North Shore Arts Scene

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Updated: 5 weeks 5 days ago

Hygge Week launched in Grand Marais

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 7:31am

Snowshoes in winter… hygge for sure. Grand Marais launches the first annual Hygge Week Feb. 9-15.

 Grand Marais is launching the first annual Hygge Week, Feb. 9-15. (Pronounced hoo-gah and is Danish for cozy, hyyge is a perfect festival for the North Shore) This week, visitors will enjoy all the splendors of a classic North Shore winter vacation, dogsledding, stargazing, fireside gatherings, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, with the added bonus of unique events to encourage the celebration and enjoyment of the wonderful things that make North Shore winters unique … and cozy.

 Hygge Week events:

Thursday, Feb. 9:

Getting Through Winter at North House Folk School. This week, the Folk School will screen the movie “Sherpa,” a film about Mount Everest and the Nepalese mountaineering industry. The film will be screened at 7 p.m. in the 501 Building on campus. All invited. Free.


Mumbling Drew and Liz Draper,  house concert at Art House B&B
8:30 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. for a Scandi Snack Bar – cookies, crepes, cheese & drinks. To hear a preview, tune into WTIP Community Radio at 4 p.m. today.

Mumblin’ Drew Temperante and Liz Draper perform at Art House B&B, 8 7th Ave. West, at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Drew Temperante and Liz Draper play clawhammer-driven old-time, and thumb-thumpin’ country blues. Temperante (resonator guitar, banjo) has spent countless hours playing as a street musician across the country, where he has picked up a collection of unique songs. He performs with acoustic bands in the Minneapolis area such as The Dumpy Jug Bumpers, who have championed awards from The Battle of the Jug Bands in Duluth. Draper (upright bass) is a veteran bassist of the Minneapolis scene having played with Charlie Parr, Cactus Blossoms, Ben Weaver and Lucy Michell. She currently plays with the Grammy award winning Okee Dokee Brothers. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.

Friday, Feb. 10:

Trollbeads Party at Sivertson Gallery, 4-6 p.m.

Full Moon Reading at Drury Lane Books, 5:30 p.m. Nordic Folk Tales, Poetry and Acapella Folk Songs by the bonfire, 5:30 p.m.

Performers include Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Erika Ternes, Yvonne Mills and Erin Swenson-Klatt, plus other singers and storytellers. Everyone invited. Free.

Friday Night Reels at the Grand Marais Public Library is screening “Blush” at 6 p.m. on Friday. Free.


Saturday, Feb. 11:

Hygge Wine Painting with Anna Hess, North Shore Winery, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Anna Hess will teach painting on glass at the North Shore Winery on Saturday. Reservations are required.

RSVP to reserve your spot at or call (218) 481-9280.

Card Stamping, Joy and Co., noon to 3 p.m.

Knitting by the fireplace, Voyageur Brewing Co., noon to 2 p.m.

Pincushion Mountain Family Ski Festival, all day at Pincushion Mountain.

Open Skate,  Cook County Community Center, skate rental $1.

Mukluk Ball with the Plucked Up String Band, 7 p.m., Voyageur Brewing.

The Plucked Up String Band will play for a Mukluk Ball at Voyageur Brewing on Saturday night.

Also on Saturday, the Grand Portage Lodge & Casino will host the 14th annual Snowarama, a fundraiser for Easter Seals kids.  The event draws in snowmobilers from around the state and Canada. Registration starts at 7 a.m. Saturday.

The 14th annual snowarama will be held at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino this weekend.

Peter Mack Bagpipe Concert, Grand Marais Public Library, Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. Mack, a resident of north central Minnesota, will be playing the Highland bagpipe in this concert. Concert goers will have opportunity to hear traditional marches, upbeat jigs, classic hymns and dlow airs. Mack plans to use a soft reed, however, ear plugs are available for those who might need them. All invited. Free.

At the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in Thunder Bay, Elizabeth Buset, whose exhibition “Swine” continues through March 5, will give an artist talk about her work at 7:30  p.m. (EDT) Thursday, Feb. 9 at the gallery.

One of Elizabeth Buset’s paintings in her exhibition, “Swine” at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. She will give an artist’s talk on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

The Duluth Art Institute‘ Members Show continues through next weekend.

“Minamalist Loon” by Tyler Johnson.

Richard Gruchalla and Carrin Rosetti will give a Fireside Chat at Sivertson Gallery next week. 6-7 p.m. Definitely recommended!


 The Grand Marais Playhouse will begin a two-part Theater Education experience next Tuesday, Feb, 14, for children in grade three through grade nine. The Lion King Experience is an immersive, project-based exploration of theater-making and is
intended to introduce theater to children. They will learn a variety  of theatre skills and then work on a production of  The Lion King Jr. For more information, contact the Playhouse at 387-1284

 Window Shopping

Mary MacDonald has her weaving at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery.

UpstateMN has a selection of Adam Gruetzmacher’s batter bowls.


Sivertson Gallery has a series of handmade dolls from Alaska natives.

An Alaskan doll at Sivertson Gallery.


Woodturner Cooper Ternes has a shop in Joy and Company.


Here’s the music schedule for the week:

Thursday, Feb. 9:

  • Bump Blomberg, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Mumblin’ Drew and Liz Draper, Art House B & B, 8 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 10:

  • Pushing Chain, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Portage, Grandma Ray’s, 6 p.m.
  • Mark Darling, Red Paddle Bistro, Gunflint Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Willie Waldman, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 11:

  • Shane Martin, Mogul’s Grille, 2 p.m.
  • Dat Dere Jazz, North Shore Winery, 3 p.m.
  • Pushing Chain, Lutsen Resort Lobby, 7 p.m.
  • Mark Darling, Red Paddle Bistro, Gunflint Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • Plucked Up String Band, Voyageur Brewing Co., 7 p.m.
  • Willie Waldman, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Cloud Cult, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 12:

  • Black River Revue, Papa Charlie’s, 3:30 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Gun Flint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 13:

  • Briand Morrison, Bluefin Grille, 7 p.m.
  • Communist Daughter, Monday Night Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.
  • Pete K, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 14:

  • Fred Anderson, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Moors & McCumber, Wednesday Night Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

We found some interesting photos this week. Here’s a sampling:

Christian Dalbec caught this Great Gray Owl making a very delicate landing.


Here’s an evocative image of a Great Gray Owl hunting by Michael Furtman.


Here are some plump-breasted beauties! Sandra Updyke said she seldom sees flocks of Bohemian Waxwings after the Mountain Ash Berries are all eaten.


Proof that winter is here. Photo by Kristofer Bowman.


“Good to be out of the house” by Ann Possis


Icy Shoreline by Sandra Updyke.


Ice Toupee by Scott Kroeker.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Winter Sun, Winter Moose, Winter Music

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 7:09am

It’s going to be a pretty quiet weekend in Cook County, as everyone recovers from the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon and settles in to enjoy the snow and quiet eves of February. There’s still lots to see and do, though — here’s a recap:

First up is the Ely Winter Festival which kicks off on Feb. 2 and runs through Feb. 12 in Ely. This festival always has an outstanding snow carving symposium, as welll as an art walk and tons of winter activities and competitions, as well as live music and dancing.

The Snow Carving Symposium is one of the highlights of the Ely Winter Festival.

Click here for more info and events schedule/

In Cook County, look forward to the Ski Party Festival at Lutsen Mountains, a weekend ski, snowboard and music festival curated by the folks at GNDWIRE Records. The festival runs on Friday and Saturday. Bands on Friday night include Dead Man Winter, Frankie Lee and The Pines.

The Pines is one of the bands playing the Ski Festival at Lutsen Mountains this weekend.

Apres-Ski on Saturday features DJ Lounge w/ Har Mar Superstar at 3:15 p.m. SIMS of Doomtree, Gramma’s Boyfriend and Night Moves perform on Saturday night.

Also on Friday, WTIP’s The Roadhouse will talk to the Minnesota band,  IfEyeMay, as well as as go over Lake Superior State University’s 2017 List of Banished Words. That interview is always fun. The Roadhouse airs from 5-7 p.m. on Friday.

Friday Night Reels continues at the Grand Marais Public Library with a film screening at 6 p.m. This week: “Indignation,”  a movie based upon a novel by Philip Roth, is on the playbill. Here’s  the trailer.

The movie is free, but seating is limited, so come early!

For live theater, this is the last weekend of the Grand Marais Playhouse‘s production of “Beauty and the Beast” at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets available at the door.

On Saturday night, the 6-piece dance band, The SplinterTones,  play at Grandma Ray’s from 7-10 p.m. Here’s a great opportunity to get out your dancin’ shoes.

The SplinterTones play at Grandma Ray’s on Saturday.

No cover charge. All invited.

And Sunday night is Classical Music night at Bluefin Grille. The music starts at 6 p.m. Free.

There are a number of intersting art exhibits up and down the North Shore.

In Duluth, the Members Exhibition is continues in the Great Hall at the Depot with the work of more than 175 member artists on view. This year, the People’s Choice Award went to Annie Schweiger’s oil on canvas, “The Winston,” chosen from a broad range of media and genres on display. The people cast their vote at the exhibition’s opening reception.

Annie Schweiger’s oil on canvas, “The Winston,” won the People’s Choice Award at the DAI Members Show.

The Members Exhibition continues through Feb. 24.

At the Tweed Museum of Art on the UMD campus, Tuesday, Feb. 7, Dr. Jennifer Webb will give a presentation  on the Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings on view from the museum’s collection.

The Ecstasy of St. Francis by Sebastiano Ricci, detail, is one of the paintings on exhibit at the Tweed.

The presentation is free and open to the public and begins at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The Thunder Bay Art Galley is currently exhibiting Stories of Contentment and Other Fables: Recent Drawings by Amanda Burk.

Full Circle (unrest) 2015, detail by Amanda Burk.

And, in Grand Marais, Betsy Bowen’s Studio continues exhibiting local and regional artwork through the winter. Pottery, paintings, prints, fiber art, jewelry and more are on exhibit.

Morning Sky by Heidi Sobanja. acrylic.

The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.


This year, Grand Marais is launching its first annual Hygge Week, Feb. 9-15. Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah)  is the Danish ritual of embracing life’s simple pleasures. Feeling relaxed, cozy and surrounded by the warmth of family, friends, community and fire, hygge encourages us to embrace all of winter’s pleasures and unique opportunities.

The Grand Marais Hygge Festival is set for Feb. 9-15.

There are lots of great activities planned, including Scandinavian themed menu items, a full moon reading with Scandinavian singing, a mukluk dance, cabin concert, art show openings and more. Stay tuned.

The Grand Marais Writer’s Guild will meet at the library at 6 p.m. Feb.16. Open to all writers. Free.


Interested in having a booth at the Grand Marais Arts Festival this year?

The Grand Marais Art Festival is July 8-9 this year. Applications are now open.

Jury applications are open via Zapplications Jan. 13 – March 12. Each summer the Grand Marais Arts Festival draws over 70 local and regional artists. Artists showcase their unique handcrafted work by the shores of Lake Superior and provide insight into their artistic process through demonstration and dialogue. The Festival will be July 8-9 this year. For more information, click here to learn more.

In other Art Colony news: A call has gone out for applications for a development manager at the Art Colony. The purpose is to establish, cultivate and lead a robust development program that includes donor relations, annual giving, planned giving, grant writing, event sponsorship and fundraising, and building towards a capital campaign. 2017 is the Art Colony’s 70th Anniversary, providing a unique opportunity for fundraising activities.

The Grand Marais Art Colony is hiring a development manager.

Click here to see a job description. Call 218-387-2737 for more information.

Local artists of every age are invited to participate in the Spirit of the Wilderness’ 8th annual themed art show. Each year, artists are challenged to produce work on the intersection between creativity and spirituality.This year, artists are asked to consider the phrase “Kindling Curiosity–Lighting the Creative Spark.” Artists may submit a maximum of two pieces of work. They can be dropped off at the Johnson Heritage Post Gallery March 20-21. The exhibit opens at the Heritage Post with a reception from 5-7 p.m. March 24.  The exhibit continues through April 9. Questions? Contact the art committee:  Bonnie Gay Hedstrom, Ellen Stubbs, Mary MacDonald, and Mary Ellen Ashcroft.

Intern postition open for MN Pottery Festival. Organizers of the MN Pottery Festival (Coyote Clay) are looking for an intern for this year’s festival.
The position includes social media marketing, e-newsletters, website updates, signage and surveys.
Advance work can all be done remotely, but we would like to have the Intern on site for both days to handle personal interviews and surveys. Ideal for a college student–looks great on a resume!

Throwing blind… one of the competitions at the MN Pottery Festival.

For more info, click here.

Window Shopping

Sivertson Gallery Staff just returned from Alaska. Here’s one of the beauties they found– a new carving by Ron Apangalook.


These treasure pots can be found at Upstate MN.


Great Gifts of Lutsen has these whimsical pieces by Brian Andreas.

Natalie Sobanja has new work at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery in Lutsen.

In Other Art News:

Songwriter Leah Thomas was recognized for two songs in the 2016 SongDoor International Songwriting Competition “Skylarkin'” and “Angel Motel” both  received Honorable Mentions in the Soft Rock category. “Skylarkin” was recorded by The SplinterTones in 2016 and is on their self-titled album.  “Angel Motel” is available on Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify.
All songs entered in the annual SongDoor International Songwriting Competition are screened by industry
professionals with real connections to music publishing, producers, artists and labels, and are judged by
industry pros who have worked with Neil Young, Justin Timberlake, Tony Bennett, Britney Spears, Kenny
Rogers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Fray, Train and dozens of other notable artists. Congratulations, Leah!

Sandra Updyke‘s photograph, Old Hovland Fish House,” was selected as the Best of the Year (architecture)  category at

Old Hovland Fish House by Sandra Updyke.

Artists continue their winter work. Here’s a new painting by Betsy Bowen.

Winter Studio Chair by David Sawyer. Painting by Betsy Bowen.

And here’s one by Tim Pearson.

Bear, by Tim Pearson.

And here are self-portraits in glass created by the staff, instructors and artists at the Grand Marais Art Colony the other day. The class was called “Faces.” It was the first time working in glass for many of them.

Faces… self portraits in glass.

And here’s the music for the week:

Thursday, Feb. 2

  • Jim & Michele Miller, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Boyd Blomberg, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Jon Miller and the Home Brews, Gun Flint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 3:

  • Briand Morrison, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • Billy Johnson, Mogul’s Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Jim & Michele Miller, Bluefin Grile, 6 p.m.
  • Mark Darling, Red Paddle Bistro, Gunflint Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • GNDWire Ski Party, Papa Charlie’s, 8:30 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik Group, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 4:

  • Gordon Thorne, North Shore Winery, 3 p.m.
  • Har Mar Superstar, Papa Charlie’s, 4 p.m.
  • Pete K, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Cascade Lodge Pub, 4 p.m.
  • Mark Darling, Red Paddle Bistro, Gunflint Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • Plucked Up String Band, Lutsen Resort Lobby, 7 p.m.
  • SplinterTones, Grandma Ray’s, 7 p.m.
  • GNDWire Ski Party, Papa Charlie’s, 8:30 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik Group, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 5:

  • Briand Morrison, Jazz Brunch, Mogul’s Grile, 10 a.m. to noon
  • Classical Music, Bluefin Grille, 6 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 6:

  • Molly Maher, Monday Night Songwriters, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.
  • Boyd Blomberg, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 7:

  • Briand Morrison, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 8:

  • Ben Kyle, Wednesday Night Songwriter Series, 8 p.m.

We found some great shots this week. Here’s a selection:

Sarah Reller caught this dynamic moment in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon as a musher comes into the Sawbill check point.

Sawbill Checkpoint by Sarah Reller.


Here’s a portrait of a Pine Marten by Paul Sundberg.


Snowy Owl by Jim Christiansen.


Spruce Grouse by Thomas Spence.


Red Fox on the Hunt by Paul Pluskwik.

Bryan Hansel took this photo last week, but you’d never know it was winter.  The reflected early light made the snow glow.

Winter at the Kadunce by Bryan Hansel.

Here’s an evocative image by Tom Kasper.

Gardens in Winter by Tom Kasper.

And finally, this invitation to contemplate the beauties that are Grand Marais.

Stone bench. Photo by Kristofer Bowman.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

P.S. Putting this blog together is a joy and is my contribution to the arts on the North Shore. If you like getting this post every week, please consider making a donation to help support it. Thank you!







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