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Pioneer Previews: Church to hold open house for DeWitt paintings

Artist Michael DeWitt will be speaking about his paintings, which are newly installed in Bemidji United Methodist Church sanctuary, from 1:30-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29.

A five-year project, which took DeWitt on his own personal spiritual journey of retreats and study, has resulted in a series of painting. DeWitt was commissioned by the church to paint an interpretation of divine-human faith quests. He will speak on them at 2 p.m. Pianist Abe Hunter of Bemidji will also perform during the opening reception. This event is free and open to the public. For more information on the paintings, please see Staff Blogs on home page of Bemidji and scroll down to Bemidji Arts News or

Norwegian music

The public is invited to enjoy the music of Arnna Rennan, who will perform Norwegian music for the Bemidji Sons of Norway at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, at the Eagles Club, 1270 Neilson Ave. S.E. In addition to singing, Rennan plays the guitar, accordion, seljefloyte (overtone flute) and langeleik. She studied at the Institute of Fol Music in Rauland, University of Telemark, Norway, for which she received a Jerome Travel Study Grant. This event is free and open to the public.

Choral concert

The Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus will be appearing at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 19, at Thompson Recital Hall of Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Complex on the campus of Bemidji State University. "Ole', Ole', Ole" will be a preview performance of the new spring 2011 program that will be touring and competing this year. The Twin Cities chorus is the fourth largest in the country with 80-100 volunteer singers whose primary focus is the pursuit of musical excellence and energy that transforms, educates and celebrates diversity. This event will be hosted by the Hospitality Initiative of Servant Hearts and the BSU Phoenix Gay/Straight Student Organization. This activity is funded, in part, by a grant from Region 2 Arts Council through the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008 and a donation from PFLAG of Park Rapids. Tickets will go on sale Feb. 1 at Harmony Natural Foods Co-op and the main desk of BSU Hobson Memorial Union. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and students with a valid ID.

Opera event

"Love Songs & Arias," an evening of fine dining and musical selections from opera to Broadway, will be held starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at the Hampton Inn and Suites, 1019 Paul Bunyan Dr. S. This will be the third annual Valentine's fundraiser for local opera productions in Bemidji. Under the direction of Abe Hunter, singers from the Loon Opera Co. will perform: Mark Christensen, Julia Lamon, Sara Wabrowetz and Linda Wagner. Special guest Josef Schlemper will croon some of Frank Sinatra's love songs and Abe Hunter will be featured in two piano solos. Social hour will begin at 6 p.m., with dinner and music to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 each with proceeds going to the 2011 summer season of the Loon Opera Co. For menu selections, please see Staff Blogs on home page of Bemidji and scroll down to Bemidji Arts News or For reservations and information, call Abe Hunter (218) 368-8805.

TV series

Common Ground, a magazine show which demonstrates the creative process of various artists living in this region, airs at 7 p.m. Thursdays on Lakeland Public TV. Featured this week is Zane Gray, a sculptor from Bagley who carves natural stone with fire. Mark Herbert of Park Rapids will show how to create rock art. There will be a tour of the Edge Center for the Arts in Bigfork and visit "The Gathering" a Motley event where local families find lost connections and learn the history of the area. The shows will be repeated at 6 p.m. Sundays and at 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays following the initial broadcast. Videos of past shows are also available on line at Click on Common Ground for past episodes. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 2, 2008.

Weekend music

- Enchanted Ape will rock the house from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday, Jan. 28, at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant, 317 Beltrami Ave. N.W. This band has a whole different approach to the world's great music, originals and favorites in rock and roll. The restaurant kitchen will close at 9 p.m.

- A country dance with Timberline, Kari Munson, John Essig, Dave Sand, and Steve Schussman will be held from 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Solway Bar and Grill, U.S. Highway 2 West.

- Toki Wright of Rhymesayers will perform at 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Blue Ox Restaurant and Bar, 128 First St. N.W.

Audition call

Auditions for the BSU Theater Department spring show, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will be held from 6-9 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Jan. 30 and 31. Those interested should call for audition time at 755-3901 or 209-7929.

Studio Cruise

The Bemidji First City of Arts Studio Cruise Steering Committee is looking for individuals who are interested in serving as a volunteer member of this committee to organize and deliver the 2011 event. Those who are interested in learning more are asked to contact either Dave Towley at 333-3547 or Lori Forshee Donnay at 444-7570.

Friend of Arts

For the 23rd year the Bemidji Community Art Center is asking people in the Bemidji Community and surrounding area to nominate this year's Friend of the Arts. The nominee for the Friend of the Arts award should be a living person (or couple) who has given generously of time and effort to promote the arts in the greater Bemidji area. If you know someone who should be honored by the Bemidji Community Art Center and the community of Bemidji, please contact the BCAC for more information. Application forms are also available at Nominations must be received at the Bemidji Community Art Center (BCAC) at 426 Bemidji Ave, Bemidji, MN 56601, no later than Jan. 31. The public will be informed of the selection committee's choice after March 1 with the announcement of the celebration to follow. The BCAC Friends of the Arts Award is sponsored, in part by, our Business Partners; First National Bank Bemidji, North Country Health Services, Paul Bunyan Telephone and Dunn Bros Coffee.

Historical Society

The Beltrami County Historical Society will host its annual Valentine, White Elephant and Bake Sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12. Donations of new or gently used items can be dropped off 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday at the History Center, 130 Minnesota Ave. S.W. For more information, call 444-3376.

Artist call

- Bemidji Community Arts Center will accept from one to three submissions of art work from member artists through Jan. 28 for the Annual Members Show. Call 444-7570 or for more information. Other artists who wish to apply should contact BCAC. The opening for the show will be Friday, Feb. 4.

- Minnesota Public Radio is seeking young classical musicians; vocalists, instrumental soloists and small ensembles for the "Minnesota Varsity." The program will accept recordings from young artists, ages 14-18, for a pre-screening by the classical MPR staff and 15-20 will be chosen to work with a professional recording engineer to produce a high-quality recording. For all requirements and information, check online at The timeframe for submitting the recordings is through Feb. 15. Minnesota Varsity is made possible, in part, by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Garrison Keillor

"A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor, actors Tim Russell and Sue Scott, sound-effects ace Tom Keith, the Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, led by Richard Dworsky and special guests will begin at 4:45 p.m. with a pre-show and live broadcast from 5-7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 12, at the BSU John Glas Fieldhouse. Tickets are on sale now. Order online through, call 800-982-2787, or visit any Ticketmaster outlet.


- February is Gallery North's "Warm Your Heart" month with Gallery North offering free art classes to the public. A person may register for up to two classes at Gallery North, 502 Third St. N.W. Class size is limited and these classes fill up fast.

All classes are scheduled from 1-4pm:

Feb. 8, wire wrapped jewelry taught by Jennie Fennier.

Feb. 11, basket making taught by Monie Martin.

Feb. 15, Ukrainian eggs taught by Mary Morton.

Feb. 16, paper quilling taught by Julie Dodge Johnson.

Feb.19, watercolor taught by Joyce Martin.

Feb. 22, drawing taught by Doug Zuehlsdorff.

Feb.26, reverse painting on glass taught by Marion Caroline Reil.

- Watercolor painting workshop will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at Gallery North with Marion Carioline, titled, "Winter Wonderland" where students will complete and mat a 16-by-20-inch watercolor of a Northwoods winter snow scene. Class fee is $45 with a $5 discount with pre-paid registrations. Registrations will be taken at Gallery North.

- CarolAnn Russell will hold a Winter Writer's Retreat: Stories Are Alive! The theme is "Healing the wounded feminine in both men and women." There will be five sessions: Preparing for the Journey, Mapping the Journey, Stages of the Journey, Looking Back on the Journey, and Trust the Earth. The workshop will be from 7-9 p.m. o Friday, Feb. 4 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave. N.W. The fee is $100. Call 444-5606 to register by Feb. 2. Funding support was made available through the Region 2 Arts Council.

- Eric Webster of Pickaline Productions of Minneapolis will lead a "Voice Over Fundamental Workshop" from 2-4p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts. Highlights of the workshop will include voice acting fundamentals, script interpretation, microphone use, acting choices, dialects and character voices. Also, there will be a portion dedicated to how the industry works including agents, script writing and working from home. At the end of the classroom session there will be an opportunity to go into the recording booth at Supple Studios in Bemidji and record a 30-second spot. This recording will be available to use for a voice-over audition reel. The cost of the workshop is $60 per participant. Call 444-5606 to register by Feb. 1. Funding support was made available through the Region 2 Arts Council.

- Theater 101 will be held from 4-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22. The workshop will be an introductory course in theater designed to develop imagination, build confidence and communication skills with an emphasis on the different aspects of theater including props, costumes and acting. The age range is from 6-9 years old, and the cost is $35 per student. Call 444-5606 to register.

- Acting 101 will be held from 5-6 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22. The workshop will be an introductory course to acting designed to develop creative abilities and teamwork with an emphasis on acting including stage directions, movement, vocalization and character development, everything from warm-ups to the audition process. The age range is from 10-14 years old and the cost is $35 per student. Call 444-5606 to register.

- Arts Workshop funds are available from Region 2 Arts Council. The "No-Risk" Workshops" are coordinated through R2AC who will assist with registration and other aspects of the program. "No Risk" means there is no financial risk to the applicant. The workshop must focus on learning experiences for adult learners and be open to the public. Any group that wants to bring in an artist to do a workshop is eligible, as are regional artists who wish to present a workshop themselves. Proposals are considered on an ongoing basis but funds are limited. Please contact staff of Region 2 Arts Council at 751-45447 or 800-275-5447 or e-mail

Art exhibits

- Bad Cat Creations Gallery and Gifts, 315 Irvine Ave N.W., featured artist for January is Shanna Mae Olsen and her show, "Transformation," a world of textile experimentation with large scale textile sculpture, unique plushies, functional wallets and other pieces.

- Beltrami County Historical Society has on display the work of Kay Schuver, "Reflections by Kay" until the end of March. A new exhibit, "Baskets and Beads: Weaving Traditions" as created and designed by Nicole Foss, is now a part of the John Morrison American Indian Collection. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Saturday and is located in the historic James J. Hill Great Northern Depot.

- Bemidji Public Library has on display for January the Artists of Gallery North. For more information on opportunities to exhibit work at the library, call Paul Simonson at 444-7886. The library is located at 509 America Ave. N.W. and is open Monday through Saturday.

- Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant invites the public to view a collection of mixed media drawing/installation reflecting Minnesota's ice fishers by Nina Lubarski. The pub is open at 11 a.m. Monday-Saturday and is located at 317 Beltrami Ave. N. W.

- Cabin Coffeehouse and Café will present Arnold Volker of "Real Stone" and Sherry Gendron from "Next Generation" as featured artists for January. Using the colorful field stones from the Itasca moraine, Volker has partnered with "Next Innovations" of Walker to create decorative wall art made of stone and steel. Also on display and for sale are paintings and cards by Audrey Merschman. Located at 214 Third St. N.W., the Cabin is open seven days a week.

- Lueken's Village Foods North has on display work by Maureen O'Brian, who portrays the importance of nature to the human spirit in her paintings.

- Saarens Productions invites the public to stop by the Wild Rose Theater, 501 Bemidji Ave. The Fleur de Lis Gallery has the work of some new artists: Al Belleveau, Keith Cich, Melissa Davidson, Terry Honstead and Don Zieman to the new rotation of art work by DeeJay Arens, Roy C. Booth, Janet Burke, Marlon Davidson and Don Knudson, Thomas Hamilton, Mary-Knox Johnson, Rita Arsenault Quinn, Steve Saari and Judy Lunseth. The new gallery hours are 2-6 p.m., Wednesday-Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturday.

- The North Country Health Services Art Committee presents a group exhibition entitled, "Pathways - The Art of Bemidji State University," by art students of Natalia Himmirska. This special display will be up through January for the pleasure of residents, families, staff and the community at large. Artwork is for sale and a price list will be provided at the reception desk. The Bistro at WoodsEdge is featuring new gift items by Dave and Kathy Towley, local artisans known for their fine craft wood turnings in a variety of wood. The Towleys' woodwork will be on display and for sale through February. The Bistro at WoodsEdge is located just inside the front entryway to Neilson Place at WoodsEdge, on the North Country Health Services Senior Living Campus, 1000 Anne St. N.W. For more information, email

- Wild Hare Coffee House and Bistro, 523 Minnesota Ave. N.W., will display "People & Places," prints by Cody Bartz, who combines the technical abilities of the computer with the handmade qualities of printmaking to portray humans within a modern and abstract landscape. Wild Hare is closed on Sunday.

- Talley Gallery has on display "Mish Mash," a collection of drawings and large woodcut prints that deal with serious moral and societal problems such as human nature, dependencies and self-absorption by Derrick Riley. The exhibit will be up through Feb. 16. The gallery is located in room 212 of the BSU Education Arts Building and is barrier-free and open at no charge to the public. The Talley Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

- The Blackduck Area History and Art Center will the closed through January and re-open with a February exhibit.

- Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave. N.W., has on display works of watercolor artist Judy Selby.

- Tutto Bene, 300 Beltrami Ave. N.W., a restaurant and art gallery, has an ongoing display of new art work by Michael De Witt, Jane Freeman, Terry Honstead, Beverlee Olson, Mary Therese Peterson, Judy Selby, Pat Shough (Sillimandi) Michael Thomas Sunnarborg and MaryBeth Vaudrin for viewing pleasure and sale. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and is closed on Sunday.

- Tourist Information Center, 300 Bemidji Ave. by the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe, has a map and information on the pieces included in the Bemidji Sculpture Walk.

Upcoming events

Feb. 4, 5-7 p.m., Timberline at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub during First Friday reception.

- Feb. 12, 6-10 p.m., country dance with Timberline at Solway Bar and Grill.

- Feb. 13, 2-4 p.m., fundraiser for an elevator at the Bemidji Senior Citizens Center.

- Feb. 22, 7 p.m., "Relating the Holocaust to Native American Issues" with Clay Jenkinson, Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Complex, BSU.

- Feb. 23, 6 p.m., "Atmosphere" and special guests at The Sanford Center Ballroom, Tickets are $21 at box office 441-4032.

- Brigid's Cross Irish Pub hosts Katie Corning from 7:30-9:30 p.m. every Wednesday.

- Brigid's Cross Irish Pub hosts Open Stage 8-11:30 p.m. every Thursday. Call 444-0567 for more information.

- Pelican Railroad, 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. every Wednesday at the Backyard BBQ, 119 Third St. N.W.

- Northern Artist Association meets at 12:30 p.m. the third Monday of the month at the Eagles Club. The public is invited to attend. For information call 759-2952.

- Headwaters Basketmakers Guild meets the third Saturday of the month, contact

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