North Shore Art Scene

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Cook County MN Arts and Entertainment Weekly
Updated: 4 hours 57 min ago

Music, Square Dancing, The Beargrease & More

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 12:33am

A soft-color sunrise by David Johnson.

There’s lots of live music this weekend in venues around the county. And much more is happening as well.

There’s a square dance at North House Folk School on Saturday night and, in Thunder Bay, a wild fashion show called “Direlicte” on Saturday night, too.

Then, on Sunday, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon starts, and on Tuesday WDSE”s The Playlist comes to Papa Charlie’s for a live recording of some of the best bands in the county.

The week is  is capped off by the arrival of The Pines and Deadman Winter, who will play for two nights at Papa Charlie’s.

First up is old time square dancing. Two classes will be held in conjunction with this event: a banjo workshop with Aaron Tacke and an Old Time Fiddle workshop with AJ Srubas. The classes will be held at the Cook County Community Center on Saturday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. To sign up, call Elise Kyllo at 612-961-4691 or email her at

The Old Time Square Dance will be held at North House Folk School from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday with live music by The Boot Lickers. Dances will be taught, no experience or partner is necessary. Just bring a water bottle.

“Direlicte: A Fashion Odyssey,” is a fundraiser for the Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay and Lakehead University Radio,  and will be held on Saturday night, too.

This over-the-top show includes wearable art, dance, music and performance and is held at the Black Pirates Pub, 215 Red River Road. The event, which starts at 8 p.m., includes four live bands and DJs, 10 local fashion houses, video-mapping projections, 16 wearable art pieces and more than 100 artist/models. Last year, more than 600 attended the event. Tickets are $10 at the door.

On Sunday, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon starts at Highway 2 outside Two Harbors. The route has changed a little this year because of lack of snow, especially along the lake shore. The Mid-Distance race starts at 2 p.m., the Marathon at 3 p.m. Seventeen mushers have registered for the Marathon, 29 for the Mid-distance.

The Mid-distance will finish at Devil Track Landing this year, not at the AmericInn in Tofte as it has in past years. The first finishers are expected to cross the line around noon on Monday.

The first Marathon teams should arrive at the Sawbill Trail rest stop around 1:30 a.m. Monday, the last leaving about 7:30 a.m. The first teams are expected to arrive at Trail Center around 9 a.m. on Monday. The Marathon finish is at Billy’s in Duluth and the leaders are expected to arrive about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday

There are a number of local mushers competing in this year’s marathon, including Frank Moe, Odin Jorgenson, Erin Altemus and Rita Wehseler.

All the mushers will be wearing GPS devices, so the race can be watched online. For more info, see

The SplinterTones (painting by Liz Sivertson) will be at Papa Charlie’s on Tuesday night in a live taping for WDSE’s The Playlist.

On Tuesday, WDSE’s The Playlist is taking over Papa Charlie’s for a Cook County music/recording session featuring Eric Frost, Pushing Chain and The SplinterTones.

Everyone is invited to the be part of the live audience and listen to some of Cook County’s finest. The evening begins at 8 p.m. with Frost. Pushing Chain (Bump Blomberg & Adam Moe) play at 9 p.m. and the SplinterTones play at 10 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Cash bar available. PlayList Swag at the door. The initial broadcast will be through WDSE in Duluth with a statewide distribution to follow. Come be part of the audience and join in the fun!

The Pines play with Dead Man Winter at Papa Charlie’s Wednesday and Thursday night.

Then on Wednesday and Thursday nights, two fabulous Twin Cities bands play at Papa Charlie’sThe Pines and Dead Man Winter. On Wednesday night, there will be an acoustic singer/songwriter circle with members of both bands. On Thursday night, each band will play a set. Performances start at 8 p.m.

The Pines (David Huckfeldt & Benson Ramsey), is an indie-roots band with a truly unique sound that captures ears and stimulates the mind.

Dead Man Winter, the side project of acoustic barnburners Trampled by Turtles’ frontman/songwriter Dave Simonett, the Minnesota quintet consists of three members with TBT – Simonett, Tim Saxhaug and Ryan Young – along with guitarist/producer Erik Koskinen and drummer Noah Levy.

Both bands are wildly popular in the Twin Cites. Tickets are $10 a day, $16 for a 2-day pass.

David Gilsvik sits in front of the second wall of his mural that will be installed at the Heritage Center.

In other art news, David Gilsvik is working on the second wall mural for the Heritage Center at the Grand Portage Monument. The project will include four murals which should be installed by early summer.

Jack Nickolay will direct the One Act Play by the Grand Marais Playhouse that will be entered in the Minnesota Association of Community Theater’s Festival in March. Auditions for the play will be held from 7-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. The play will be selected after auditions. For more information, contact the playhouse at (218)387-1284 x2 or

Sivertson Gallery has announced plans to hold a Fireside Chat Weekend Feb. 13-15. Click here to see more and stay tuned.

And finally, Lynn Speaker’s exhibit at the Grand Marais Art Colony continues through the end of this month. The Art Colony is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Here’s the music schedule for the coming week:

Thursday, Jan. 22:

  • Eric Frost & Bill Hanson, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Billy Johnson, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 23:

  • The Sivertones,  Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Pete Kavanaugh, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Clearwater Hot Club, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.
  • Billy Johnson, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 24:

  • Pushing Chain with Boyd Blomberg, Papa Charlie’s, 3:15 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Papa Charlie’s, 6:45 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Jim McGowan, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
  • Old Time Square Dance, North House Folk School, 7:30 p.m.
  • Paul Mayasich & Al Oikari, Gun Flint Tavern, 8 p.m.
  • Billy Johnson’s Roadshow, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 25:

  • Evergreen Grass Band,  Papa Charlie’s, 3:30 p.m.
  • Classic Guitar with Scott Fraser, Bluefin Grille, 6 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Gun Flint Tavern, 7 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 26:

  • Joe Paulik, Big Bear Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • Boyd “Bump” Blomberg, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Communist Daughter, Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 27:

  • Joe Paulik, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • The Playlist Live at Papa Charlie’s with Eric Frost, Pushing Chain & The SplinterTones, 8 p.m. Free

Wednesday, Jan. 28:

  • The Pines & Dead Man Winter, acoustic singer/songwriter circle, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29:

  • The Pines & Dead Man Winter, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

We found some interesting photos this week.

Let’s start with Kjersti Vick’s wonderful shot of frost on a pine tree.

Hoar Frost by Kjersti Vick.

Here’s a wonderful shot of a common eider hen by Michael Furtman. Eider ducks are normally found in the Arctic but this hen has taken up with a bunch of ducks in the Duluth harbor.

Photo by Michael Furtman.


Here’s fantastic portrait of a red squirrel, taken by John Sikkila.

“Red Squirrel in the Shadows” by John Sikkila.

And for the domestic livestock photo of the week, check this out.

Nosy pigs at YKer Acres. (Photo posted on YKer Acres Facebook page.)


We had some wild waves and winds recently. Don Davison caught this shot.

West Breakwall I by Don Davison.


David Johnson caught the magic the wind and waves created.

Sunset Turned to Blue Hour by David Johnson.


And it’s been cold and grey. Here’s Bryan Hansel‘s beautiful take on that.

Grey Day at the Tombolo by Bryan Hansel.


And the cold created this beauty by Travis Novitsky. Enjoy!

Frost-Ice sunrise by Travis Novitsky.

Have a great week, everyone!






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Grand Marais Ole Opry, Dessa this weekend

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 11:59pm

Alison Gimpel took this beautiful shot at Stoney Point recently. She calls it “Ice Wall.” It’ came third in National Geographic’s Daily Dozen contest earlier this week.

We can look forward to another weekend of outstanding music, and, perhaps, an opportunity to don our time-traveling suits on Saturday so we can see three shows: the North Shore Music Association presents the Grand Marais Grand Ole Opry at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts,  Dessa performs at Papa Charlie’s, and Michael Monroe  presents a Log Cabin Concert.

The Grand Marais Ole Opry is a classic country show featuring local and regional musicians playing tunes made famous by artists such as Hank Williams Sr., Patsy Cline, Roy Acuff, and Johnny & June Carter Cash.  Emceed by WTIP’s “Classic Country” host Carl Solander, the evening’s lineup features the groups Singleton Street (Delano, Minn.), Cook County’s Most Wanted, Bursheim & DeCoux, and Matt & Kent Anderson.

Singleton Street performs at the ACA on Saturday.

• Singleton Street plays old-time country, Americana, and bluegrass music with tight harmonies, energetic arrangements, and a warm, dynamic stage presence.  Sherri and Chuck Leyda and Jimmy Newkirk have been performing murder ballads, love songs, and highway songs of regret throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin for over a decade.

• Cook County’s Most Wanted plays alternative country, classic country, country rock, and classic rock with excellent musicianship and vocals. Rod Dockan – acoustic guitar and vocals. Carah Thomas – mountain dulcimer and vocals. Al Oikari – keyboards, lap steel, and harmony vocals. Gary Croft – electric guitar and vocals. Steve Johnson – pedal steel, electric guitar, and vocals. Dale Smith – bass.

• Myron Bursheim was the frontman for nationally touring band Robby Lynn and the Teens from 1958-62. He continues to share his musical talent by playing guitar and singing at areas churches and the Cook County Care Center.  While singing together in their church choir, Myron and Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux discovered their common interest in Everly Brothers harmonies.

• Matt and Kent Anderson studied classical music at young ages and have carried on a tradition of singing and playing the piano and fiddle for years–around the living rooms of their homes and the campfire of their cabin on the Gunflint Trail–entertaining small and large audiences of guests.

Michael Monroe is known throughout the Midwest for his Log Cabin Concerts, performed at his log cabin home in rural Grand Marais. Monroe blends his award-winning music on rich vocals, handmade guitars, and bamboo/crystal flutes in an unforgettable performance. A reception is held at 7 p.m. The music starts at 8 p.m. For reservations, call 387-2919.

Dessa performs at Papa Charlie’s on Saturday.

Dessa, of Doomtree, returns to Papa Charlie’s on Saturday night for another night of outstanding music. Transcending what we know as rap, Dessa’s heartfelt and poignant poetry comes through with ferocious melodies when she’s on the mic. As a musician and writer, she’s been compared to Joni Mitchell, but this spoken word artist can pack hundreds of words into a single track while her a cappella arrangements are delicate and expressive, full of old world harmonies. The music starts at 9:30 p.m.

There’s other great music this weekend, too. See the schedule below for details.

This fused glass window installation by Sharon and Steve Frykman is in the Twin Cities.

In art news, The Frykman Art Studio with Sharon and Steve Frykman will be featured on WDSE’s The Playlist at 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15.

Tune in to  PBS Channel 8 to learn more about Sharon and Steve and all that they do. The program can also be viewed online after it is broadcast.

To view this and other Playlist features, click here.

Painting by Catherine Hearding.

Liminal Space, an exhibit by multi-media artist Lynn Speaker, continues at the Grand Marais Art Colony through Feb. 1.

Workshops offered at the Art Colony this month include “The Colors of Winter” with nationally recognized watercolorist Catherine Hearding. The workshop is Jan. 26-30.

Also, a workshop entitled “Skillbuilding — A Potter’s Workplace” begins Jan. 27 and runs through March 17.

And registration is still open for Megan Mitchell’s two classes, “Print on Clay” (Feb. 14) and “Paper Clay” (Feb. 15.)

For more information on these and other workshops, call the Art Colony at 387-2737 or visit their website at

North House Folk School and the Art Colony are hosting the Northern Fibers Retreat Feb. 11-15 with lots of classes and community gatherings. For more info, see

 Betsy Bowen created a series of hand-colored woodcuts for a poster for the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, which starts next weekend.

This is the final weekend for two exhibits at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery: the “North Now 2014 Northern Ontario Juried Exhibit” and “Mitakuye Oyatsin: All My Relations.”  The new Permanent Collection exhibit opens Jan. 23 and the Lakehead University Annual Juried Exhibition opens Jan. 30.

Here’s the music schedule for this weekend:

Thursday, Jan. 15:

  • Eric Frost & Bill Hansen, Poplar River Pub, Lutsen Resort, 6 p.m.
  • Rod & Carah Boo, American Legion, 7 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Dance Party with DJ Beavstar, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 16:

  • Timmy Haus, Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.
  • The Wrong Omar, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 17:

  • Al Oikari and Rod Dockan, Papa Charlie’s, 3:15 p.m.
  • Jim & Michelle Miller, Moguls Grille, 4 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Papa Charlie’s, 6:45 p.m.
  • Boyd “Bump” Blomberg, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne and Jim Ohlschmidt, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
  • Grand Marais Ole Opry, Arrowhead Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe Log Cabin Concert, rural Grand Marais, 7 p.m. 387-2919.
  • Free Fallin — Tom Petty Tribute Band, Grand Portage Lodge & Casino, 9 p.m.
  • The Wrong Omar, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.
  • Dessa, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 18:

  • A Classical Evening with Sam Black and Clare Chopp, Bluefin Grille, 6 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 19:

  • Shane Martin, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Songwriter Series, Haley Bonar, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 20:

  • Pete Kavanaugh,  Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Open Mic Night with Bump Blomberg, Papa Charlie’s, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 21:

  • Open Mic Night, Gun Flint Tavern, 6 p.m.
  • Spotlight North, Aurora Baer, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

Bitterly cold weather and high winds is an ice photographer’s dream on the North Shore, and we found lots of dramatic images this week.

But let’s start out with a plein air painter who doesn’t mind getting out in sub-zero temps and painting sea fog on Lake Superior. This beauty is by Neil Sherman.

“Break Wall Beacon at -8″ by Neil Sherman.


High winds from the right direction mean high waves crashing on the shores of Lake Superior. Sierra Parsons took this stunning image.

Photo by Sierra Parsons.

The waves were cresting over the breakwall the other day, and Christian Dalbec caught this moment.

Photo by Christian Dalbec.

Waves and freezing temps created this icy wonderland in Two Harbors photographed by Jennifer Los Braun.

Photo by Jennifer Los Braun.


Ice creates  fantastical shapes in this photo by David Johnson.

Photo by David Johnson.

And Gail Merton really captured the peace and beauty of an ice scape in this shot.

Photo by Gail Merton.

Mark Tessier titles this one “Cooold.”

Photo by Mark Tessier.

Jamie Rabold calls this one “Sprayed.”

Photo by Jamie Rabold.

John Gregor took this wonderous shot at Corundum Point at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.

Photo by John Gregor.


Jamie Rabold captured this outstanding image at Stoney Point the other day.

Photo by Jamie Rabold.

Bryan Hansel calls this photo “Winter Light.”

Photo by Bryan Hansel.

Here’s an interesting shot by David Grinstead. He calls it “Beach in Winter.”

Photo by David Ginstead.

And last, but not least, here’s a totally  iconic photo of winter in Minnesota. Paul Pluskwik calls this “A Winter Walk.”

Photo by Paul Pluskwik.

Have a good weekend, everyone!






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