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Northwoods painting and improv for all ages

Apr 01, 2021 06:00AM ● By Editor
Big Lake Sunset by Dave Gilsvik.  Image: Courtesy of Sivertson Gallery

By Emily Bright and Aron Woldeslassie of Minnesota Public Radio News - April 1, 2021

Painter Dan Wiemer of Red Wing, Minn., has long appreciated the work of Two Harbors, Minn., painter Dave Gilsvik. Gilsvik paints scenes of the Northwoods, with vividly-colored trees and lakes that reflect the sky. 

“He is so authentic because he truly paints what he knows,” said Wiemer, who encountered Gilsvik’s work because both painters have work at the Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, Minn. Gilsvik paints in what Wiemer describes in a style that arose among artists working in Canada in the 1920s that has a “chunky, rustic, stylized look.”

Wiemer said Gilsvik’s skill in painting winter landscapes inspires his own work. “I didn’t like to paint winter until I saw Dave’s paintings, and the amount of color he puts in a winter scene, it blows you away.”

An illustration with letters Noodle Pie Island
"Noodle Pie Island"  Courtesy of DalekoArts

Jay Melchior and his 4-year-old son have a standing date on Saturdays to watch the livestream of “Noodle Pie Island” from Daleko Arts in New Prague, Minn. 

The interactive kids’ show has his son singing and shouting along with the actors. Viewers are encouraged to write their name on the “Noodle Board” — the YouTube chat — and that allows Captain Laroo, played by the show’s creator Lauren Anderson, to call the kids by name during the show.

The adventure includes a craft time, with the crafts incorporated into the adventure. As a special education teacher, Melchior likes how the show incorporates social emotional learning, including in an episode that explored gratitude. Past episodes of “Noodle Pie Island” are available on YouTube.

To watch the show live at 11 a.m. on Saturdays, sign up at Daleko Arts through their “Home Invasion” series.

Butch Roy, executive director of HUGE Improv Theater, recommends seeing the Blackout Improv group any time you have a chance, and the next chance is Friday.

Blackout is an all-Black comedy troupe based in the Twin Cities, and like many performers they’ve shifted their shows onto Zoom as a way to continue interacting with audiences. 

While an improv show by its very nature is different every time, Roy said their performances are invariably “heart-felt, funny, [and] timely.” He’s seen the improv actors respond to the moment with engaging social commentary along with humor.

To listen to this week's Art Hounds report and see more reports, follow this link to the MPR News website.

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