Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bogs may be Common but Can Make Beautiful Art At The Edge Center Gallery

The August Exhibit at the Edge Center Gallery in Bigfork shows beauty that’s right in front of your eyes, or more appropriately under your feet. The exhibit "Bog Tapestries: Elizabeth Blair Photography" shows the photographic results of shooting close up photos of the bogs in Itasca County’s black spruce, tamarack and cedar bogs along with samples of some of her other work. This exhibit can open your imagination to appreciate some of nature’s incredible beauty. And you don’t have to get your feet wet to appreciate it. The Opening Reception for the exhibit is Friday, July 31 from 5:00 to 7:00 with a chance to meet the artist along with a reading of their double-voiced bog poetry by Susan Hawkinson and Loree Miltich.  At 6:00PM a 30-minute documentary video, "Bogs, A Love Story", by Christine Baeumler, will be shown in the Edge Theatre. The exhibit will be in the Gallery, next to the Bigfork School, from July 30 until August 29. It is open from 10:00 to 4:00 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Elizabeth Blair (below) began shooting her Bog Tapestries series in 2009. Each of Elizabeth’s digital SLR macro photographs depicts just 3-5 square inches of surface water. In pools under the roots of cedar trees, the trees, bushes and plants that grow above cast reflections and contribute cones, needles, twigs and leaves to the colorful bog palette.  These images change continually, depending on the wind and weather, the season, the time of day, the temperature, the angle of the sun, and the color and texture of the sky and clouds above. Elizabeth's work might seem familiar to regular gallery visitors since she has exhibited in several Edge Juried shows in the past.

Where much of Elizabeth's photography work takes place, a sign at the Big Bog State Recreational Area (boardwalk below) Bogs are sometimes described as the last American wilderness. A bog is a wetland without forest cover dominated by living, peat-forming plants common in the northern counties of Minnesota. Big Bog State Recreation Area is located on Highway 72, just north of the town of Waskish in Northern Minnesota.


Blair explains, ”Most of my Bog Tapestry photographs were shot in one small cedar pool with a diameter of less than three feet.  The challenge with this photographic project is to depict the multi-layered effect of both reflections and the actual floating objects in the pool while rendering the composition as complex as nature intended and yet simple enough to be visually pleasing to viewers.”

Blair grew up in Roseau, MN, nine miles south of the Manitoba border. Her parents introduced her to Roseau County bogs at a young age.  Blair took up photography in 2009, and shortly thereafter, won a national nature photography fellowship.  In 2015, she was awarded a State Arts Board grant in photography for her Bog Tapestries body of work.

Elizabeth Blair is a SMSU (Southwest Minnesota State University) English Professor and has an interest for bogs and orchids (orchid wall at exhibit shown below).

According to an SMSU publication, she will tell you, that Minnesota has 43 different kinds of orchids (two shown below) and that the Big Bog State Recreation Area, in Koochiching County, is the largest bog area in the 48 contiguous states.

Her current projects are “…both my photography and on a book manuscript. The book is my memories about wild orchids, and my photography project is a series about bogs. It’s a great fit, as most of the orchids are in the bogs. I hope to illustrate the book when it’s finished with photographs from the bog series.”

Elizabeth Blair is a fiscal year 2015 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.  This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Above, from the exhibit show, some of Elizabeth's other work

So for a very interesting and unique exhibit of photography visit the Edge Gallery in August. And for a “more than you might expect” try to see the exhibit opening reception of "Bog Tapestries: Elizabeth Blair Photography". The reception is from 5 to 7PM on Friday July 31st you will have a chance to meet the artist along with hearing a reading of double-voiced bog poetry by Susan Hawkinson and Loree Miltich.  Then at 6:00, a 30-minute documentary video, "Bogs, A Love Story", by Christine Baeumler, will be shown in the Edge Theatre. The Gallery, next to the Bigfork School, will have the Blair exhibit from July 30 until August 29 and it is open from 10:00 to 4:00 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The opening reception and gallery visits are at no charge.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Piano Bar with the “Jerryatrics” for Rock-n-Roll

This will be the seventh performance of the “Piano Bar” at the Edge Center in Bigfork on August 8th.  Every year they add a new touch to keep things fresh. Well last year they added 50’s and 60’s music with their own band “Jerry and the Jerryatrics”.  It was a hit and they are coming back due to the many requests to see them again. That does not mean smooth, relaxing sounds of a piano bar will be gone, but for the second half of the concert things will get more “active.”  Rock-n-Roll can be best played by those who grew up and lived it. That’s why the musicians are a bit older. The classic 50’s and 60’s sounds of the “Jerryatrics” are almost impossible to hear live anymore in Northern Minnesota.  And there will be more surprises that will keep this special benefit for the Edge fresh and enjoyable. Come and hear piano bar-plus music.  Saturday August 8 at 7PM. Price $10 adults, $5 children.

“The key to keeping-em coming is keep-en it fresh,” says Ron Olsen, who is one of the Trio who played piano bars for a living for some 30 plus years.

That’s why when Jerry Hagen, another member of the trio asked Ron if he could even play Rock-n-Roll as it is supposed to be played, Ron jumped at the chance.  So “Jerry and the Jerryatrics” were born and first heard at last year’s piano bar Edge benefit.

Jerry is an old-timer when it comes to 50s and 60s sounds starting in the 60s with the "Original Pretenders”. He played music everywhere with too many bands to mention and “retirement” to him meant a great chance to play more music.   He was converted to a bass player by Ron and now has returned the favor by giving Ron a nudge.  Ron at the piano can and has played anything, but 50’s and 60’s music does have a special place in his heart too.

Joined by these two will be Ron’s brother Don on percussion, guitar and vocals. Don is also an “older” rock and roller who played with the original “Ramrods” when he was 15.  Don says, “Ron and I started playing ‘Big Band’ music as we were growing up and developed affinity for that era.  We played in many clubs over the years and I recently played with the Jan Garber Band down here in Arizona.  But, like Jerry, I am also an old rocker.  At about age 15 I started playing with the original ‘Ramrods’. We played in venues all over Iowa including the Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo and the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake…”

There are two other talented members of the group in Terry Price (first two pictures above) on percussion and guitar plus Harold Boege (bottom two pictures above) on bass. And, to be noted, they sing too.  Everybody in the band sings. Terry played Iowa ballrooms with a dance band early 70's, and in a rock band based out of Marcell. Now, in church and does a solo act on rare occasions. He plays guitar, drums, and banjo. Harold started playing accordion and guitar in his teens. For the last 10 years he has been playing Harmonica and accordion with the 2nd Wind Harmonica band in Grand Rapids and bass for the Jason Waldron band along with "Bailey and the Boys". But the best way to explain the “Jerryatrics” is by coming to the show. These pictures only tell part of the story..

The date and time for the Edge concert is Saturday August 8 at 7PM.  The prices are $10 adults and $5 children.  If you have heard them before we invite you to come for another excellent evening of music, laughs and the “Jerryiatrics”.  If you have never been to one of these concerts, please come and find out why they keep packing the house year after year. They claim to be retired, but they play like professionals with over a century of experience. And that’s hard to match.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Disney's Little Mermaid in Bigfork July 17- 19

Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” is in the middle of its run in the Twin Cities now, and, as usual, there will be a trip to the Edge Center in Bigfork this year. It is a chance for Edge audiences to travel under the sea with Ariel, the little mermaid, and her friends as she longs to be out of the sea and free of her fins. It is a very colorful and creative live performance with both under and above water scenes creating challenges in production and imagination. “The Little Mermaid Jr.” will be on stage Friday through Sunday July 17 through 19 at The Edge Center in Bigfork. Performances are on Friday and Saturday 7PM and Sunday 2PM. Prices $10 for adults and $5 for children.

An annual Stage Theatre Company production visit has become an special event for the community and this year will be no exception. An earlier Edge blog here last month provides much of the details and this one is intended to give you a little taste of what will be on stage for this show. Part of the activities that are going on in the cities to promote the “Little Mermaid” include a visit to the Children’s Museum and some on air television appearance for the cast.  Above and Below are photos of  some local visits by the cast. "Little Mermaid"  cast at the Children's Museum.

Artistic Director for Stages, Sandy Boren-Barrett, says that the, “the Little Mermaid production design team has brought such unique artistry that allows audience members to truly feel Under The Sea…” Following are photos from the play.

For a more "live" look at the show here is a clip from the Stages' production. If this url does not work, please cut and paste it into your Internet brower.

So come and see all the adventure, villains and friends of the “Little Mermaid” in Bigfork this month. Performances are at The Edge Center in Bigfork on July 17 to the 19. Performances are Friday and Saturday 7PM and Sunday 2PM. Prices $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Eleventh Annual Juried Art Show at the Edge Center Gallery in Bigfork

For the eleventh year, the Edge Art gallery presents its juried art show. The exhibit is titled, “Art on the Edge.” The exhibit is one of the most colorful combinations of art and colors the Edge Gallery has ever had for a juried show. When you enter the gallery just standing for a moment at the door will explain this comment. From one end of the gallery to the other there are bright colors from the quilt on the podium up front to the acrylic painting at the back that is too large to hang. “Art on the Edge” is at the Edge Center Gallery in Bigfork from July 2 to 25.  The Artists’ Opening Reception is on Friday, July 3 from 5:00 to 7:00.  The Awards Ceremony starts that evening at 6:15 when juror Patricia Canelake will present the awards.

This year the show will be judged by Patricia Canelake (below), from Knife River, who brings wide experience to the duties of juror.  She has been a working, exhibiting painter and printmaker since 1988. Her duties are to first select the art to be shown at the exhibit and then pick the winners. It is her decision in both areas, which is final. This year there will be a wonderful variety of art displayed that represents a  variety of media and styles making this year’s event such a fascinating exhibit.

There are paintings, quilts, drawings, baskets, blown glass, sculpture, photography, prints and jewelry with the the subject matter including landscapes, wildlife, fantasy, buildings, flowers and non-representational work.  The 28 artists brings their own background and interests to the 34 pieces of art in the show.

The artists represented in the exhibit are Joy Anderson, Robert Biaggio, Sandra Boreen, Pam Burns, Nadya Duitsman, Sara Fredrickson, Susan Gilbert, Ralph Hanggi Jr., Catherine Hanson, Isaiah Hoppe, Audrey Johnson, Tim Lamey, James Lutgen, Tanya Macrostie, John McCoy, Lauren Nelson, Jon Offutt, Cathryn Peters, David Richter, Rhonda Rosko, Jan Stenson, Sandra Thompson, Barbara Williamson, and Leah Yellowbird.

Above Won Award of Excellence - Leah Yellowbird's painting "Wolf Hunt Maa’iingan"
People's Choice - Leah Yellowbird's painting "Wolf Hunt Maa’iingan"

The juror’s, Patricia Canelake, past exhibitions include the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Minnesota Museum of Art, the Tweed Museum, Provincetown Art Association, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, 30 Bond Gallery (NY), Gayle Elston Gallery NY, The Grand Hand, St, Paul, MN. Lizzards Gallery, Duluth, MN, Waters of Superior, Duluth, MN, Prove Collective, Duluth, MN, Adeline’s, Duluth, MN, and Red Herring Lounge, Duluth, MN.  She has had 7 residencies in China and throughout the United States and has taught media arts, painting, drawing, design, ceramics, watercolors, printmaking, and art history at the college level. That is a wonderful set of credentials which equips her perfectly for this task.

While at the exhibit, you will also have the opportunity to see the Sally Ordway Irvine Award for Arts Access that the Edge Center received on June 22nd. Below are two photos of the award and you can refer to the Edge Center home page for more information about it plus a couple of additional sites. Refer to:

An important part of the event every year is the sponsors.  Kocian’s Family Market is sponsoring the Best of  Show Award. First State Bank of Bigfork and Arvig Communications are the sponsors for the two Awards of Excellence. Bigfork Valley Hospital sponsors the People’s Choice Award. For the audience, the People’s Choice Award is the most fun part of the Opening, which is your opportunity to second-guess the juror.  It often takes some real concentration on all the art to choose the most successful.

Above won: Best of Show- Sara Fredrickson's painting "The Lake"

Above Won Award of Excellence - Jim Lutgen's Red Tailed Hawk

You may vote all day July 2 and July 3 up until 6:00 pm at the Opening Reception. Please join us at the reception and visit the show during its run. . “Art on the Edge” is at the Edge Center Gallery in Bigfork from July 2 to 25.   The Artists’ Opening Reception is on Friday, July 3 from 5:00 to 7:00.  The Awards Ceremony starts that evening at 6:15 when juror Patricia Canelake will present the awards. The Edge Center Gallery is free to the public as is the opening reception.