NorthShore ArtScene

Joan Farnam

Joan Farnam

Joan Farnam has been writing about the arts scene on the North Shore for more than 10 years. She is also a potter and the ceramics studio facilitator at the Grand Marais Art Colony and works as a freelance writer and photographer. Her commentary on WTIP about what's happening in the arts can be heard every Thursday morning on North Shore Morning around 8:50 a.m. and every Saturday morning around 7:45 a.m. on Northshore Weekend.

Arts, cultural and history features on WTIP are made possible in part
by funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.



Lots of Art and Music This Week
March 26 - April 1, 2015


Photo by Sandra Updyke

Truth be told -- it looks like March came in like a lamb and is going out like a lion -- a pretty tame one, admittedly, but gusty winds last night and a low of 10 on Friday probably qualifies. There’s lots to do this weekend, nevertheless.
Lutsen Mountains celebrates its Spring Festival this weekend with an outdoor “beach” party at the Summit Chalet on Saturday with fireworks that night and lots of music. There’s still plenty of snow on the slopes.
Indoors, there are two events of interest on Thursday night.

First, the auditions for “Moon Over Buffalo,” by Ken Ludwig,  the comedy that will be staged during the Theater Festival this summer, will beheld at 7 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. No preparation required. Readings will be handed out at auditions. The play calls for a number of men and women actors, from their 20s to a grumpy, grandmotherly type.
By the way, the cast of “September Bears,” which performed at the MACT Fest One-Act Play Festival, which draws actors from all over the state, won some awards for their performance. Beth Faraone won first place for acting. They also won an award for Ensemble Acting and the group which was easiest to work with by the tech crew. The play was directed by Jack Nickolay and Maria Nickolay, his sister, was the stage manager. The cast included Beth Faraone, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Kevin Kager, Will Moore, Hannah Nickolay and David Warren. “September Bears will be performed at the ACA again, probably this spring.
Also on Thursday night, the weekly winter movie series at North House Folk School. will be screening “The Weeping Camel.” The movie takes place in Mongolia and tells the story of how a family figures out how to get a mother camel to accept its baby. It’s a great story and was shown at one of North House’s Arctic Film Festivals a few years ago. Recommended.
On Friday, it’s entertain yourself, and there’s lots of great music planned.
On Saturday, the Grand Marais Art Colony is holding two mini-workshops with the artists-in-residence who have been working there for the last two weeks. Marty Harris will teach a workshop entitled “Make Your Mark” from 9 a.m. to noon and Mary Bergs will teach “Quilting Bee/Artist Salon” from 1 to 4 p.m. The community is invited to participate in these fun art events.
On Saturday night, if you have your passport or passport card in order, consider driving up to Thunder Bay for the Urban Infill -Art in the Core event put on by the Definitely Superior Art Gallery.
There’s a gala opening and exhibit at the gallery starting at 7 p.m., but that’s not all there is to see. The entire Waterfront District in downtown Thunder Bay will be transformed into a mega art/performance/music show featuring 350 artists, 18 projects in various locations around the district. It’s definitely a multi-sensory experience with musicians and actors and films and art shows set up in a number of different places downtown.
There are tour guides available that will help visitors see all the sites, too, as well as refreshments and lots of things to see. The Definitely Superior Art Gallery is located in the old Eaton Building in downtown Thunder Bay at 250 Park Avenue. For more info, check out their Facebook page.
If you haven’t checked out the new spring exhibit at the Johnson Heritage Post, now is the time to do it. Entitled ‘Illumination: Igniting the Imagination,” it features work from artists of every age who crafted paintings, weavings, mosaics, pottery, felted artwork, glass and more, all created with Illumination in mind.
An really interesting feature of this show includes a small exhibit of some of the pieces from the St. John’s Bible, a modern version of an illuminated manuscript. Nancy Cihlar, who owns Great Gifts of Lutsen, is a great fan of the St. John’s Bible and provided the prints and folio cards on exhibit at the Heritage Post. She also has volumes of the Bible in her shop as well as other items related to this world-famous work.
And, if you’re a ballet fan, the Minnesota Ballet will present “Sleeping Beauty” at the DECC in Duluth on Friday and Saturday. For tickets, go to
In other art news, Sivertson Gallery is celebrating spring with new wildly colorful paintings by Aaron Kloss as well as new work by Jeff Kenisen, including a painting of a trout and a big brown bear. The title of the brown bear painting is “I woke up this way.”
Lutsen sculptor Tom Christiansen is beginning work on the public art project that will be installed in the front of the Grand Marais Public Library. He works at Last Chance Gallery and Fabricating and his assistant is Josh Rice, Kathy Rice’s son. Last Chance is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and “by chance.”
Bowl turner Cooper Ternes is setting up shop in the Garage, where he will be turning bowls as well as selling some of his work. He expects to be ready to open after Memorial Day. Threads continues to add art supplies for local potters. The latest? Non-toxic spray paints made from sugar cane. Also, Tara Block has brought in lots of new beautiful porcelain teacups she made in the ceramic studios of the Art Colony.
Coming up - Kah Nee Tah Galleries is holding a Ladies Night on Saturday, April 4 from 5-8 p.m. Danielle, the gallery manager, said there will be complementary drinks and appetizers. For more info and to sign up, see their Facebook page. 
Here’s the music schedule:
Thursday, March 26:
• Eric Frost & Bill Hanson, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
• Joe Paulik, Gunflint Tavern, 6:30p.m.
• Gordon Thorne, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
• Dance Party with DJ Beavstar, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.
Friday, March 27:
• The Sivertones, Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
• Eric Frost & Friends, Voyageur Brewery, 8 p.m.
• Pete Kavanaugh, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
• Mysterious Ways, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
• Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 28:
• J Squared and The Makers, Papa Charlie’s, 3:15 p.m.
• Eric Frost, Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
• The Sivertones, Papa Charlie’s, 6:45 p.m.
• Eric Frost, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
• Jon Kallberg, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
• Jim & Michelle Miller, Voyageur Brewing, 8 p.m.
• SOAP featuring The Beatles’ Abbey Road, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 29:
• Classical Evening of Violin & Piano, Sam Black and Laurie Bastian, Bluefin Grille, 6 p.m.
• James Moors, Gun Flint Tavern, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 30:
• Pushing Chain, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
• John Mark Nelson, Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 31:
• Boyd “Bump” Blomberg, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
• Open Mic Night, Papa Charlie’s, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 1:
• Open Mic Night, Gun Flint Tavern, 5 p.m.

NorthShore ArtScene:  March 5, 2015:

"One More Gem" by David Johnson Photography
"One More Gem" by David Johnson

It’s a quiet weekend in Cook County, which maybe is a good thing, because Daylight Savings starts on Saturday night and we have to get up an hour earlier on Sunday. It’s also going to be gorgeous … a perfect time to get out and enjoy spring skiing.
In news, Grand Marais was voted the Coolest Small Town in 2015  in the Budget Travel Magazine’s contest last night, beating out nine other towns across the U.S.
We win the cover photo on the online and tablet edition as well as an article about Grand Marais..
It couldn’t have happened if hundreds of people hadn’t taken the time to vote … over and over again. Thank you!  and kudos to all!
Last week, a new study released by Creative MN found that arts and culture organizations in the Arrowhead region, including Cook County, contribute $40 million to the economy of the counties each year.
The 107 arts and culture organizations in the Arrowhead region employ more than 1,000 people, and draw a total audience of more than 770,000 to their events each year..
The study also found that the Arrowhead region has the second largest arts economy, second only to the Twin Cities. Statewide, nonprofit arts and culture centers generate $1.2 billion each year, supporting the equivalent of more than 33,000 jobs, with nearly 19 million attending their events across the state each year.
The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council awarded career development grants to three Cook County residents:
Briand Morrison,. to help in the production of a multimedia performance combining a slide show of his father, George Morrison’s, art with his jazz guitar playing at eight locations in the state;
Amy Schmidt to help support work an editor to complete her poetry manuscript: “Wearing a Dress of Onion Skins” and
Erin Altemus, to help support work with an editor on a full manuscript consultation for her memoir: “The Idealists' Daughter.”
Other regional organizations who received support grants include The Good Harbor Hill PlayersLake Superior Community Theatre in Silver Bay and the North Shore Music Association.
In art news, Sivertson Gallery is putting new Inuit stone and ivory carvings in the gallery this week and they are working to frame the 12 new prints from Cape Dorset that will be on exhibit during the Inuit Premiere, March 20-21. The gallery has also received a number of new Tim Pearson paintings.
The cast of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,”  has been announced . It will star Mark Abrahamson, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Jack Nickolay and Karina Roth with Kay Costello on piano and Daniel Dittmanson on violin. Sue Hennessy will direct. “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” one of the plays that will be performed this summer by the Grand Marais Playhouse in the Summer Theatre Festival.
The Grand Marais Art Colony’s exhibit: The Fiber Revolution: Art Quilts continues at the Art Colony through this weekend.
In other Art Colony news, a new youth scholarship funded by the Thomas family in memory of Eric Thomas has been established at the Art Colony. The Eric Thomas Emerging Artist Award will provide full tuition and cost of materials for a young Cook County artist to attend an Art Colony class of their choice. The scholarship is available to sophomores and juniors. The deadline to apply is April 15.  The Art Colony also provides financial need-based scholarships. Call the Art Colony at 387-2737 for more info.
And finally, the Art Colony will welcome two artists in residence beginning March 16-- Mary Bergs and Marty Harris. They’ll hold open studios and community events this month. Stay tuned.
And next week, the first exhibit of the season at the Johnson Heritage Post opens. “Illumination: Igniting the Imagination” opens with a reception from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, March 13. More on this next week.
And the deadline to submit an item for the Cook County Historical Society’s exhibit on the history of music in Cook County is March 15. For more info, call 387-2883.
Here’s the music for the week.
Thursday, March 5:
   • Eric Frost & Bill Hanson, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
   • Pushing Chain, Bluefin Bay, 8 p.m..
   • Dance Party with DJ Beavstar, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.
Friday, March 6:
   • Billy Johnson, Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
   • Jim & Michele Miller, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
   • Briand Morrison, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
   • Bug Lite, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.
   • Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 7:
   • Billy Johnson, Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
   • Jim Miller & Bill Hansen, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
   • Jim McGowan, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
   • Nate Weller, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
   • Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.
   • The Big Wu Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 8:
   • Big Wu Acoustic Family, Papa Charlie’s, 3:30 p.m.
   • Classical Evening of Jazz Guitar with Briand Morrison, Bluefin Grille, 6 p.m.
Monday, March 9:
   • Joe Paulik,  Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
   • Chris Koza of Rogue Valley, Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 10:
   • Fingerstyle Guitar Workshop with Gordon Thorne, Moon Dance Coffee House
   • Joe Paulik, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
   • Open Mic Night with Boyd Bump Blomberg, Papa Charlie’s, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 11:
   • Open Mic Night, Gun Flint Tavern, 6 p.m.
   • Dance Attic, Spotlight North, 8 p.m.

And more photos for the week...

Ice shards by Kirk Schleife

A view from Artist Point by Don Davison

Ice shards by Paul Sundberg

"Friday Night at the Caves" by Ernie Vader