North Shore Art Scene

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Cook County MN Arts and Entertainment Weekly
Updated: 52 min 39 sec ago

The Thank-You Bar, Chris Gillis & Friends

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 10:56pm

Night Sky by Travis Novitsky. Travis said he likes this time of year when the leaves fall off the trees and you can see the beauties of the night sky.

There are lots of interesting things going on this weekend.

First off is the dance installation, “The Thank-You Bar,” with Emily Johnson and Catalyst at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts Oct. 24-25.

There are four shows:  7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. They are all limited-audience shows — only 20 per performance, which will be held on the stage at the ACA.

This Bessie-award winning performance includes dance, live music, storytelling and visual images, connecting ideas of displacement, longing, and language to history, pre-conceived notions, architecture, and igloo-myth.

“The Thank-You Bar” was created and is performed by choreographer Emily Johnson with composers and musicians James Everest and Joel Pickard and features beadwork by celebrated artist Karen Beaver, costumes by Angie Vo and Kari Multz , lighting design by Heidi Eckwall and paper sculptures by Krista Kelley Walsh. The performances includes a companion concert by experimental music duo BLACKFISH (James Everest + Joel Pickard) at 9 p.m. Saturday night. There will also an art exhibit in the lobby of the ACA.
“The Thank-you Bar” first premiered in 2009 in Anchorage, and has toured across the USA to wide acclaim, propelling choreographer Emily Johnson into the national and international spotlight as a visionary contemporary dance maker.

In 2014, Emily Johnson/Catalyst received a Minnesota State Arts Board “Arts Touring” Grant to bring a series of performances and workshops to Grand Marais in 2014 -15.

There are some seats left for the performances. Tickets are available online at or, possibly, at the door.

There are two great music shows this weekend, too.  Chris Gillis & Friends will play at What’s Upstairs? above Betsy’s Bowen’s Studio at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights in what’s being called the Frank Gillis Fall Festival Reunion. The concert will feature blues, jazz & boogie woogie. This should be a fun night of music (and dancing) featuring Chris Gillis, Mike DeBevec, Carah Thomas, Max Bichel, Eric Hahn and Liz Sivertson. Bob and Tom Andrews, the drummer and bassist who played with Gillis’ father, Frank Gillis, will perform as well. Tickets are $10.

And the Clearwater Hot Club will play at the Gunflint Tavern on Friday and Saturday nights. Music starts at 8:30 p.m.

Members from both bands will be on WTIP’s The Roadhouse on Friday night talk about their music and play a few songs. The Roadhouse airs from 5-7 p.m.

There are also two wonderful art shows open this weekend, too.

Five Generations of Art & Craft, an exhibit at the Johnson Heritage Post, continues this weekend. Exhbitors include Ralph W. Smith, Glenn S. Smith, Nancy Daley, Jody Ouradnik, Amy Ouradnik and Madeline Burton. The exhibit continues through Nov. 2. The Heritage Post is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

Liz Sivertson is one of the artists exhibiting in the Legacy Exhibit at the Grand Marais Art Colony.

The Grand Marais Art Colony‘s Tour d’Art Home Legacy Exhibit continues this week, too, featuring the home tour artists: Birney Quick, Byron Bradley, Hazel Belvo, Marcia Cushmore, Sharon & Steve Frykman, Liz Sivertson, and select students influenced by these legacy artists. The exhibit continues through Oct. 26. The Art Colony is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Also this weekend, the Octoberfest Brewmaster Dinner featuring the Bent Paddle Brewing Company and a five-course dinner by Chef Judi Barsness will be at Waves of Superior Cafe at Surfside Resort on Saturday. To learn more and see the menu, click here.

There’s lots of music this weekend. Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, Oct. 23:

  • Billy Johnson, Gunflint Tavern, Oct. 23

Friday, Oct. 23:

  • .Portage Band, American Legion Post, 6 p.m.
  • Frank Gillis Fall Festival Reunion, Blues, Jazz & Boogie Woogie, What’s Upstairs?, 7:30 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Bluefin Grille, 8 a.m.
  • Gordon Thorne and Jim Ohlschmidt, West Branch Bar in Finland, 8 p.m.
  • Clearwater Hot Club, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 23:

  • Portage Band, North Shore Care Center, 6:30 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne & Jim Ohlschmidt, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Frank Gillis Fall Festival Reunion, Blues, Jazz & Boogie Woogie, What’s Upstairs, 7:30 p.m.
  • Clearwater Hot Club, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 27:

  • Pete Kavanaugh, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29:

  • Open Mic Night, Gunflint Tavern, 5 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Here is a selection of the great photos we found this week.

Kathy Gray-Anderson took this wonderful photo of Devil Track Lake.


Bryan Hansel took this beautiful photo of Devil Track Lake at a completely different time of day.


Here’s a peaceful fall shot by Ken Hupila.


Linda Ryma said these are her favorite falls on the Pigeon River.


Paul Sundberg took this iconic shot of fall leaves and blue sky.


Linda Slining captured the charm and beauty of fall on Lake Superior in this shot.


And here’s a great capture of pillars of northern lights. It’s by Laurie Kragseth.


For wildlife, here’s Nace Hagemann‘s moose munching on a twig. It is featured on the cover of the latest Northern Wilds. But, in case you missed it ….

Photo by Nace Hagemann.


And last, but not least, here are some  fat and happy geese.

Photo by Steve Gernonazzo.


Have a great weekend, everyone!





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Moose Madness Weekend!

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 12:41am

Northern lights graced the skies in Cook County the other night. Here’s a photo by Nace Hagemann documenting the night.

David Johnson calls this one “Old Frosty Rump.”

Fall’s Final Fling and/or  the Moose Madness Family Festival is this weekend in Grand Marais; there’s lots to see and do and it’s definitely moosey.

There’s a Moose Medallion Hunt, a Moose Cartoon Contest, a Moose Poetry Contest, a Moose Coloring Contest, a Moose Sumi-e  workshop, (at the Grand Marais Art Colony), a Moose Mosey (or Rut Run on the Rocks), a Moose-A-Zumba (under a tent), a Moosebassador (Michael Monroe) performing in Harbor Park, a Moose-A-Rama with the Muffin Man at Drury Lane Books, Moose Cookies and Moose Bucks that can be earned all over town.  Murray the Moose is on the loose, too, and available for photo ops throughout the weekend.

Oh, and Michael Monroe will be on WTIP Community Radio‘s The Roadhouse on Friday night to talk about his new CD, “The Call of the Moose.” He’ll sing a few songs, too. The show airs from 5-7 p.m. on Friday nights.

The Cook County Events Bureau has moved and will be in the new Tourist Information Center, right next to the Dairy Queen) all weekend. It’s Moose Central this weekend, and is the place to go to find out what’s happening, pick up entry forms for the contests, Moose Medallion Hunt clues and more.

And that’s just a brief listing of all the moosey things going on in Grand Marais this weekend. It’s a grand celebration at the end of fall and draws families throughout the region for a weekend of fun.

To see the complete schedule of events, click here.

North House Folk School is holding a Family & Intergenerational Learning Weekend, too, with a wide variety of courses and classes, including a special rate for adult/child pairs. See for all the course details.

There are also a number of public events at North House over the weekend including a Campfire Bannock & Outdoor Film Screening at 7 p.m. Friday. Over the Waterfall will play for a kid dance from 7-8 p.m. and an 8 p.m. community dance following.

On Saturday, there will be a Sled Dog Meet & Greet (with real sled dogs and mushers) from noon to 2 p.m.  and a spinning and knitting demonstration from 2-5 p.m.

Everyone is invited. Free.

Meanwhile there’s more going on in town, too, with two local artist book signings at Sivertson Gallery.

Kelly Dupre will sign the book she illustrated, “The Best Part of a Sauna,” from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the gallery on Friday and Betsy Bowen will sign the book she illustrated, “Plant a Pocket of Prairie at the gallery on Saturday from 11;30 to 2 p.m.

Mario Cianflone will be at the library at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Grand Marais Public Library will host Mario Cianflone for a special presentation on the history and music of the accordion at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Everyone invited. Free.

Also on Saturday, the Cook County Farm & Craft Market will be open for the last day of the 2014 season. The market is held in the Senior Center parking lot and features a wide variety of arts & crafts, homebaked goods, jams and more. It is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There are two wonderful art exhibits open in town as well.

The Five Generations of Arts & Crafts exhibit at the Johnson Heritage Post features a wide variety of artwork by the Ralph W. Smith, Glenn S. Smith, Nancy Daley, Jody Ouradnik, Amy Ouradnik and Madeline Burton. The exhibit continues through Nov. 2. The Johnson Heritage Post is open from 10 am. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.

Sculpture by Byron Bradley.

The Tour d’Art Legacy Exhibit continues at the Grand Marais Art Colony. The show features a selection of works by the founders of the Art Colony, Birney Quick and Byron Bradley, as well as artists closely associated with it– Hazel Belvo, Marcia Cushmore, Sharon & Steve Frykman and Liz Sivertson.  Work by some of their students is also included. It’s quite an amazing show, and highly recommended. The Legacy Exhibit  continues through Oct. 26. The Art Colony is open from 9 a.m .to 4 p.m. daily.

In other art news, here’s an interesting list of photography contests in the region and links to each:

Fall Color Photography Contest

Gunflint Trail Photo Contest
Over $100 in Sven & Oles Gift Cards up for grab
Lutsen / Sawbill / Tofte Photo Contest
Prizes from Bluefin, AmericInn, and Sawbill
Waterfall Photography Contest
Win a $1,000 resort stay in Babbitt
Moose Madness Photography Contest

Images on Bryan Hansel‘s new landscape calendar.

Speaking of photographers, Bryan Hansel has just released his calendar for next year: Northern Landscapes 2015. To find out more, click here.

And here are a few things to look forward to.

Chris Gillis will play two concerts at What’s Upstairs? above Betsy Bowen’s Studio Oct. 24 & 25. A number of musicians will perform with him, including the drummer and bass player from his dad’s (Frank Gillis) band. Stay tuned for details next week.

And, the premiere of “The Story of Winter,” a Kenny Blumenfeld and Alex Johnson film, opens at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis Oct. 24. The trailer is really funny… only in Minnesota. Check it out here (and get tickets if you’ll be in town.)

OK. Here’s the music line-up:

Thursday, Oct. 16:

  • Gordon Thorne, Gunflint Tavern, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 17:

  • Jim & Michelle Miller, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Bluefin Bay, Tofte, 8 p.m.
  • The Thunderheads, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 18

  • Mario Cianflone, History & Music of the Accordion, Grand Marais Public Library, 3:30 p.m.
  • Jeff Diethelm, Cascade Lodge Pub, 6:30 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • The Thunderheads, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 19:

  • Polka Fest, Grand Portage Lodge & Casino, noon to 8 p.m.
  • Steve Blexrud, Gunflint Tavern, 7 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 20:

  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 22:

  • Open Mic Night, Gunflint Tavern, 5 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne & Bob Bingham, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

It was hard to pick what photos to put up this week. There were a lot of wonderful ones. Here’s a selection. Enjoy!

“Fall Art Project,” by Thomas Spence.

Full Moon Over Grand Marais by David Johnson.

Lunar Eclipse by Paul Sundberg.

“Hollow Rock” by Linda Farwell Ryma.

Here’s Bryan Hansel‘s shot of the northern lights the other night, taken with a fisheye lense.

And, to finish off, here’s a moose haiku written last year for the poetry contest. And have a great weekend!

Silently walking,

through the woods, antlers brushing

the tall evergreen trees

Sonja Milkovich, Age 9

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