Thursday, July 19, 2012

Culturology 7/19/12

by Travis Ryder
No one will be bored around here in the next few days unless they want to be.
Jennifer Nelson, Thrones and Easy Chairs

MacRostie Art Center in downtown Grand Rapids has a show of work from artist Jennifer Nelson.  She earned advanced degrees at Grand Forks and Mankato and has been showing her work for more than a decade around the country.  The series of drawings in the current MacRostie exhibition, Rest and Remainder, has been influenced by landscape and literature. Nelson’s current residence in the Great Plains appears through the openness of her compositions and the isolation of the subject matter. The drawings are intentionally spare to create a focus on the objects that are present. In addition, the works function as illustrations for absent stories, leaving the viewer to piece together the “how?” and “why?”  She likes to draw things on stilts and/or make their legs extra long. This morning in the 8:00 hour, we visited with her. 

Sena Ehrhardt Band.  Credit: Charles Walton
There is a music festival coming to the KAXE Amphitheater on Saturday.  We'll hear from one of the exciting, Minnesota-based acts on the Mississippi River Festival bill.  Blind Pig recording artist Sena Ehrhardt is a stunning blues singer by night and a full-time professional in the health care field by day.  She and her band (including her dad Ed on guitar) are touring beyond the Midwest now, propelled by a nationally-released album (the first in a three-disc deal) and a Best New Artist nomination in this year's Blues Music Awards.  We hear a phone interview with her this morning.

Thursday, July 19
The Plein Air project is happening in Aitkin through Saturday.  Paint anywhere in the county now through Friday and bring your work to the Jaques by Saturday.  Works will be displayed in local banks through early August. 
Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” is staged this weekend and next week at the Central Lakes College Brainerd campus.
The Mississippi Melodie showboat comes ashore with vaudeville-style entertainment in Grand Rapids Thursday through Saturday night at 9.
Tonight through Sunday, the Paul Bunyan Playhouse theater production is “The Dixie Swim Club”, about the lifelong relationships between a group of former college swim team members.
“Nunsense” is at the Minnesota Folklore Theater in Walker this weekend.
Friday, July 20
Poetry at the historic Last Turn Saloon in downtown Brainerd. Poets attending the 25th annual League of MN Poets Woodtick Retreat in northern Minnesota will be performing their poetry. We welcome community to read their poetry also.  Starts at 7:30.
Saturday, July 21
The fourth annual Celtic Festival is in Brainerd, with musical performances from 11 to 6 at the Farm at St. Mathias.
Bemidji has Art in the Park Fine Art and Craft Festival this Saturday and Sunday.  It’s the 45th year for the event, welcoming a hundred exhibitors and many more spectators to the Lake Bemidji waterfront.
The KAXE Mississippi River Festival is a daylong music event under the Rotary Tent next to our studios in Grand Rapids.  This year the featured acts are Dan Newton’s CafĂ© Accordion Orchestra, Ohio emo-country artist Lydia Loveless, Minnesota blues siren Sena Ehrhardt, and honky-tonk guitar master Bill Kirchen.
Sunday, July 22
Bemidji Area Community Band has a concert on the grounds of BSU at 7:00.
Monday, July 23
Rail River Folk School offers an environment-focused mural session.  Several local artists will lead the effort; bring your own painting clothes to the school in Bemidji starting at 5:30 Monday.  All ages can participate.

Minnesota History Datebook
July 21, 1820 Michigan governor Lewis Cass reaches what he thinks is the source of the Mississippi River. Today this body of water is known as Cass Lake.
July 19, 1967 Some of the inner-city unrest around the nation that summer reaches Minneapolis as a crowd throws rocks and sets fires, mostly along Plymouth Avenue.  The riot starts at about 11:30 P.M. and lasts for two nights. 150 national guardsmen are called up to maintain the peace, and the toll for both nights is three people shot, two policemen and one fireman injured, thirty-four people arrested, and four businesses burned to the ground.

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