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Patt Rall Arts Column for May 21: Benefit concert to help musician study in Italy

A benefit concert for Abe Hunter will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Bemidji State University Thompson Recital Hall of Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex, 14th Street and Birchmont Drive Northeast. Local musicians and singers will perform. For those who are waiting for the concert to help put Abe over the top in his efforts to attend La Musica Lerica in Italy this summer, it's finally going to happen. Hunter was invited to attend after being heard by a representative of the festival while he was performing as a collaborative artist during auditions in the Twin Cities for the Metropolitan Opera. During his stay in Italy, Hunter will learn Italian, accompany opera singers during rehearsals and increase his knowledge in his chosen field - collaborative artist.

Matt Goinz will act as master of ceremony and reprise some of the show tunes he performed at his recent recital; Karissa Korbel will sing familiar operatic arias and Mark Christensen will render an interpretation of "Ole Man River." Hunter and Stephen Carlson, a professor in BSU Department of Music, will play the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1. The total cost of the trip and living expenses will be $5,000 and, with some funding from groups such as Region 2 Arts Council, $3,000 has been raised. A free will offering will be accepted to help Hunter close the gap in what he needs to attend the festival. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday in Thompson Recital Hall of Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Complex, 14th Street and Birchmont Drive.

Gasman honor

Local actor and producer Greg Gasman will be honored as the 21st Friend of the Arts Award winner. The reception will be held at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave. N.W., with a 5:30-7:30 p.m. social hour and hors d'oeuvres and a 6:30 p.m. awards presentation June 8. Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and may be purchased now at the Bemidji Community Arts Center, Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, Wild Hare Bistro and Coffee House or for $15 at the door. For more information, contact Lori at 444-7570.

Long Lake musical

"A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline" will open at Long Lake Theater in Hubbard with a Bemidji cast. Local actors Julie Kaiser, who will be featured as Patsy Cline, and Matt Goinz, the radio announcer, with be joined by Lee Foster and Chris Konecne for this musical based on the life and music of Cline. The show will run for the month of June with performances at 3 p.m. Wednesday and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for children 12 and younger and may be reserved by calling 218-732-0099. Long Lake Theater is located in the town of Hubbard, which can be reached by taking U.S. 71 south to state Highway 87, turn left and follow for six miles to the theater.

Rock concert

Sepia Tones, a band from the Twin Cities, will play original funk rock and indie style from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant, 317 Beltrami Ave. N.W.

Other events

-- Beltrami County History Center whose exhibit, in conjunction with Gallery North, explores a "Spring Fling" through May. There is an exhibit created and designed by BSU intern Sara Van Marel. This installation is of early lifestyles of Native Americans, with artifacts such as baskets, bags, cradleboards and pots is part of the John Morrison Native American Collection. The History Center is located at 130 Minnesota Ave. S.W. in the historic James J. Hill Great Northern Depot. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

-- Bemidji Public Library Art Wall has on display through May Ivy Bailie's watercolors. The display is located on the east library wall, 509 America Ave. NW.

-- Bad Cat Creation Gallery and Gifts 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. Bad Cat is located at 315 Irvine Ave. N.W.

-- Cabin Coffee House and Café, 214 Third St. N.W., invites the public to meet featured artist of the month, Marion Caroline and her exhibit, "Then and Now," a 40-year retrospective of work. 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 has on display "It's Greek to Me," photos from the Greek Isles by Cate Belleveau, and paintings by Alice Linda, in the Wild Rose Theater, 501 Bemidji Ave. This gallery is only open on performance days.

-- Gallery North, 502 Third St. N.W., welcomes Jane Freeman, a well known local watercolor artist, 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 and the North Country Health Services Art Committee welcomes an exhibit by Natalia Himmirska, "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-teens June 15-19 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 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.

-- Stop at the Tourist Information Center, 300 Bemidji Ave., by the statue 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:

-- Benefit concert for the Paul Bunyan Playhouse with Kelley Hunt, 8 p.m., May 29. Tickets are $20 now at Overbeek's, KRKB Music, Wild Hare Bistro and Brigid's Cross Pub and online at, and $25 at door, if available.

-- Lyra, a vocal group from St. Petersburg, Russia. More information about the group may be seen at or by calling 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. N.

-- "Sisters of Swing: The Story of the Andrews Sisters," Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Historic Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji, opens June 10.

-- "As You Like It," by the Mask and Rose Women's Theater Collective, July 16-20, Bard in the Park.

-- Mozart's "La Nozze di Figaro," 7:30 p.m., August 19-21, Thompson Recital Hall.

-- Pelican Railroad every Wednesday night from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at the Backyard BBQ in downtown Bemidji.

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