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Pat Rall column: Celebrate with Gallery North

Gallery North celebrates its 20th anniversary this Saturday. An open house will be held with music, refreshments and a gathering of many of the past and present member artists.

The gallery was founded in 1989 by a group of artists and was housed in the present location of the Science Center. The two murals on the side of the Woolen Mills building are a sample of their work. They offer paintings, sculpture, fine crafts and offer painting classes to the public on a rotating basis.

Be there to help them celebrate from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the gallery, 502 Third St. N.W.

Caige Jambor

The Lake Bemidji Summer Concert Series welcomes Caige Jambor and Friends, a group of young people who love to get together to sing and play instruments.

The unlikely collection of accordion, trumpet, djembe (West African drum), ukulele, piano and tin whistles will be played to accompany their eclectic assortment of songs. They will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the amphitheater at Lake Bemidji State Park. Please be aware that cars need a park sticker to enter. These events are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council through funding from the Minnesota State Legislature as well as the collaborative effort of Lake Bemidji State Park and the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts.

Church Musicians

The Bemidji Area Church Musicians 2009 Summer Recital Series has concerts each Wednesday through the end of August.

Joe Henry will play the piano and Joe Vene will sing at noon on August 19 at the Church of St. Philip, 702 Beltrami Ave. N.W. A free-will offering will be accepted in support of music scholarships at the door.

Always well attended, these half-hour concerts give the public an opportunity to hear area church musicians play and also enjoy a luncheon at the host church after the concert for a nominal cost.

1940's Radio Hour

"The 1940's Radio Hour" by Walton Jones will open this Wednesday at the Fosston Library Arts Center. The musical is set in a radio studio during December 1942 at the height of World War II.

The performance will feature a rich assortment of characters, including a rarely sober crooner, a delivery boy who longs to be behind the microphone, a women's quartet singing "Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy" and an irascible doorman.

Bemidji State University students will head the production with Whitney Stuckey as director; Matthew Goinz, music director; and Mallory McKay, choreographer. They will bring to the stage a trip down memory lane with songs like "Chattanooga Choo-Choo," "I'll be Seeing You," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and many more favorites of the era, along with live commercials of familiar products like Ipana Toothpaste.

The station "on" light goes red at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 19-22. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children 13 and under. They're available at Generations Clothing Store (218-435-1676) or at the door if available.

This production is made possible in part by a grant from the Northwest Regional Development Commission through funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Minnesota Legislature.

Concert Series

Tickets for the 2009-10 Bemidji Concert Series are on sale now with a variety of ticket packages.

The Department of Music at Bemidji State University is excited to present this eighth season's line-up of internationally known musicians to the stage at the main theater, Thompson Recital Hall at the Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Complex on the campus of BSU and a gala performance by Doc Severinsen and El Ritmo De La Vita on the stage of the Bemidji High School auditorium in February.

For a complete listing of all the performers, dates and ticket prices, write the Department of Music, Attention Bemidji Concert Series, 1500 Birchmont Drive N.E., Bemidji 56601; or visit the Music Office on the second floor of Bangsberg Hall.


At the Paul Bunyan Playhouse there are only three more performances of The Who's "Tommy," a rock opera which won five Tony Awards in 1993. The musical is based on the life of a boy who is deaf, dumb and blind but is a genius at playing pinball machines -"Pinball Wizard."

Three actors play Tommy: Jamie Altier as the young Tommy, Shyanne Caml as the teen Tommy and Ryan Knox Parker as the adult Tommy.

Other local young actors are Jessie Ladig, Leslie Rith-Najarian, Katherine Tieben, Aric Farfaro, Eric Bergsven and Andrew Bowers, who will join with dancers Elizabeth Downs, Dan Lundin and Max Wojtanowicz for this musical tour de force.

Familiar tunes to be played by the five-piece band's director Jake Endres include "Acid Queen" and "I'm Free."

This play is intended for mature audiences and ear plugs are offered to the audience at the door as it is, after all, a rock musical.

"Tommy" has two acts with one intermission. Performance time is 8 p.m. today, tomorrow and Saturday. Tickets are $22 and student tickets are $11 for anyone younger than 21 and may be purchased at the box office, by calling 751-7270, or online at

The playhouse is located in the Historic Chief Theater, 312 Beltrami Ave. N.W., downtown Bemidji.

E Bemidji Community Art Center, 426 Bemidji Ave. N, welcomes a unique exhibit "Reveal," with photographic portraits by John Bauer accompanied by audio recordings of their story. While using an iPod, the viewer will listen to Heidi Holton's recordings as the subjects muse about their lives, loves and joys.

Check out the objet d'art from Shop 426; all proceeds benefit programming and the local artists. BCAC is free and open to the public daily except Sunday and Monday.

- Beltrami County History Center continues its exhibit in conjunction with Gallery North, "Summer Breeze," at the Historic James J. Hill Great Northern Depot, 130 Minnesota Ave. S.W. Center hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

- Gallery North is exhibiting nationally known wildlife artist Linda Walker as the Showcase Artist of the month.

Former Bemidji resident Bill Kruger is the author of the month and his book of tales for children, "Mr. Euchre and other Northwood's Fables," a collection of stories about woodland animals, is on display and for sale.

Gallery North is at 502 Third St. N.W. across the street from Bemidji Woolen Mills.

- Bad Cat Creations and Gifts is next door to Bemidji Woolen Mills and although the street is blocked off, follow the entrance signs to get to this venue. The featured artist of the month is Pamela Lee Johnson with her nature and wildlife photography. The work will be framed and matted prints will be on sale.

A boutique for contemporary accessories and fun gifts, Bad Cat is located at 315 Irvine Ave. NW.

- Glazed and Amused is a paint-your-own pottery studio. Stop by and view the window display of pieces painted by their customers. And, walk-in painters are always welcome. The studio is open Wednesday through Sunday and is located at 311 Third St. N.W.

- The Cabin Coffeehouse and Café, 214 Third St. N.W., has on display Brooke Knisle's "Reflections in the Landscape," a collection of her photographs of landscapes, flowers and portraits involving human's existence with nature from her work in the field of conservation, hiking, camping and outdoor adventures.

There also is an ongoing display of Audrey Merchman's work for sale.

The Cabin is open seven days a week

- Bemidji Public Library, 509 America Ave. N.W. will feature the artwork of those students who participated in the summer reading programs for kindergartners through teens.

For the month of August, the display will be sketches, yarn art, "piano hinge" books and wind chimes.

- Brigid's Cross Irish Pub, 317 Beltrami Ave. N., welcomes Erja and Mike Wiltse and a showcase of their oil and watercolor paintings, titled "Erja + Mike = Art Show."

- Wild Hare Bistro and Coffee House, 523 Minnesota Ave. N.W., is featuring Karen Bradley's "Body Ornaments" made with reusable items such as seeds, beads, shells, old jewelry, leather and sequins which are knitted or crocheted into wearable pieces.

- Dunn Bros. Coffee welcomes local artist Terry Honstead and her exhibit, "Feminine Fancy," featuring lace and flower paintings in watercolor, watercolor collage and acrylic collage for the month of August.

Also on display and available for purchase are Levandowski Pottery and fused and slumped glassware by MaryBeth Vaudrin and Beverlee Olson. Visit them at 501 Paul Bunyan Drive S.

- Neilson Place, 1000 Anne St. N.W., and the North Country Health Services Art Committee welcome an exhibit by Natalia Himmirska, titled "Embrace."

Her work will be on display through August 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.

- Paul Bunyan Playhouse and Bemidji Community Theater are pleased to announce that they will be presenting a collaborative effort, "Pirates of Penzance" a Gilbert and Sullivan musical comedy.

This will be a high-energy show with physical comedy, challenging lyrics, dancing and sword-fighting.

Actors, male and female, ages 15 and up, are encouraged to audition and prepare 16 bars of music; an accompanist will be provided.

Director Mary Knox Johnson and musical director Karen Bradley will be holding auditions 7-9 p.m. Aug. 24 at The Cabin Coffee House, 214 Third St. N.W .or by appointment.

For more information, contact Kelly Kirk, technical director, at 760-1066 or Mary Johnson at 333-8740.

- Bemidji Sculpture Walk received a grant from the G. W. Nielson Foundation to fabricate and display fiberglass images that will be decorated by artists for the 2010 season.

Members of the general public are being asked to vote for an image: either a fish, beaver, turtle, deer, small canoe, Paul Bunyan or another choice.

Votes will be compiled until the end of August, at which time the winner will be announced.

To cast your vote, e-mail Two-Dimensional Artists may also access this Web site for further information and apply to participate by decorating the winning image.

- Tutto Bene, 300 Beltrami Ave. N.W., has an ongoing display of new artwork 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.

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

Upcoming events

Mark your calendars now with these upcoming events:

- "Pirates, The Musical," by Mrs. Yam's Children's Theatre, will be at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20-22 and 2:30 p.m. Aug. 22., at Voyageurs Expeditionary. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for children 13 and under, and children 3 and under are free. For more information call 970-201-7561.

- Oompah for the Arts, the annual fundraiser for Bemidji Area Arts Endowment, is Sept.18; tickets are on sale now. Information: Chamber of Commerce Web site or call 444-8310.

- A Night of Chamber Music with Minnesota Orchestra musicians will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27.

- Street musicians will perform 5 to 8 p.m. every Thursday night in downtown Bemidji.

- Pelican Railroad will be offered 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. every Wednesday 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