Winter Plein Air Exhibit Opens & Music, Music, Music

by Joan on January 30, 2014

Fat biking the ice caves! Photo by Bryan Hansel.

Fat biking the ice caves! Photo by Bryan Hansel.

Winter marches on.

This weekend features the opening of the Winter Plein Air Exhibit & Sale at the Grand Marais Art Colony and the official beginning of Winter Tracks, a week-long celebration of winter in Cook County.

First up is opening reception for the Winter Plein Air Exhibit at the the Art Colony  from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31.

Plein air painter Neil Sherman paints the icy Grand Marais harbor in this photo by Mark Tessier. We didn't ask what the temp was, but  we're pretty sure it was -F something.

Plein air painter Neil Sherman paints the icy Grand Marais harbor in this photo by Mark Tessier. We didn’t ask what the temp was, but we’re pretty sure it was minus something fahrenheit.

Photographers and plein air painters have been working outdoors this week, painting and photographing winter landscapes. Their work will on display at the Art Colony through Feb. 23.

The reception, where painters and photographers will be in attendance, will also feature photographs of the snow sculptures that have been carved this week from Tofte to the Gunflint Trail, as well as the sculptors who made them.

This is  a fun show and, surprisingly, not a freezing experience. On the contrary, it’s always  exciting to see what these artists have captured in our winter wonderland. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The snow sculptures are also awesome. You can see them at the Bluefin Resort in Tofte,, the Eagle Ridge Resort on Ski Hill Road in Lutsen,  Harbor Park in Grand Marais with snow sculptures sponsored by Joynes Ben Franklin, Best Western and Art House B&B, and at Bearskin Lodge on the Gunflint Trail. They’ll be up as long as the weather permits.

There are lots of other events during Winter Tracks, including a Family Fun  Weekend at Lutsen Mountains with family Olympic games on Saturday and fireworks  and a torchlight ski parade at 8 p.m.

The Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club will hold a Fun Run on Saturday.Participants can start from either Devil Track Lodge or Hungry Jack Lodge, ending up at Devil Track for a food, music, prizes and more.

And next Saturday, Feb. 8, Winter Tracks concludes at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino at the 11th annual Snowarama Snowmobile Ride starting at 8 a.m. The event is a benefit for Easter Seal kids. The Hoolies play for the dance on Saturday night. For more info, click here.

This Sunday, Feb. 2, is SuperBowl Sunday and there are viewing parties at venues throughout the county including the American Legion, the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino and Papa Charlie’s.

There are some highlights in music, too.

Gordon Thorne and Al Oikari are playing at the Cascade Lodge Pub on Friday night. That should be an interesting show. It’s a small, intimate space and seeing these perform together should be pretty nice. They start at 7 p.m.

Thorne will be interviewed on WTIP’s The Roadhouse just before that, as will Martha Beck, a nationally-recognized life coach and columnist for O (Oprah’s) magazine, about her special workshops for men. The Roadhouse airs from 5-7 p.m.

Cloud Cult will be at Papa Charlie's on Saturday night.

Cloud Cult will be at Papa Charlie’s on Saturday night.

On Saturday night, there’s another treat. The nationally acclaimed band, Cloud Cult, will be at Papa Charlie’s on Lutsen Mountains at  9:30 p.m. Check out some of their music here. The show is a  a great visual experience as well as musically exciting. An acoustic set will open the show.

Also on Saturday night, there’s a fundraiser for Jennifer Schulz at the Grand Marais Art Colony featuring music by the Pete K Group, The Splinters, Cook County’s Most Wanted and Joe Paulik. The “Jam-o-Rama” is from 7-10:30 p.m. There will also be a silent auc\tion. BYOB. All invited.the

By Nancy Seaton.

Pine Tree Totem by Nancy Seaton.

In other art news, Nancy Seaton is one of seven artists featured in a show that opened in the Twin Cities recently.

Entitled “Botanical Art in All Its Wonder,” the exhibit at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul features a range of styles and media  used by the artists to portray plants and flowers, including paintings and fused glass pieces by  Seaton and bead paintings by Jo Wood of Duluth.

The exhibit continues through May 24. To learn more about the show, click here.

Layne Kennedy has just published a children’s book entitled “Croix and The Magic Burl.”

There’s a print version and an eBook version of the book.

Kennedy explained how the book developed in a recent email.

"Croix and The Magic Burl" by Layne Kennedy.

“Croix and The Magic Burl” by Layne Kennedy.

“When I took a wood turning class at the North House eight years ago, I knew I found something that was going to be a wonderful diversion from photography. It is a whole different medium. Very tactile. For once, something created that I could touch and feel. But, its funny in the end. Learning a new art form always seems to bring me back to my original passion, photography.

“When I got into woodturning, I started seeing the forest differently. I looked at trees differently. Then, one day heading home from Grand Marais, I stopped at Cascade River for a short hike and spotted a really cool looking burl. Then, it hit me. Use the old burl as a means to tell a fun story about the forest … using photography as the vehicle, for KIDS!

“Finally, I had some time to put together CROIX AND THE MAGIC BURL. I used my photographs and converted them in Photoshop to watercolors to make them more imaginative and less definitive, like photos can do.

“It was an enjoyable effort. Most of the images, of course, are from the Grand Marais area with a scattering of others images from the region.”

Here’s a link to see the entire book and purchase a hard copy if you’re interested.. And here’s a link to see the eBook. Enjoy!

Artwork by Jerri Jo Brandt. The printed her valentine from the painting she did on this glass plate.

Artwork by Jerri Jo Brandt. She printed her valentine from the painting she did on this glass plate.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and the Grand Marais Art Colony will hold a “Print Your Own Valentine: Community Ink Day” in the Print Studio of the Art Colony this Saturday, Feb. 1,  from  1-4 p.m.

It’s an all-ages printmaking event with an afternoon with lots of hands-on creative fun. Printmaker Jerry Riach will be there to help as you make your own unique printed valentines and art pieces. Cost is $5. Register by calling the Art Colony at 387-2737 or email

For music — here’s the schedule:

Thursday, Jan. 30:

  • James Moors, Poplar River Pub, 6 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Gunflint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.
  • Dance Party with DJ Beavstar, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 31:

  • Pete Kavanaugh, Moguls Tap Room, Caribou Highlands, 3:30 p.m.
  • Mark Darling, Gunflint Lodge, 5:30 p.m.
  • Gordon Thorne & Al Oikari, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 8:30 p.m.
  • The Thunderheads, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Pushing Chain, Papa Charlie’s, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 1:

  • Joe Paulik, Papa Charlie’s, 3:15 p.m.
  • Jim and Michele Miller, Moguls Grille, 3:30 p.m.
  • Mark Darling, Gunflint Lodge, 5:30 p.m.
  • The Sivertones, Papa Charlie’s, 6:45 p.m.
  • Briand Morrison & Roxann Berglund, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, The Landing, Devil Track Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • Jam-O-Rama, Jennifer Schulz Benefit, Grand Marais Art Colony, 7 p.m.
  • The Thunderheads, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Karaoke, Antlers Lounge, Grand Portage Lodge & Casino,  9 p.m.
  • Cloud Cult, Papa Charlie’s, Lutsen Mountains, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 2:

  • Steve Blexrud, Gunflint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 3:

  • Bump Blomberg, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
  • Songwriter Series, Molly Maher, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 4:

  • Fingerstyle Guitar Workshops with Gordon Thorne, Moondance Coffee House, 5-7 p.m. Free.

Wednesday, Feb. 5:

  • Sarah Krueger, Spotlight North, Papa Charlie’s, 8 p.m.

There’s no doubt that winter is here and the high winds and cold temps have created  dramatic scenes on Lake Superior. Here’s a photo by Alec Johnson of one of those places.

Photo by Alec Johnson.

Photo by Alec Johnson.

And there are people who go out in any weather. Christian Dalbec caught this fisherman fishing  on the Two Harbor’s breakwall during one of our ground blizzards. He asked the guy why he was kneeling down and he said because if he stood up, the wind was so strong it would blow him into the lake.

But winter also brings those sublime moments.

Photo by Stephan Hoglund.

Photo by Stephan Hoglund.


Beautiful ones.

David Grinstead posted this photo on Facebook recently. He wrote: "Lake Superior is always surprising me. This time she amazes me with her feminine beauty."

David Grinstead posted this photo on Facebook recently. He wrote: “Lake Superior is always surprising me. This time she amazes me with her feminine beauty.”


Or surprising ones.

Bobcat meets family pet. Photo by Nancy Daly.

Bobcat meets family pet. Photo by Nancy Daly.


Sometimes photographers wait for hours, if not days, to get a shot, like this one.

Photo by Michael Furtman.

Snowy Owl catches a vole, or is it a mouse? Photo by Michael Furtman.


Or sometimes it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time with camera set and ready to go.

Moose cow at Devil Track by Kathy Gray-Anderson.

Moose cow at Devil Track by Kathy Gray-Anderson.


The Apostle Island Sea Caves were on many people’s radar this week. Paul  Sundberg went out there and said that he thought that 500 people might have hiked the beaches and crossed the ice to see the caves that day. He took a photo of some of them.

Photo by Paul Sundberg.

 On the way to the sea caves. Photo by Paul Sundberg.

It was worth it. Some gorgeous images have been posted so far.

Paul sundberg Ice Cave place

Photo by Paul Sundberg.


And this …


And this …


Photo by Bryan Hansel.

Photo by Bryan Hansel.


Some people focused on taking unusual images. This photo by Jeff Henningsgaard features spin-master Jamie Rabold really shooting out the sparks in one of the caves.


Duluth photographer Dennis O’Hara created an absolutely gorgeous panorama of one of the sea caves. Click here to view this cave from 360 degrees.

Photo by Dennis O'Hara.

Photo by Dennis O’Hara.


Another photo op event this weekend was the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon which concluded very late on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. There were lots of wonderful images posted for that event, despite the tough conditions.

This one, though, says it  all– the cold, the dogs, the mushers, the wilderness and the comaraderie between them all.

blake freking nathan schroeder candace watson

Blake Freking, left, and Nathan Schroeder touch hands on Devil Track Lake during the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. Freking was heading into the check point, Schroeder was heading out, when they passed on the lake. Schroeder went on to win the Beargrease. Photo by Candace Watson.

Have a good weekend everyone! And stay warm!














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