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Pioneer Previews: Paul Bunyan Playhouse season starts this week

The 2014 Paul Bunyan Playhouse season starts this week with the comedy “Noises Off,” which will make its debut on Wednesday at the Historic Chief Theatre in downtown Bemidji.

The play is described as “the funniest farce ever written.” They comedy actually is a type of play-within-a-play as it follows a group of actors as they rehearse their own play.

“Noises Off” runs through this weekend and again June 11-14.

The play is directed by Zach Curtis, artistic director for PBP, and is stage managed by Kris Detailleur, with lighting design by Brent Anderson, costume design by Andrea Gross, property design by Connor Norton and scenic design by Justin Hooper. The cast includes new and returning performers to the Paul Bunyan Playhouse.

Other shows scheduled this season are “I Do! I Do!,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “The 39 Steps” and “Annie.”


•Monthly Bemidji Library book discussion series will meet at noon with “Capitol Hell” by Jayne J. Jones and Alicia M. Long, former aides for Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman. The book tells the stories of their adventures in Washington using fictional characters. There are extra books at the library.


•Monthly Bemidji Library book discussion series will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday with “Capitol Hell” by Jayne J. Jones and Alicia M. Long, former aides for Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman. The book tells the stories of their adventures in Washington using fictional characters. There are extra books at the library.


•The 2014 Summer Recital Series of the Bemidji Area Church Musicians begins at noon with Turtle Island Ensemble: Sarah Carlson (piano), Andrew Ronnevik (Violin) and Jon Romer (native flute) at the First Lutheran Church. The series will run each Wednesday until the final performance by Sarah Carlson on Aug. 27 at First Lutheran. There are some returning musicians and new players to see and hear this summer.

First Friday Art Walk

•Information about the First Friday Art Walk ca be found at at the pulldown “First Friday Art Walk.”

•Watermark Art Center opening of “Inside and Out” by artist Joan Cox, 5 to 7 p.m. in the upper level of the Historic Carnegie Library Building, 426 Bemidji Ave N.

A brief artist talk will take place at 6 p.m. The exhibit is collection of recent paintings, mixed media collages and work in oil and wax.

The exhibit will runs through Aug. 2. For more information call 444-7570, email or visit

•Cabin Coffeehouse presents the second exhibit from the Freehand Collaboration Group, titled, “Human Connection.”

Inspired by the theme, “Human Connection,” the intense color, deep purple and the viral, ‘Strangers Kissing’ video, the group achieved a fantastic array of visual translations.

Individual works in mediums such as fiber, mixed media, painting and photography are represented. Some of the artists will be present from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday.

Cabin Coffeehouse is located at 214 Third St. For more information, call 444-2899.

•An opening reception for artwork by Val Wagner, Patricia Grimes and Eve Sumsky will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at Dunn Bros, 501 Paul Bunyan Drive S. The collaboration, called “Sunrise-Sunset,” is a collection of different mediums. The work includes fiber mixed with natural elements, photography and basketry all focusing on sunrises and sunsets. For more information call 444-5252 or

•A First Friday Art open house will featurr Amanda Loftus, the showcase artist for June, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Gallery North, 502 Third St. NW.

Loftus is an acrylic artist who started painting many years ago and earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from BSU.

The First Friday featured artist is Marion Caroline, whoses artwork includes watercolors, acrylics, oils, and paintings on feathers. For more information visit

•The Historic Chief Theatre will join other downtown venues for the monthly First Friday Artwalk with an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. at the theater, 314 Beltrami Ave.

The lobby will feature the Artists of Studio 10. Patrons of The Paul Bunyan Playhouse have viewed the work of this group of artists during several past seasons; their new exhibit will continue through the summer.

•Northwoods Folk Collection Open Stage offers an opportunity to share stories, music, poetry and other performance art at 7:30 p.m. at the Rail River Folk School, 303 Railroad St. SW, Suite B. Sign up prior to the event starting at 6:30 p.m.

•A reception for the Artists of Studio 10 also will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at Ravenrock Gallery, 1000 Paul Bunyan Drive, Suite 102. For more information, call 444-6040.

•A First Friday artist reception for Susan Kedzie and Shannon Lucas Westrum will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. June 6 at Shannon’s Art and Soul, 313 Beltrami Ave.

•An opening reception for Bemidji native Mali Mattson will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. at Wild Hare Bistro and Coffeehouse, 523 Minnesota Ave. Mattson will present tendriled and gestural mobiles and sculptures, formed of steel wire and colorful artisan papers from around the world.

After the Art Walk, there will be the First Friday Wine Bar from 5 to 9 p.m., featuring a new menu every month including a wine and beer list to match.

Art installations

•Neilson Place presents the multilayered artwork of Paula Swanson, “Hurry Summer” through June. Swanson explores and interprets ideas, emotions and experiences creating a dialogue between the artist and viewer.

Neilson Place is located on Sanford WoodsEdge campus, 1000 Anne St. NW.

•Brigids Pub presents The Artists of Studio 10, showcasing a new body of work. The theme of this exhibit is “Greening Up,” now through July. Brigids Pub is located downtown at 317 Beltrami Ave NW.

Upcoming events

•The premiere performance of the newest established arts nonprofit organization in Bemidji will start at 2:30 p.m. June 14 on a farm north of Bemidji, where the above-mentioned Cate and Al Belleveau are on the fast track toward their dream of molding and shaping Belle Thalia Creative Arts Space into a fine arts retreat. The event is called “She Wrights.”

Bring chairs, hats or whatever you need for a picnic, bug spray and lots of imagination for the singers who start at 2:30 p.m. with Kari Pickett, among other musicians and singers, and then leads into original Minneapolis playwright, Jane Curry and her “Sisters of the Quill and Skillet,” a comic send-off of an Erma Bombeck clone.

At 7 p.m., “Legend of White Creek Woman,” a narrative through 13 original folk songs based on a West Kansas ghost story with the music of Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan.

At twilight, the audience will be treated to the film “Salma,” a story about a Tamil Muslim woman who is imprisoned in her home for 25 years in a forced marriage.

During that time, she covertly composed poems on scraps of paper, and through an intricate system she was able to sneak them out of the house and into the hands of a publisher.

The event was made possible in part by the voters through a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board as well as from the state’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

They also received partial funding from the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment.

•The Bemidji Public Library Book Festival is scheduled for June 16-21. A quick summary of the schedule will show that there is a children’s book author giving a presentation daily at 10:30 a.m.

Every afternoon at 2 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday there will be a workshop on writing or publishing.

The workshops do have limited seating for a small group and intimate settings, which requires advance registration.

Every evening, Monday through Thursday, there is an author of adult books giving a presentation.

The festival’s Friday late afternoon and evening schedule features our very own area writers hosted at the American Legion.

The event begins at 5 p.m. with “Area Author Showcase” featuring a dozen or more area authors available to meet and greet readers and sell books.

At 7 p.m., the event segues to the “Evening of Poetry” with Minnesota poet (and very funny fellow) Matt Mauch, which leads into the ever-popular Poetry Slam.