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Cook County MN Arts and Entertainment Weekly
Updated: 2 hours 57 min ago

Fun Times

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:49pm

Sandra Updyke took this luscious photo the other day.


It’s high summer in Cook County and the season will be launched with the beginning of the Grand Marais Playhouse’s Summer Theater Festival on Thursday night with the first performance of “Nunsense: The Mega Musical” by Dan Goggin at 7 p.m.

The cast of “Nunsense: The Mega Musical.”

The play with be performed in repertory with the comedy “Nana’s Naughty Nickers,” by Katherine DiSavino, Thursday through Sunday until Aug. 10. See for the complete schedule of performances.

The cast of “Nunsense” includes  Rena Rogers, Karina Roth, Karen Blackburn, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Micheala Peterson, Jan Healy, Gerry Grant, Don Grant, and Daniel Ditmanson.

Nunsense  was originally created from a line of nun greeting cards that the playwright, Dan Groggin, developed. He expanded the concept into a musical, which opened off Broadway in New York in 1985, where it ran for 3,672 shows— one of the most commercially successful Off Broadway shows ever. By the time the show closed, it had become an international phenomenon  and was translated into 21 languages with 5,000 productions worldwide.

The cast of  “Nana’s Naughty Nickers” includes Yvonne BlockJan HealyJulie Fredlund, Karl OlsonRon McClellanJane Gellner, Bill Shaffer and Tina Krauz.

Tickets can be purchased online at  or at the door.

Photo by Jim Christiansen.

This is the weekend of flower shows in Cook County. The Grand Marais Garden Club will host the 70th annual Flower Show at the Cook County Community Center on Friday, July 18, from noon to 5 p.m. The theme is “Birds, Bees and Blossoms.” Refreshments will be served. All invited.

On Saturday, the West End Garden Club will host its Flower Show at the Schroeder Town Hall from 1-5 p.m. The theme this year is “Around the World in 80 Bouquets.” The show will also include a program on minature gardens Refreshments will be served.

The Grand Marais Art Colony continues its Friday studio demonstrations with a demo in the clay studio by Natalie Sobanja at 10 a.m. The demo is free. All invited.

On Saturday, the  Cook County Farm & Craft Market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Senior Center parking lot.

Also at 9 a.m. on Saturday, author James Norton and photographer Becca Dilley who produced the book, “Lake Superior Flavors,” will be guests at a celebration between Drury Lane Books and the World’s Best Donuts. The Donut Shop was featured in the book.

The Bally Blacksmith Tent is open again this Saturday  between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. It is across the street from the Senior Center parking lot. The public is invited to enjoy refreshments, identify mystery artifacts from the old shop, share stories about the old days and learn about the renovation and documentation project at the Blacksmith Shop sponsored by the Cook County Historical Society.
At noon on Saturday,  WTIP Community Radio will broadcast the show that Mountain Stage Radio recorded at Unplugged at North House Folk School last year. Performers include The BoDeans, Dead Man Winter, Jill & Julia (Jill Sobule & Julia Sweeney), The Pines and the Jonathan Rundman Acoustic Trio. WTIP broadcasts at 90.7 FM.

Mountain Stage Radio Show is coming back to North House again this year. Find more information on this year’s Unplugged event, Sept. 11-14  and  buy tickets at

There are some great art exhibits to see this month, too. “Feels Like Home,” with beadpainting by Jo Wood and acrylic paintings by Don Lessard continues at the Johnson Heritage Post through July 20.

And the Grand Marais Art Colony is exhibiting watercolors by Tim Pearson in its Spotlight Gallery through the end of the month.

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery has a number of on-going exhibits this summer including “Nowhere is a Place,” paintings by Julie Cosgrove; “Moving Metal,” featuring 13 contemporary Canadian silversmiths, “Push: Contemporary Glassworks,” and an exhibit of Benjamin Chee Chee’s artwork from the permanent collection.

And the Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay is featuring three exhibits in its space: The Members’ Show, an exhibit of works by the Die Active Collective and a video artist.

In other art news, Threads is featuring paintings by Heidi Sobanja and Yelena Quistad and photography by David Johnson.

Great Gifts of Lutsen has cards by Betsy Bowen, Kelly Dupre, Sandi Pillsbury-Gredzens, Anna Hess and Jane Richards.

Kah Nee Tah Gallery in Lutsen is featuring watercolors by Marie Sweeney. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

July artists at the the Cross River Heritage Center include Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens, David Hahn, Travis Novitsky, Bruce Palmer, Rose Vastila, Alan and Shell Foeckler.

And here’s a great idea for writers: Shelby “Miss Guided” Gonzalez has organized a Writing Field School Oct. 3-5 at Lutsen Resort. It promises to “deepen your everyday writing skills and invite more creativity into your life.”

It also promises to:

  • Demolish your writer’s block – and learn exactly what to do next time you get stuck
  • Level up your writing skills
  • Get key insider insights on getting published
  • Write your first adventure story

Want a taste of what this 3-day event is offering? Visit You can also order a free “Writer’s Block Demolition Kit” on the site. (We ordered one.)

Meanwhile, there’s lots of great music this weekend. Here’s the schedule.

Thursday, July 17:

  • Joe Paulik, Music on the Beach, Lutsen Resort, 6 p.m.
  • Pete Kavanaugh, Sydney’s, 7 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Gunflint Tavern, 8 p.m.

Friday, July 18:

  • Briand Morrison, The Pie Place Cafe, 6 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Music by the Campfire, Eagle Ridge Resort Campfire, Lusten, 7:30 p.m.
  • Cherry Dirt, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
  • Black River Revue, Gunflint Tavnern, 9 p.m.

Saturday, July 19:

  • Boyd “Bump” Blomberg & Adam Moe,  Bluefin Grille, 7 p.m.
  • Pete Kavanaugh, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
  • Black River Revue, Gunflint Tavern, 9 p.m.
  • Dance Party with DJ Beavstar, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Monday, July 21:

  • Joe & Jessi, Gunflint Tavern, 7 p.m.
  • Pete Kavanaugh, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, July 22:

  • Timmy Haus, Gunflint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 23:

  • Eric Frost, Music on the Mountain at Moguls Grille, 9 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne and Bob Bingham, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.

Our favorite photographers were definitely out and about this week. Here’s a selection:

First up, taking a drink — moose-style and deer-style.


Photo courtesy Trail Center Lodge.


Photo by Michael Furtman.

Here’s one by Nace Hagemann … he noted that the mom guarded her chick as it warmed itself on the road.

Photo by Nace Hagemann.


Paul Pluskwik caught this fantastic shot of a loon family on a northern Minnesota lake.

Photo by Paul Pluskwik.


Here’s a great shot of an indigo bunting by David Brislance.

Photo by David Brislance.


Hawkweed and a butterfly… beautiful colors by Dennis Chick.

Photo by Dennis Chick.


Layne Kennedy captured this wonderful image of Minnehaha Falls in the Twin Cities.

Photo by Layne Kennedy


And Bryan Hansel captured this intriguing shot with an underwater camera.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.

There were some wonderful skyscapes, too. Here’s a gorgeous shot by Travis Novitsky.

Photo by Travis Novitsky.


And here’s what is coming down the pike — very soon!

Photo by Heidi Pinkerton.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


















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Grand Marais Arts Festival & Lots of Music

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 10:23pm

Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux admires a peony from her yard. She is performing in “Nunsense: A Mega Musical” which opens at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts next week.  Photo by her husband, Jay.


Here’s proof that summer has really arrived in Cook County — the peonies are blooming, and the Grand Marais Arts Festival opens on Saturday, just to mention a few of things to do this busy weekend.

On Friday, Caribou Highlands on Lutsen Mountain will host the Hopped Up Beer Fest on Friday and Saturday. The band, Fresh Hops, will play Friday night.

The Grand Marais Arts Festival will be held in downtown Grand Marais on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with more than 70 regional and local artists juried into the show.

There will be all kinds of activities and demonstrations during the Arts Festival, too. There will be lots of live music in Harbor Park (see music schedule below), a wide variety of art activities, including screen printing a T-shirt, making an accordion book with the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, gyotoku fish printing with Cameron Norman, creating clay characeters with Denise Tennen,  rock balancing with Peter Juhl and having your portrait drawn by David Hahn.

The Arts Festival also includes the Clothesline Art Sale with works donated by artists of every age. The pieces will be installed on real clotheslines in the Art Colony’s booth, and everyone is invited to check them out. The sale is a fundraiser for the Art Colony.

There will also be artist talks and demonstrations throughout the weekend, and art of every medium to admire and enjoy.

And members of the Northwoods Fiber Guild will be demonstrating on the lawn of the Johnson Heritage Post during the Arts Festival on Saturday. WTIP Community Radio will be broadcasting live from the festival, too.

There are a number of other events on the opening day of the Arts Festival, Saturday, as well.  The Cook County Farm & Craft Market will be open in the Senior Center parking lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The North Shore Hospital Auxilary will sponsor a pie social in the Johnson Heritage Post from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All invited. It’s also a great chance to see the latest exhibit.

The Cook County Historical Society is setting up a tent outside Bally’s Blacksmith Shop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The public is invited to come identify mystery artifacts found while cleaning the shop, share stories about the shop and learn about the renovation. 

And the Historical Society will hold its annual Planked Trout Dinner fundraiser at the Rec Park’s Recreation Hall that night at 5:30 p.m. For advance tickets, call 387-2883 or email 

Singer/songwriter Rachel Kilgore will be in concert at What’s Upstairs? above Betsy Bowen’s Studio at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

And Drury Lane Books will host a Full Moon Music event outside on Saturday night featuring music by Yvonne Mills and Friends at 8 p.m.

There are some wonderful art exhibits in the county, as well.

“Feels Like Home: Jo Wood Beadwork and Don Lessard Paintings” continues at the Johnson Heritage Post. The Heritage Post is open from 10 am. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

Watercolor painter Tim Pearson has an on-going exhibit at the Grand Marais Art Colony‘s Spotlight Gallery. The Art Colony is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

The Cross River Heritage Center  is hosting the 10th annual Lundie Vacation Home Tour at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The tour features homes in the Hovland area and a light supper at Naniboujou Lodge. The event is a fundraiser for the Schroeder Area Historical Society.For more info, click here.

Painting by Sandi Pillsbury-Gredzens.

And the Heritage Center is featuring a number of local artists this month, including work by painter Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens.

Here’s the music for this weekend:

Thursday, July 10:

  • Pete Kavanaugh, Live at WTIP ,  noon
  • Roxann Berglund and Briand Morrison, Live at WTIP, 1 p.m.
  • Bill Hansen & Eric Frost, live at WTIP,  4 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Music on the Beach, Lutsen Resort, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, July 11:

  • Michael Monroe, Live on WTIP, noon
  • Maria Nickolay, live on WTIP, 1 p.m.
  • The Wrong Omar, WTIP, The Roadhouse, 5 p.m.
  • Briand Morrison, The Pie Place Cafe, 6 p.m.
  • Portage Band, American Legion, 6 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Music by the Campfire, Eagle Ridge Resort, 7:30 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
  • The Wrong Omar, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12:

  • Bump Blomberg & Adam Moe, Harbor Park, 9 a.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Harbor Park, 11:45 a.m.
  • Eric Frost, Harbor Park, 2 p.m.
  • Pushing Chain, WTIP, 3 p.m.
  • Al Hedstrom, WTIP, 4 p.m.
  • Don Juan (John Gruber and Don Bauer), Sydney’s roof, 4-7 p.m.
  • Eric Hahn & Tom Van Cleve, WTIP, 5 p.m.
  • Whurl, WTIP, 6 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 7 p.m.
  • Rachael Kilgour, What’s Upstairs?, 7 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Log Cabin Concert, rural Grand Marais, 287-2919 for reservations.
  • Jim & Michelle Miller, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
  • Oversize Load, American Legion, 8 p.m.
  • Yvonne Mills & Company, Full Moon Music, Drury Lane Books,  8 p.m.
  • The Wrong Omar, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 13:

  • Gordon Thorne, WTIP, 8 a.m.
  • Briand Morrison, WTIP, 12:15 p.m.
  • Amy Schmidt, WTIP, 6 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik Band, Gunflint Tavern, 7 p.m.

Monday, July 14:

  • Jim & Michelle Miller, Gunflint Tavern, 8 p.m
  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, July 15:

  • Eric Frost, Gunflint Tavern, 8 p.m.

We found another group of great photos this week. Here’s a selection.

The dragonflies are beginning to appear, but this one was new to me. It’s a crimson-ringed-whiteface dragonfly. The photo was taken in a bog by Kathy Anselment-Nelson.

Photo by Kathy Anselment-Nelson.


Here’s another water-loving animal. Nace Hagemann shot this one.

Photo by Nace Hagemann.


David Johnson caught this interesting series of photos of a moose cow and her twin calves. First, enjoying the day, then sensing danger/a threat, and then moving on. Check it out.

Eating fresh grass by David Johnson.

“And then the wind switched,” by David Johnson.


“Time to go,” by David Johnson.


Here’s a fun shot of “moving on” by Michael Furtman.

Photo by Michael Furtman.


We found some wonderful landscapes, too. Here’s a Lake Superior sunset by Michael Monroe.

Photo by Michael Monroe.


Travis Novitsky caught this shot of a double rainbow over Grand Portage Bay.

Photo by Travis Novitsky.


And Bryan Hansel caught these beautiful fireworks on the 4th of July.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.


But the real news this week was water … lots of it.

Here’s a Thomas Spence shot of the upper falls on the Temperance River after the deluge.

Photo by Thomas Spence.


And here’s a wonderful shot of the High Falls by Travis Novitsky.

Photo by Travis Novitsky.


Gayle Coyer took this shot of the Cross River after four inches of rain fell in the West End. She said she had never seen the Cross River so full of rushing water.

Photo by Gayle Coyer.


But Peter Juhl caught the jewel … multiple falls on Highway 61. Enjoy!

Photo by Peter Juhl.


Enjoy your weekend! Try to see and do everything you can! Good luck!





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