Summer in Cook County officially begins over the Memorial Day weekend, and this year a wonderful new art event will be launched on the North Shore.
Called Art Along the Lake, the three-day festival hosted by art galleries in Cook County, offers a tempting array of cool exhibits, fascinating demonstrations. art classes and workshops as well as a chance to experience the incredible variety of art offered in galleries up and down the shore.
This weekend’s art experience actually kicks off on Thursday, when the spectacular larger-than-life Ojibwe Heritage Murals painted by David Gilsvik are revealed at the Heritage Center at the Grand Portage National Monument.
One of the murals focuses on community gatherings, another depicts the Ojibwe connections to Lake Superior, the third illustrates the artwork, beadwork, leather and weaving of the Ojibwe and the fourth focuses on inland activities like wild ricing and maple syrup. Gilsvik consulted with Tim Cochrane, Monument superintendent, Beth Drost, interpretive Park Ranger and Pam Neil, chief of interpretation, on the project. Everyone is invited to the opening reception from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, at the Heritage Center. Refreshments will be served.
Art Along the Lake begins on Friday, May 23, and continues through Sunday with three full-days of things to do and see. There’s a bronze pour, two music concerts, new exhibit openings, classes, demonstrations, and hands-on activities, including a puzzle-a-thon.
It’s a bit like an art treasure hunt, said Amy Demmer, executive director of the Grand Marais Art Colony. A brochure of the galleries in the county has been produced by the collaborative effort between the art galleries and the Cook County Events Bureau, and it describes what can be found at each of them. This weekend offers people the opportunity to get out and explore places they might have never seen before as well as see new work at their favorite galleries, Demmer said.
Here’s what you can experience this weekend:
Friday, May 22:
- Hand Papermaking Class, 9 a.m. to noon, Grand Marais Art Colony. (fees apply)
Opening Day at the Cross River Heritage Center, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a new exhibit on the history of old-time resorts in Schroeder and art by Ojibwe bead worker Marci McIntire and painter Bruce Palmer.
- Oil painting class with Joi Electa, 3 p.m., Cascade River State Park (fees apply)
- Art Along the Lake Gallery Gala Kickoff, Johnson Heritage Post., 7:30 p.m. Refreshments, jazz guitarist Briand Morrison will play.
Saturday, May 22:
- Intro to Letterboxing and Paper Marbling, 9 a.m. to noon, Grand Marais Art Colony (fees apply)
- Oil painting class with Joi Electa, 9 a.m., Trail Center (fees apply)
- Sculpture Bronze Pour, 10 a.m., Last Chance Gallery with Tom Christiansen
- Kids Make-and-Take activities at Joy & Co., formerly known as The Garage, 10 a.m. -2 p.m.,
Nordic WoodenWare bowl turning demonstration with Cooper Ternes, 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., at Joy & Co.
- Silver jewelry making demonstration, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Kah Nee Tah Gallery
- Oil painting demonstration by Neil Sherman, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sivertson Gallery
- Ukranian Egg Painting demonstration, 1 p.m., Cross River Heritage Center
- Throwing clay pots demo, 1 p.m., Grand Marais Art Colony
- Music from the Tip O’ the Arrowhead exhibit, opening reception, 1-4 p.m., Cook County Historical Society.
- Natural Dye & Bookbinding classes, 2 p.m., Grand Marais Art Colony (fees apply)
- Screenprint a T-Shirt, Community Ink Day with Mike Swindlehurst, 2-4 p.m., Grand Marais Art Colony. (fees apply.)
- Gordon Thorne plays at Last Chance Gallery, 3-5 p.m.
Writer’s Salon with Chel Anderson, 5 p.m., Drury Lane Books.
- Painting & Wine Party with Joi Electa, 5-8 p.m., Joy & Co.
- SplinterTones concert at What’s Upstairs Stage, 7:30 p.m., Tickets at the door.
Sunday, May 24:
- Asian & Western Bookbinding class, 9 a.m., Grand Marais Art Colony
- Kids Make & Take Activities, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Joy & co.
- Photographers Larry & Linda Dunlap at Johnson Heritage Post, 10 a.m., for coffee and conversation
- 3D printer demonstration, 1-3 p.m., Joy & Co,
- Masterpiece Puzzle-a-thon, 1-6 p.m, Grand Marais Art Colony
- Eric Frost & Bill Hanson play at Kah Nee Tah Gallery, 2-4 p.m.
- Sculpture Bronze Pour with Tom Christiansen, 4 p.m., Last Chance Gallery
- Spring Fling Jazz Concert with Chris Gillis & Friends, 7:30 p.m., What’s Upstairs? Stage.
Betsy Bowen’s Studio and the What’s Upstairs? Stage open for the season in the Old Playhouse building this weekend and they are a must-see — there have been some wonderful changes over the winter.
First, Bowen has changed the name of her studio to Betsy Bowen Studio & Galleries. It now features her studio with her woodcuts and books and other artwork, including local pottery. Stephan Hoglund has a space in her gallery now, too. His Borderlands Gallery features art jewelry as well as wedding and portrait photography.
Upstairs, Wickwire Clayworks, featuring handmade ceramic tiles and pottery is located and a new studio, Ron’s World Rocks, is tucked into the corner of the redesigned stage area. His work features silver and gems and fascinating rocks.
All the old theater seats have been removed from the stage area and the covers over the big windows in the back have been removed, too, making it light and airy. It has also become a flexible performance space with a bigger dance floor and more sit-down space, perfect for the upcoming concerts this weekend, Bowen said.
Bowen is one of the artists who began organizing the Art Along the Lake event. Marcia Hyatt (co-owner of Last Chance Gallery), said in a radio interview on WTIP Community Radio recently, that she and Betsy got together over the winter and started talking about ways they, as gallery owners, could collaborate. They began talking to other gallery owners and soon a new collaboration was born. The updated version of the gallery guide was one result, as is the 3-day art event called Art Along the Lake. “It’s been the most effective, fun, planning project I’ve ever been involved in,” Hyatt said.
Another must-see this weekend is the Music from the Tip O’ the Arrowhead exhibit at the Cook County Historical Society. The exhibit celebrates 100 years of dances, pow wows, concerts, and festivals.
Follow the development of musical traditions from 1917 when the “outlaw” bridge border crossing allowed international gatherings… all the way to today’s music scene. Local venues and musicians are featured with photos, posters, and video. And there are lots of historical photos, too. The opening reception is from 1-4 p.m. Saturday.
In other art news, Isabel Wahlers was awarded the Eric Thomas Emerging Artist Award earlier this week. She will receive the opportunity to take an art class of her choice at the Grand Marais Art Colony, all expenses paid. This award celebrates the memory of Eric Thomas and his generosity, love of the North Shore and appreciation of fine art. Isabel is the first winner of this annual scholarship.
The Grand Marais Playhouse is seeking student summer interns. High school age students interested in learning about the production elements of theater including set construction, scenic painting, properties, costumes, lighting, sound and stage management are encouraged to apply. Interns are paid hourly. Hours vary and may include afternoon and evening times, dependent upon job and production schedule. Applications can be picked up outside the Playhouse office.
Briand Morrison will talk about his recent project “Musical Impressions: The Art of George Morrison” on WTIP radio at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Tickets are going fast for the Art & Ambiance Art Auction, a fundraiser for the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. The live auction features the best in art from Northwestern Ontario in a wide variety of media. Refreshments will be served and Robin Ranger and Damon Dowbak will play. The event will be held June 5. The preview starts at 7:30p.m. (EST) with the live auction at 8:30 p.m. Call 807-577-6427 for tickets and more information.
The Attic Gallery of American Crafts has just received new Minnesota dreamcatchers in a number of different sizes and styles.
Birchbark Book & Gifts has copies of “Falling Through Clouds” by Damian Fowler. The book tells the story of two sisters who were able to survive a plane crash near the Grand Marais airport in 2013. It’s a story of tragedy, survival and justice. The bookstore also has a big selection of books about fairies, including fairy gardens, fairy houses and fairy stories.
Sivertson Gallery has new Larchwood cutting boards and Lenore Lampi travel mugs and birch vases. Painter Tim Pearson has also brought in new work.
Thursday, May 21:
- Rod & Caribou, American Legion, 6 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne & Chris Gillis, Gun Flint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 22:
- Pushing Chain, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
- Maria Nickolay, Voyageur Brewing Co., 8 p.m.
- Gypsy Lumberjacks, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.
Saturday, May 23:
- Gordon Thorne, Last Chance Art Studio in Lutsen, 3 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne with Chris Gillis & Randy Sabien, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
- Michael Monroe, Log Cabin Concert, 7 p.m., reservations at 387-2919
- SplinterTones, What’s Upstairs Stage, Betsy Bowen Studio, 7:30 p.m.
- Jim & Michelle Miller, Voyageur, Brewing Co, 8 p.m.
- Gypsy Lumberjacks, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.
Sunday, May 24:
- Eric Frost & Bill Hanson, Kah Ne Tah Gallery, 2 p.m.
- Barbara Jean, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
- Chris Gillis & Friends, What’s Upstairs Stage, 7:30 p.m.
- Gypsy Lumberjacks, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.
Monday, May 25:
- Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, May 26:
- Sure on This Shining Night, Cook County High School Choir, 7 p.m., Bethlehem Lutheran Church 7 p.m.
- Jim & Michelle Miller, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, May 27:
- Open Mic Night, Gun Flint Tavern, 5 p.m.
We found lots of great photos this week. Here’s a sampling.
First, some great bird photos.
Michelle Munson noted that it was a little breezy for this robin when she posted this shot to the Frozen Photographers Facebook page.
And this one, by Michael Furtman is captioned: “Has it stopped raining yet, Ma?”
For this photo, Thomas Spence noted: “Coffee is on. Tent is up. Time to relax.
Nace Hagemann calls this “Foggy Morning.”
Paul Sundberg calls this beauty “Aurora at Caribou Lake.”
Mary Amerman caught this wonderful shot along Amity Creek in Duluth.
Here’s another shot of Amity Creek, this time by Gregory Israelson.
Here’s my pick for the dog shot of the week. Jack was a shelter dog from Virginia that came to Jamie Rabold and soon became “the best photo partner I ever had,” Rabold said. RIP Jack.
And last, but not least, here’s the storm shot of the week. Bryan Hansel took this photo at Shovel Point earlier this month after a two-day storm.
Have a great weekend, everyone. Enjoy Art Along the Lake!