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Patt Rall column for May 28: Paul Bunyan Playhouse benefit features blues singer Kelley Hunt

Popular blues singer Kelley Hunt and her backup band will entertain faithful fans and new enthusiasts at 8 p.m. Friday at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse. This will be her third benefit performance in Bemidji. She was here few years ago to play for a Headwaters School of Music and the Arts fundraiser and then returned for a concert under the tent at Union Station for the Battered Women's Shelter.

Mike Tangen decided to bring Hunt back to Bemidji to satisfy those fans who have been "pestering him to bring her back" and also to bolster the financial status of the playhouse. Her musical talents reach across the musical genres of blues, gospel, roots and jazz Hunt's new CD "Mercy" is a Nashville product, and there will be a selection of her CDs for sale at the concert, with part of the cost also going toward the playhouse. Advance tickets are on sale now for $20 at Overbeek's Electronics, KRKB Music Outlet, Wild Hare Bistro and Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and online at If available, tickets will be sold at the door for $25. For those who want to spend a musical Friday evening with a talented artist and also support the playhouse, join the audience for the show in the Historic Chief Theatre in downtown Bemidji.

Folk music

Lehto & Wright, a three-peice Anglo-Celtic folk rock band will perform from 8 p.m.-midnight Saturday at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub, 317 Beltrami Ave. N.W. The concert is free and open to the public.

Community Band

The Community Band is back practicing for its summer series of lakeside concerts, and conductor David Murphy hopes some new musicians will join the band. There are still a few positions open in each section, which he would like to fill. Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings. Four performances are scheduled during June, July and August. The band practices in the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex on the campus of Bemidji State University. This year's opening concert will be held at 7 p.m. Father's Day, June 21, on the lawn at Baker Park, 803 Dewey Ave. N.E. Regulars know to take a chair, a sweater and join their friends for these community concerts. A free will offering will be accepted to help defray costs for musical scores and equipment.

Watercolor class

Gallery North, 501 Third St. N.W., will offer a "Thrown Floral" watercolor class for teaching the "wet on wet" technique at 1 p.m. June 27. For information or to register for the class, stop by Gallery North or call 751-7741.

Blackduck exhibit

"Everyday Miracles, Celebrating the Ordinary," a photography and poetry exhibit by Deb DeNio Krueger is open now at the Tin Pan gALLEry until June 27. Opening reception will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 6 in the Blackduck History Center, Main and Margaret Streets.

Other events

--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 younger and may be purchased now at the Bemidji Community Arts Center, Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, the Wild Hare Bistro and Coffee House or for $15 at the door. For more information, contact Lori at 444-7570.

--"A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline" will open at Long Lake Theater with a Bemidji cast. Local actors Julie Kaiser, who will be featured as Patsy Cline, and Matt Goinz, the radio announcer, will be joined by Lee Foster and Chris Konecne for this musical based on the life and music of Cline. The show will run through June with performances at 3 p.m. Wednesdays and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 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 may be reached by taking U.S. 71 south to state Highway 87 then turning left for six miles to theater.

--Beltrami County History Center's 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 American Indians, 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-Saturday.

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

--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 Cafe, 214 Third Street N.W., invites the public to meet featured artist of the month, Marion Caroline with her exhibit, "Then and Now," a forty-year retrospective of work. There is also an on-going display of Audrey Merschman's cards and paintings. The Cabin is open seven days a week and is located at in downtown Bemidji.

--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. Wild Rose Theater is located at 501 Bemidji Ave. This gallery is only open on performance days.

--Gallery North 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, 1000 Anne St. N.W., and the North Country Health Services Art Committee welcomes an exhibit by Natalia Himmirska, "Embrace." Her work will be on display through June for the pleasure of the residents, families, staff and the community at large. The work is for sale, and a price list is provided at the reception desk.

--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 June 29-July 3. Finally, "Shakespeare for Kids" camp for ages 9 to 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, e-mail 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. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and is closed on Sunday.

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

--Lyra, a vocal group from St. Petersburg, Russia. More information about the group may be seen at or call 444-5302. Tickets are $5, and performance will be held at 7 p.m. June 11 at 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 will open June 10.

--34th Annual Midsommar Fest, 12:30 p.m. June 13, Library Park, Bemidji.

--Region 2 Arts Council information session, June 17, Bemidji.

--Community Band Concert, 7 p.m. July 5, Baker Park.

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

--Community Band Concert, 7 p.m., July 19, Baker Park.

--Community Band Concert, 7 p.m., Aug. 2, Baker Park.

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

--Pelican Railroad every Wednesday 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