and more.

On Saturday night, for example, the theater company, Wise Fool Shakespeare, will open its production of  “Othello” at the Lincoln Park Middle School in Duluth at 7:30 p.m. Performances continue through Oct. 17. For tickets and more info, see www.wisefoolshakespeare.com.

For details on all the Shakespeare-themed events in Duluth this month, click here.  The First Folio! exhibit at the Tweed continues through Oct. 26.

Also on Thursday, the Cross River Heritage Center will hold its annual fundraiser. The “Beer and Wine Tasting Gala” is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. All welcome.

Friday brings another great art experience when Will Bentsen’s playful and inspiring exhibit, “The Summer 100 + Monuments & More,” opens at the Betsy Bowen Studio & Galleries with a reception from 5-7 p.m. The show is presented by Jim Sannerud and Kristofer Bowman.

Bentsen, a Texas native who now lives in St. Paul, has created new work for this show, and the 100 pieces will be exhibited on one large table, just to give you a sense of the scale of his work.

Sculptures by Wll Bentsen.

Sculptures by Will Bentsen.



Sculpture by Will Bentsen.

Using both traditional and nontraditional materials, Bentsen’s work is often fun,  irreverent and experiential.  He has exhibited nationally, and his work is held in many private collections. The show will remain open throughout the weekend. The show, Bowman says “will inspire story and play within you. We look forward to seeing you there with eager eyes and imaginations.” All welcome.

Saturday will be a totally busy day.

For starters, the Cook County Farm and Craft Market opens in the Senior Center parking lot at 9 a.m. and is open until 1 p.m.

At 11 a.m., photographer Tim Ostroot will be at the Cross River Heritage Center on Saturday to talk about his photography.

Photograhy by Jim Ostroot.

Photograph by Jim Ostroot.

Ostroot is one of the artists exhibiting at the Heritage Center this month.

And, for a great celebration of art and printmaking, join Betsy Bowen at the Betsy Bowen Studio & Galleries for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the publication of “Antler, Bear, Canoe” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

"Antler, Bear, Canoe" celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

“Antler, Bear, Canoe” celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

This classic book of prose and original woodcuts was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1991. The book captures the vibrant magic in each Northwoods’ day, and Bowen’s warm and unusual approach to the alphabet has introduced children to the cyclical rhythms of life in the Northwoods for 2, going on 3, generations of readers.

Lots of fun things are planned, including S’mores in the backyard, and The Plucked Up String Band will play from 2-4:30 p.m. All invited.

Bowen will also have exclusive prints and images from “Antler, Bear, Canoe.”

Betsy Bowen shows the first inking of a print of "Antler, Bear, Canoe's" cover from the original woodblock. Jim Sannerud helped Bowen adjust the thickness of the block so it would fit on her press. Copies of the exclusive print will be available.

Betsy Bowen shows the first inking of a print of  the book cover for “Antler, Bear, Canoe” printed from the original woodblock. Jim Sannerud helped Bowen adjust the thickness of the block so it would fit on her newer press. Copies of the finished print will be available at the celebration on Saturday.


Also, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, the Grand Marais Public Library will present Drawing for Coloring with 3-2-1- Art Studio, a free program offered through the Arrowhead Library System. Participants will work with an artist to design Northwoods-themed coloring-book drawings which can then be submitted to the Arrowhead Regional Library Coloring Book Contest. Open to all ages. Free.

And finally, there will be a trunk show entitled “Appalachian Arts Go North” at North House Folk School on Saturday from 7-8 p.m.. The show will be in the Blacksmith Shop and will feature work by Molly Sharp (North Carolina — silver and pebble jewelry), Meredith Middleton (Tennessee — silver and steel jewelry),  Jan Homan (North Carolina — silver earrings) and David Voorhees (North Carolina — wood-fired pottery.)

Teapots by David Voorhees.

Teapots by David Voorhees.


Silver bracelet by Molly Sharp.

The public is invited to see this work by Appalachian artists. A portion of the proceeds will go to North House.

And not to forget, the fabulous Plein Air 2016 continues at the Johnson Heritage Post, with more than 200 paintings by Plein Air artists. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Mossy Hollow by Kathy Wheeler is one of the paintings in the Plein Air 2016 exhibit at the Johnson Heritage Post.

“Mossy Hollow” by Kathy Wheeler is one of the paintings in the Plein Air 2016 exhibit at the Johnson Heritage Post.


In Silver Bay, the Northern Lake County Arts Board will present “The Music & Magic of Patsy Cline,” including renditions of “Crazy,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall To Pieces,” and many more of the songs that made Cline famous, performed by Cassie and the Bobs. The performance will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at the William Kelly High School Auditorium.  Tickets and more information are online at www.northernlakecountyartsboard.com.


 Alisa Magallon, a professional opera singer with the Minnesota Opera, will present “MN Opera: Stories Sing!” at the Grand Marais Public Library at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13.  Children in kindergarten through the 3rd grade will make a puppet and use it to perform pieces taught in the story. Magallon will also read and sing a children’s book with an operatic theme. Open to the public. Free.

Tom McCann and Nancy Haarmeyer will give the Full Moon Reading at Drury Lane Books at 6 p.m. Oct. 15. This will be the last Full Moon Reading of the season. All invited.

The Grand Marais Playhouse will hold community wide auditions for its community youth production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Lead roles will be filled by actors in high school as well as adults, but high-school age community members are strongly encouraged to audition.

The Grand Marais Public Library and WTIP Community Radio, in conjunction with the Grand Marais Art Colony and the Library Friends of Cook County, are pleased to announce a Community Book Read of Linda LeGarde Grover’sThe Road Back to Sweetgrass.” “The Road Back to Sweetgrass” has been awarded the Native Writers Circle of the Americas First Book Award.

The program encourages as many people in the community as possible to read the same book, and to explore it and its themes, and how they relate to our lives in Cook County. There will also be a number of activities associated with the book, including a presentation by Grover at the library on Saturday, Nov. 5. Stay tuned for details or visit www.grandmaraislibrary.org.


The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council is seeking individuals in the Arrowhead Region who are interested in serving on Grant Review panels. This is a great opportunity for those who wish to serve with ARAC, but cannot commit to a 3-year board term. Panelists meet 1-2 times a year to review grant applications to the ARAC grant programs. Being a panelist is also a great way to learn about the granting process and how ARAC reviews and awards grants. For more info, click here.

In Other Art News:

 Two artists familiar to Cook County residents received grant awards from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council recently. Emily Derke of Duluth received 
support to create a new collection of basketry works, improve skills in aesthetic design and material use, and attend a 6-day willow basketry workshop, and Peter Pestalozzi of Ely received support to produce work based on a circumnavigation of Lake Superior by sea kayak.

Last Chance Gallery in Lutsen has received new work by Minnesota potter Guillermo Cuellar.

Guillermo Cuellar has a good selection of his work at Last Chance Gallery.

Guillermo Cuellar has a good selection of his work at Last Chance Gallery.

Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery is featuring handwoven woolens by Grand Marais weaver Mary MacDonald.

Mary MacDonald's handwoven blanket is at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery in Lutsen.

Mary MacDonald’s handwoven blanket is at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery in Lutsen.

The Blue Moose closes for the season on Oct. 23. They do, however, have a Christmas room in the upper building for early holiday shoppers, featuring a wide variety of items, including pieces from Sweden and Germany.

Great Gifts of Lutsen has a good selection of adult coloring books, as well as art supplies to make them beautiful.

Here’s the music for this weekend:

Thursday, Oct. 6:

  • Rich Matson and Germaine Gemberling, Gunflint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 7:

  • Pushing Chain, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • Black River Revue, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Rangers on Merlot, Grandma Ray’s, 8:30 p.m.
  • Pushing Chain, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 8:

  • Dat Dere Jazz, North Shore Winery, 1:30 p.m.
  • Jim & Michelle Miller, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • The Music & Magic of Patsy Cline, William Kelly High School Auditorium, Silver Bay, 7 p.m.
  • Briand Morrison, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
  • Black River Revue, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Rangers on Merlot, Grandma Ray’s, 8:30 p.m.
  • Dance Party with DJ Beavstar, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 9:

  • Common Ground, Gunflint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 11:

  • Bug Dope, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 12:

  • Gordon Thorne and Bob Bingham, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.

And here are some of the photos we found this week.

It’s fall, and we found lots of photos of fall colors, but it’s also the season of the harvest. Here’s Bella, Michael Furtman’s “famous” Labrador, hard at work.

Enthusiasm Defined by Michael Furtman.

Enthusiasm Defined by Michael Furtman.

Here’s another “harvest.”

Photo by Cameron Norman.

Photo by Cameron Norman.

And check out this harvest.

Our Leaf Collection by Hannah Barker Nickolay.

“Our Leaf Collection” by Hannah Barker Nickolay.

And we just had to include this one. Here’s the final harvest from one tomato plant.

Final Harvest. There are 75 tomatoes in this basket... all from one tomato plant. All the earlier ripe ones (about 50) are already consumed. Total: 125

Final Harvest. There are 75 tomatoes in this basket… all from one tomato plant. All the earlier ripe ones (about 50) are already consumed. Total: 125

It’s been beautiful in tree country this fall.

The Valley Wakes Up by David Johnson.

“The Valley Wakes Up” by David Johnson.


Coming Home by Don Davison.

“Coming Home” by Don Davison.


Sunrise from Oberg Mountain by Ryan Tischer.

“Sunrise from Oberg Mountain” by Ryan Tischer.


Photo by John Alexander Kay.

“Amazing Fall Colors Coming Your Way!” by John Alexander Kay.

And not to forget–the sun and the color orange are friends, too.

Photo by Kathleen Gray-Anderson.

Photo by Kathleen Gray-Anderson.


Sunrise at Canal Park-- American Integrity by Joanna Stal Bailey

“Sunrise at Canal Park– American Integrity” by Joanna Stal Bailey

Enjoy your weekend!!




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