Sandra Updyke took this incredible shot of ice on the shores of Lake Superior the other day.

Sandra Updyke took this incredible shot of ice on the shores of Lake Superior the other day.


Winterer's Gathering & the Arctic Film Festival is at North House Folk School this weekend.

Winterer’s Gathering & the Arctic Film Festival is at North House Folk School this weekend.

Celebrate the North this weekend at North House Folk School’s Winterer’s Gathering & Arctic Film Festival.

The three-day event features presentations, coursework, workshops, a winter tent camp, a gear & ski swap, community dancing, films, featured speakers and more, all focused on the lifeways and cultures in the North.

This year’s featured speakers are Katherine BreenSarah and Eric McNair-Landry and Erik Boomer who paddled their hand-crafted traditional Inuit sea kayaks 600 miles around southern Baffin Island, retracing a historical migration route.

They will give a presentation about their adventures at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.

'Lost in the Barrens will be screened at 9 p.m. Saturday, one of many films to be screened over the weekend.

‘Lost in the Barrens” will be screened at 9 p.m. Saturday, one of many films to be screened over the weekend.

This will be followed by the featured film of the Arctic Film Festival: “Lost in the Barrens” based on a novel by Farley Mowat. The film starts at 9 p.m.

There’s lots more to see and do at Winterer’s Gathering, however, including a variety of workshops, presentations and more.

Highlights include the the Snowshoe Shuffle Contra Dance with Over the Waterfall (7 p.m. Friday,) the Gear & Ski Swap (10:30 p.m. Saturday) and the Deep Freeze Chili Feed (6 p.m. Saturday) as well as ongoing films about the Arctic and the people who live there, and a wide variety of workshops and presentations.

New this year are “Drop-in Skills“workshops, where participants can sign up and learn a number of skills. On Saturday,  the workshops include “Fix your hole-y socks” with Elise Kyllo, “Sharpening Things” with Paul Linden, 3 p.m., and “Making Mittens” with Kurt Buetow at 4 p.m.

On Sunday, Nate Johnson will hold “Meet the Crooked Knife” at 9 a.m. and Emily Derke will teach “Small Game Snaring” at 10 a.m. followed by Mike Schelmeske, “Repurpose Old Tools.”

For the complete schedule of events, visit

Another storyteller of the north, author, filmmaker, Olympian and NHL hockey player, Henry Boucha, will speak at the Grand Marais Public Library at 1:30 p.m. Friday. This is a free program about Boucha’s life growing up in Warroad, becoming an Olympic and NHL hockey player and how his Ojibwe roots have helped him persevere through challenges and tragedies to become a leader in raising awareness about Native American athletes today. All invited.

Also this Friday, Bill Kienert, the director of ‘Project Ice,” a film that will shown at 7:30 p.m. at North House during the Arctic Film Festival, will talk about making this film about the Great Lakes on WTIP’s The Roadhouse. Also, the EverGreen Grass Band will be on the show to talk about their music and play a few tunes. The program airs from 5-7 p.m.

And this is the weekend for the popular “Holidays in Schroeder” in the West End.

It will be held in two locations: the Cross River Heritage Center and the Schroeder Town Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. A Christmas bazaar will be held at at the Town Hall. Entitled  “North County Creations,” it will offer a wide variety of handmade arts & crafts for the holiday season.

There will be a holiday sale at the Cross River Heritage Center at the same time and features an an art sale and an exhibit of works by Mary Jane Huggins, Peter Juhl,  Kathy Gray-Anderson, Trish Hunter and Tim Ostroot.  Mrs. Santa Claus will make an appearance, and there will be lefse and krumkaka demonstrations. The drawing for “Whitesky,” a handmade quilt, will be at 2 p.m. The Heritage Center will then close for the season. Free and open to the public.

Fans of NPR’s Stuart McLean & the Vinyl Cafe can see him in Thunder Bay this weekend, too. He will be at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium  presenting his Christmas show at 2:30 p.m. (EST) Sunday. Tickets are available online at

Painting by Liz Sivertson

Painting by Liz Sivertson.

In other art news, this is the last weekend to see the Members Show at the Grand Marais Art Colony. It closes Sunday, Nov. 23.

This is an exceptional exhibit that showcases the breadth and variety of art work created by Art Colony members. Glass, ceramics, oil, encaustic, sumi-e, watercolor, mono-prints, sculpture, collage and more are featured in the show.

The Art Colony is also featuring extra handmade bowls from the Empty Bowls fundraiser last week in its Gift Shop. They are $10 each. All the proceeds will go to Empty Bowls.

The Art Colony is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

In Duluth, Lutsen sculptor Tom Christiansen is among 26  artists selected to exhibit in the 60th annual Arrowhead Biennial, which is currently open at the Duluth Art Institute in the Depot in Duluth.

Also at the Duluth Art Institute is an exhibit of Jo Wood’s bead paintings, “Meaning of Home” and a fascinating exhibit featuring drawings, notebooks, and source material for George Morrison’s masterpieces. The exhibit is entitled “Drawing at the Horizon.”

In conjunction with the Duluth Art Institute’s exhibit, the North Shore Bank of Commerce is exhibiting “From the Collection,”  a selection of works by previous winners of the Biennial as well as other selected works. It was curated by John Steffl, the former director of the Duluth Art Institute, and a ceramic artist and fine art photographer as well.

"Reservoir," woodcut by Cecilia Lieder, is one of the works in "From the Collection" at the North Shore Bank of Commerce.

“Reservoir,” woodcut by Cecilia Lieder, is one of the works in “From the Collection” at the North Shore Bank of Commerce.

Well-known Minnesota artists like Jim Denomie, Craig Blacklock , Cheng Khee Chee, Cecilia Lieder, Elsie Cook, John Salminen and many more have works in bank’s exhibit space.

In his curator’s statement, Steffl notes: “Regrettably, there is a troublesome pebble embedded in the psyche of our society: the misguided perception that art cannot exist without a rarified and pristine environment. It is a twisted thought that turns owning and displaying artwork into an unfortunate burden, like caring for an expensive breed of delicate, if not sickly, schnauzer.”

He goes on to say that all the artworks in this exhibit have had a life. “They have been placed in offices, showcased in lobbies and tucked away in alcoves … They have been loved (or in some cases endured) by staff and clients, captains of industry as well as everyday folks. And, unquestionably, it is the egalitarian beauty of presenting at at the North Shore Bank of Commerce that makes curating exhibits so attractive. People from all walks of life have the opportunity to experience art in a familiar setting … at their discretion … for free.”

"Birch Bark No. 3" by Gail Marshall.

“Birch Bark No. 3″ by Gail Marshall.

In Thunder Bay, the Baggage Building Arts Centre is featuring “Birch Bark Visions” through Nov. 30.

It is a collaborative exhibition of drawings on birch bark by artists Mac Squires, Lisa Winter and Gail Marshall.

The Baggage Building is located at Prince Arthur’s Landing in downtown Thunder Bay. Check it out here.

For music this weekend:

Thursday, Nov. 20:

  • Gordon Thorne, Gunflint Tavern, 8 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 21:

  • EverGreen Grass Band, Gunflint Tavern, 9 p.m.
  • Cook County’s Most Wanted, Birch Grove Foundation fundraiser, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 22:

  • Josh Von Mink, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Comedy Show, Grand Portage Lodge & Casino, 8 p.m.
  • EverGreen Grass Band, Gunflint Tavern, 9 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 23:

  • Stuart McLean & The Vinyl Cafe’s Christmas Show, 2:30 p.m. (EST), Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, Thunder Bay
  • Timmy Haus, Gunflint Tavern, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 26:

  • Open Mic Night, Gunflint Tavern, 6 p.m.


Here is our selection of photographs for this week.

First up, some gorgeous northern lights photos.

Photo by Scott Canfield.

Photo by Scott Canfield.


Photo by David Johnson.

Photo by David Johnson.

And some great wildlife shots.

The first one is by Paul Sundberg.

There are two deer in this photo by Paul Sundberg. The doe in the foreground and an attentive buck hidden in the trees.

There are two deer in this photo by Paul Sundberg: The doe in the foreground and an attentive buck hidden in the trees.

David Johnson has been taking lots of photographs of bald eagles recently. Here’s a stunning one.

Photo by David Johnson.

Photo by David Johnson.


Thomas Spence captured this fascinating image of early ice on the Onion River.

Photo by Thomas Spence.

Photo by Thomas Spence.


And we found two great sunrise shots. Here’s one by Bryan Hansel taken on Artist’s Point.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.


And Jamie Rabold caught this gorgeous shot as a 1,000-footer approached the Duluth harbor in swirling sea fog.

Photo by Jamie Rabold.

Photo by Jamie Rabold.


Have a great weekend, everyone!









Empty Bowls, Music & Lutsen Mountains opens

November 12, 2014

  This is a fairly quiet weekend in Cook County, but there two fun things to do for sure. Attend the Empty Bowls Lunch & Dinner fundraiser at St. John’s Catholic Church on Thursday, and strap on your skis or snowboard and check out the slopes on Lutsen Mountains at the season opener Saturday and […]

Read the full article →

The Storm Festival, Lunafest, Opera & More

November 5, 2014

  A fun and unusual time is on tap for everyone this weekend featuring everything from opera to a dash through a Lake Superior wave. It starts on Friday with the second annual Lake Superior Storm Festival with many associated events. Visit the new exhibit at the Cook County Historical Museum in Grand Marais and […]

Read the full article →

Art Colony Member Show, Halloween Parties, & Bluegrass

October 29, 2014

m4s0n501 It’s another busy weekend in Cook County, especially since Halloween is on a Friday. In fact, it’s really one of those nights (or weekends, for that matter) when a time travel suit would come in handy. The day before Halloween, Oct. 30, enjoy new work by members of the Grand Marais Art Colony when […]

Read the full article →

The Thank-You Bar, Chris Gillis & Friends

October 22, 2014

There are lots of interesting things going on this weekend. First off is the dance installation, “The Thank-You Bar,” with Emily Johnson and Catalyst at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts Oct. 24-25. There are four shows:  7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. They are all limited-audience shows […]

Read the full article →