by Steve Downing
The Pine River-Backus Renaissance Festival is tomorrow (5/15) 3:30-8:30 in the school commons: family-friendly carnival-like atmosphere with art, music and food (come in costume, if you like). In Staples on Sunday (5/17) @ 2:00 @ Centennial Auditorium it’s the “Concert for a Cause”---area women’s and girls’ choirs doing classic folk songs and new age music, proceeds to Staples & Motley food shelves. The Nisswa Scandinavian Music Festival is next month 6/12-6/13 @ Nisswa Pioneer Village. brainerd.com
Ripple River Gallery near Deerwood: through 6/14 Denise Bunkert, pastels. As always: lathe-turned vessels crafted from the world’s most beautiful woods by the master, Bob Carls, weavings by Amy Sharpe, and woodblock prints by Charles Beck, the best.
Jaques Art Center in Aitkin: through 6/13 Julie Barta, acrylic paintings mainly of wildlife and farm scenes. Saturday 5/16 @ 9 till they’re gone: the Annual Pie & Plant Sale. Brown bag lunch Thursday (5/21) @ noon: Neva Bridgewater on Patrick DesJarlait: The Story of a Native American Artist. The 8th Annual JAC Golf Tournament is Friday 6/12, 1 pm scramble @ Minnesota National Golf Course in McGregor.
Lyric Center for the Arts in Virginia: tonight (5/14) @ 7 Ben Durbin’s Modern Antiques (folk rock, roots, Americana) on the First Stage. In the First Stage Gallery through 5/30: “Open Water”, a large mixed-media group show in celebration of fishing.
Ironworld: just opened, finally, “The Scoop on Poop: The Science of What Animals Leave Behind” (pun intended, I’m sure), through 9/7. In the Community Gallery Maggie Holmes is curating a multi-media exhibit of local artwork on the theme of refuse & recycling. In the Amphitheater 5/30 @ 8: Diamond Rio.
Edge Center in Bigfork: through 5/23 in the lobby, Bigfork High School student art. On 6/5, Arrowhead Regional Arts Council presents the Maddie Simons Arts Advocate Award to the Edge’s Patty Feld & the George Morrison Artist Award to Duluth poet Connie Wanek.
Bemidji Community Art Center: student art through Saturday (5/16). Around Bemidji: Natalia Himmirska @ Neilson Place, Don Houseman @ Wild Hare, Brandon Bjerknes @ Dunn Bros., Crystal Price & Ashleigh Buck @ Bad Cat Creations. This Saturday (5/16) @ 5, the Sculpture Walk 2009 Season Opening Reception @ Rotary Pavilion. Artists of Minnesota Juried Spring Show @ Bemidji Hampton Inn 5/15-5/17. Next Monday (5/18) 9-3 also @ Hampton Inn: a “Let’s Do Haiku” workshop.
MacRostie Art Center: through May, underwritten by Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital, paintings, prints & installation art by Britta Urness & the 2nd Annual Small Art, Big Ideas group show. Saturday (5/16) 7-9: The Art of Beer: A Tasting, sponsored in part by Deerwood Bank, features Mike Hoops & Town Hall Brewery and Matt Taylor & Rivers Italian---5 beer courses with food pairings. Entry deadline for MAC’s 17th Annual Juried Exhibition is Monday 6/1 (entry forms on the website). June, sponsored by Paul Bunyan Telephone, in the Minnesota Gallery: paintings by John Cox. MacRostie Gallery: “Reveal” by John Bauer & Heidi Holtan. Opening reception 6/5 @ 5.
Brewed Awakenings: this month, pottery by Mike Jasper. Also: Jon Dallas & Pat Downing, jazz, 5/21 @ 6 and Sam Miltich & friends Wednesdays in June @ 5:30. Just south of Brewed, the 1st & 3rd neighborhood, the Shops of Distinction are doing their 3rd Annual Gallery Hop: local artists featured at 14 of the retailers down there 5-8 nightly 5/21-5/30, with Sam Miltich @ Rivers @ 5:30 on the 29th.
Reif Center: tonight (5/14) it’s the Itasca Youth Orchestras @ 7, all 4 orchestras, 150 kids. Next week: high school choir on Monday (5/18), middle school choir on Thursday (5/21), both @ 7:30. The first weekend in June (5/5-5/7) it’s the Reif Dance Spring Program, Friday & Saturday @ 7, Sunday @ 2, sponsored by Itasca Surgical Clinic, the Northern Pines Foresters & a number of Reif Arts Council board members. All 200 students will be on-stage, from the 4-year-olds who can barely stand still to the very accomplished 18-year-olds, some of whom have been in the program since they were 4. Starting June 9 @ 7:30 “Indies on Tuesdays”---independent film art from all over the world, by way of the Grand Rapids Area Library, underwritten by Rivers Italian, every Tuesday through 8/25.
On your way to New York anytime soon? Roundabout Theatre Company’s doing a much-anticipated “Waiting For Godot” by Samuel Beckett at Studio 54. Nathan Lane (Estragon), Bill Irwin (Vladimir), John Goodman (Pozzo---bigger than ever, with a buzz cut), and John Glover (Lucky---beautifully, comically creepy). Headed for a Tony probably (Best Revival).