The Artists of Minnesota Spring Show has its roots back in January 1945. It was part of the University of Minnesota's Farm and Home Week, which introduced the first Rural Art Show to showcase the works of local artisans, and as a way to develop the state's vast cultural resources. The early shows invited handicrafts as well, but because of the response, rules kept changing and artists were limited to the number of entries. By the fifth show, entries were limited to fine art. In 1959, the new name of Artists of Minnesota was adopted by the membership along with the member newsletter, exchange of information among the art groups, and the sponsorship of rural art clinics and shows.
Not since 1990 has the spring show been held in Bemidji. Gallery North and Northern Artists are sponsoring the event. Natalia Himmirska will judge the show on Saturday morning and the winners will be announced at the member banquet. The public is invited to view the art work and vote for their favorite entry from 1-5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Hampton Inn & Suites, 1019 Paul Bunyan Drive N.W.
High Tea at the Beltrami County History Center, 130 Minnesota Ave. S.W., is an enticing way to spend a Saturday while the fishermen in the family are on the lake. This is an opportunity for women of all ages to engage in a fantasy high tea with flowered hats, proper gloves and garden frocks worn by the hostesses for the occasion. If you don't own a hat, there will be one at the museum for you to wear. And grandpa, men are also invited to attend as there are many bowlers to don. There will be two servings of the tasty treats prepared by the ladies at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $6 for children and $12 for adults for food, free museum admission, raffle drawing and vintage photographic keepsake. Call 444-3376 or stop by the museum for reserved seating as both sessions are limited as to space.
The Bemidji Sculpture Walk opening reception will give the public the opportunity to see slides of the incoming pieces and meet some of the artists from 5-7 p.m. Saturday at the waterfront Rotary Pavilion. This year, the artists applying for admission to the sculpture walk increased geographically to include Colorado, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Canada, along with local artists. The People's Choice Award winner for 2008-09 will be announced at the event, which will also feature a picnic supper and the music of Pelican Railroad. Take a sweater and join the fun.
- Theater UNbound in collaboration with the Wild Rose Women's Theater collective will perform three plays by Anne Bertram including "Murderess" where Lizzie Borden, Laura Fair and Belle Gunness defend their actions. Performance times and dates are 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m., Sunday. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $5 for seniors and students and $10 for adults at the Wild Rose Theater, 501 Bemidji Ave.
- Syttende Mai Festival in Bagley will celebrate the anniversary of the day when Norway adopted a democratic constitution in 1814. It is widely celebrated in Norway as Constitution Day. On Saturday, Northern Exposure of Lifelong Learning will offer a wide array of activities when the doors open at 3:30 p.m. at Bagley High School with exhibits by the Clearwater Quilters and the Norda Gonvik Rosemallers, a Scandinavian bake sale and lefse demonstrations. A Scandinavian-buffet dinner will be prepared and served by Chef Roger Pierson and his crew from 5-7 p.m. in the high school commons area. Tickets for the meal are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Following the buffet, Skalmusik, a musical group from the Brainerd area who are direct descendents of Norwegians and Swedish settlers, will play the instruments and sing the songs of their ancestors. They have played for the king and queen of Sweden and appear with Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion and Host Fest in Minot, N.D. Tickets to the concert are $10 and may be purchased at the door. To make a reservation or for further information, contact Darlene Sawyer at 218-487-5821 and tickets are being sold now through various outlets in Bagley, Clearbrook, Fosston, Gonvik and at the History Center in Shevlin.
- The public is invited to celebrate Syttende Mai with the Bemidji Lodge 1-500 Sons of Norway on Sunday. Syttende Mai means Seventeenth of May and is celebrated throughout Norway with flag waving, singing, and children's parades. The event will be held at Skogfjorden at Concordia Language Villages in Gimle, the dining hall, where rosemaling adorns the entire ceiling and trolls on the walls grin at diners. The menu will be a traditional Norwegian meal beginning with smørbrød (open-faced sandwiches), chicken with geitost sauce, and rømmegraut for dessert. A non-alcoholic social will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. The highlight of the evening will be a presentation by Eric Dregni, author of "In Cod We Trust," and Assistant Professor of English at Concordia University in St. Paul. Winning a Fulbright Fellowship afforded Dregni and his wife the opportunity to go to Norway to research his Norwegian roots. e will note some of the cultural differences he found and will discuss the events of that year in Norway, including the birth of their first child. His book will be available for purchase and he will autograph books. Seating is limited to 100 people, and no tickets will be sold at the door. Tickets may be purchased in advance at First National Bank Bemidji. For information, contact Jan Kittleson at 444-4361. Tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children 12 and younger. Skogfjorden is located at Concordia Language Villages, 8659 Thorsonveien N.E., off Beltrami County Road 20.
- "People for People," a benefit concert for The People's Church, will be an evening of music, poetry and fun. Advance tickets are strongly recommended and they may be bought at the Wild Hare Bistro for $20 each. The show will begin at 7 p.m., Friday at the People's Church, 824 America Ave. N.W.
- TIN PAN gALLEry has a display of artwork from the students from Blackduck High School through Saturday. The gallery is located at Main Street and Margaret in downtown Blackduck.
- Touché Gallerie welcomes Bemidji State University graduate Danae Herschback for her one woman show, "Emerging" through May 22. The gallery is located in the Upper Hobson Union and is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday -Friday.
- Mask and Women's Theater Collective is still looking for some women to play small parts in its upcoming, "As You Like It." Rehearsals will be nights in June and July and the performance dates are July16-20 on the lakefront as part of Art in the Park. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for some encouragement!
- Bemidji Community Art Center, 426 Bemidji Ave., invites the public to their annual Fifth Grade Invitational with works from the Bemidji School District fifth graders and guest schools, Red Lake Elementary and Schoolcraft Learning Community. The exhibit will run through May 16. Shop 426 has many new items for sale and all proceeds support BCAC programming and the artists of the shop. BCAC is open to the public during regular hours noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturday
- Beltrami County History Center in conjunction with Gallery North explores a "Spring Fling." There is an exhibit created and designed by BSU intern, Sara Van Marel. This installation is of early lifestyles of American Indians with artifacts such as baskets, bags, cradleboards and pots and is part of the John Morrison Native American Collection. The History Center is located at 130 Minnesota Avenue, S.W., in the historic James J. Hill Great Northern Depot. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
- Bemidji Public Library Art Wall has on display for May Ivy Bailie and her watercolors. The display is located on the east library wall. The library is located at 509 America Ave. N.W.
- Bad Cat Creation Gallery and Gifts, 315 Irvine Ave. N.W., welcomes two BSU graduates - Crystal Price, a jewelry artist who will display enamel on copper pieces, and Ashleigh Buck, who makes textile items, handmade books and wall art.
- Cabin Coffee House and Café, 214 Third St. N.W., invites the public to meet featured artist of the month, Marion Caroline and view her exhibit, "Then and Now," a 40-year retrospective of work. Caroline has also illustrated a children's book, "Thoughts from Pudge." There is also an on-going display of Audrey Merschman's cards and paintings.
- Dunn Bros Coffee, 501 Paul Bunyan Drive S., will continue its display of the digital photography work of Brandon Bjerknes, "Simply Beautiful." Also available for purchase is Levandowski Pottery, stoneware and Raku made with nontoxic clay and lead free glazes, fused and slumped glassware by MaryBeth Vaudrin and Beverly Olson and Squeaky Wheel Pottery by Josh Boock.
- Fleur de Lis Gallery, 501 Bemidji Ave., has on display "It's Greek to Me," photos from the Greek Isles by Cate Belleveau and paintings by Alice Linda. This gallery is only open on performance days.
- Gallery North, 501 Third St. N.W. welcomes Jane Freemant as showcase artist of the month. Featured gallery artists of the month are Marie Hamre, who practices a traditional needlecraft of tatting, and Ted Peterson, known for his vivid landscapes.
- Wild Hare Bistro and Coffee House, 523 Minnesota Ave. N.W., has on display original pen and ink drawings from author and artist Don Houseman from his first children's book, "How Harvey and his Friends Saved the Barn." Houseman specializes in woodcut printing and barn paintings.
- Neilson Place, 1000 Anne St. N.W., and the North Country Health Services Art Committee welcomes an exhibit by Natalia Himmirska's exhibit, "Embrace," based on her constant theme of time. Her work will be on display through June for the pleasure of the residents, families, staff and the community at large. The work will be for sale and a price list will be provided at the reception desk. Neilson Place is located at 1000 Anne St. NW.
- Mask and Rose Women's Theater Collective will offer SeussVille Theater Camp for 6-11-year-olds from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 8-12. The Tasty Baby Belly Buttons-Producers Jr. Theater Camp for 8-12-year-olds will focus on all aspects of production on June 29 to July 3. Finally, "Shakespeare for Kids" camp for ages 9 to teens June 15-9 will culminate in a "Shakespeare to Go" performance during Bard in the Park festival from July 15-19 on the Bemidji lakefront. For information on the camps, email email@example.com or call 243-2685.
- Tutto Bene, 300 Beltrami Ave. N.W., has an ongoing display of new art work by Beverlee Olson, Jane Freeman, Judy Selby Pat Shough and MaryBeth Vaudrin for viewing pleasure and sale. Located in downtown Bemidji, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and is closed on Sunday.
- Stop at the Tourist Information Center, 300 Bemidji Ave. N.W. by the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe, for a map and information on the pieces included in the Sculpture Walk.
Mark your calendars now with these upcoming events:
- Sepia Tones, Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant, 9 p.m., May 22 and 23.
- Friends of the Arts Celebration to honor Greg Gasman, June 8. Advance tickets $12 adults, $5 children 12 and under available at Headwaters School for Music and the Arts, The Wild Hare Bistro and Coffee House and BCAC, 444-7570.
- Lyra, a vocal group from St. Petersburg, Russia. More information about the group may be seen at lyra-online.org or call 444-5302. Tickets are $5 each and the performance will begin at 7 p.m., June 11 at the First Lutheran Church, 900 Bemidji Ave.
- "Sisters of Swing: The Story of the Andrews Sisters," Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Historic Chief Theater, opens June 10.
- "As You Like It," by the Mask and Rose Women's Theater Collective, July 16 to 20, Bard in the Park.
- Mozart's "La Nozze di Figaro," 7:30 p.m., Aug. 19-21, Thompson Recital Hall.
- Pelican Railroad every Wednesday night from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at the Backyard BBQ.
Announcements of arts and entertainment events may be sent to the Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56619-0455 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org