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Kapsner, master artist of the year, to be recognized at celebration Thursday in Little Falls

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Artist Charles Kapsner, Five Wings Art Council’s master artist of the year for 2013-2014, will be honored at a Celebration of the Arts on Thursday in Little Falls.

Kapsner and award winners from Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties will be recognized. The master artist of the year is chosen from nominations by the Five Wings board with representatives from the five counties. The Master Artist Program recognizes artists who live in the five-county area, and who have “shown dedication to and skill in their artistic pursuits.”

In making the decision, nominee profiles, work samples and video presentations were considered. Kapsner received three formal nominations.

“Charles Gilbert Kapsner, internationally recognized artist, native and resident of Little Falls in Morrison County, is highly qualified to meet all the eligibility requirements of the Master Artist Award,” wrote Nancy Ratzloff, one of Kapsner’s nominators. “The over 30-year span of Mr. Kapsner’s visual art career is one of depth of training and experience including an immense body of work in oil paintings, drawings, and frescoes. The growth of his personal expressions and creativity has blossomed into projects that have made major impacts on our community, region and country.”

Nominations for Kapsner also came from Kathy Gaalswyk, Initiative Foundation executive director, and Susy Prosapio. The Five Wings Arts Council reported criteria included mastery and proficiency in the art form, significance of the artistic mission, respect of peers and community, contribution to excellence and public appreciation of the art form through teaching and significantly increasing public visibility.

The arts council stated Kapsner may be best known in the region for his frescoes, “The Stewardship” and “Beginnings,” both in the Lindbergh Elementary School in Little Falls.

“His work has been displayed in solo and group exhibitions from Minnesota to California, North Carolina and New York, Italy and France,” the council noted, adding Kapsner had a passion for music, construction and art. The interest in art was inspired by the nuns at St. Mary’s School. Other influences included art teacher Ren Holland and artist Warren Woodworth. The art council reported when art instruction wasn’t offered in ninth grade, Holland invited Kapsner to the art room to paint when the student had free time. Kapsner went to St. Cloud State University and studied art history and watercolor. He traveled to Italy to study at the Universita Internazionale dell’ Arte in Florence and Simi Studio and apprenticed with fresco artist Ben Long.

“I could have stayed in Italy,” Kapsner said in an announcement of his selection as master artist written by Nancy Leasman. “But I remember the speaker at my high school graduation. He said, ‘Travel the world, get educated, and bring it back to your community.’”

I want to highlight the great things happening in rural Minnesota. You don’t have to go to the Twin Cities to experience music, dance, and art museums. Being an ambassador for Five Wings is a great thing.”

Kapsner is working on a multi-year project to ultimately put five paintings representing the history of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard/Merchant Marine.

The event starts with a social hour and live music at 5 p.m. Thursday at 122 SE First St. in Little Falls. Appetizers and treats are coming from the Black & White. The awards program begins at 6:15 p.m.

Featured guests are expected to include: Sue Gens, executive director from the Minnesota State Arts Board; Vickie Benson, McKnight Foundation director of arts programs; Shiela Smith, executive director with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.

The program includes presentations of community arts leadership awards, distinguished arts organization of the year, arts advocacy award, master artist gilded feather awards and performances by Five Wings grantees and regional musicians.

Other nominations for master artist were: Ruth Gmeinder, costume designer, Brainerd; Laura Hansen, writer, Little Falls; Scott Lykins, musician/art director, Brainerd; Greg Rosenberg, stained glass artist, Brainerd; Mary Schultz, stained glass artist, Browerville; Candace Simar, writer, Pequot Lakes; Celo Vec, musician/conductor, Little Falls.

Bitcoins are property like stocks rather than currency. That was the ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding the tax treatment of bitcoins.

The IRS indicated virtual currencies should be treated as property — like stocks — rather than currency, which is subject to special rules when converted to and from dollars.

“When a person earns virtual currency, including bitcoin, that person has taxable income equal to the fair market value of the amount of virtual currency received,” said tax and business attorney Adam Grais of Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer. “The person then has a tax basis (for purposes of measuring gain or loss) equal to the fair market value of the virtual currency. For example, if a person mines 1,000 bitcoins and the value of a bitcoin on that day is $1, then that person would have to pay tax on $1,000 of income and each bitcoin would have a tax basis of $1.”

The IRS also clarified that virtual currency would be treated as property, not currency, which affects the tax rate on virtual currency transactions. “In the example above, the bitcoin miner would recognize ordinary income — taxable at rates up to 43.4 percent — on the mining transaction, but would generally recognize capital gain or loss when spending the bitcoins,” continues Grais. “Continuing the example, if the miner had put his 1,000 bitcoins in Mt. Gox and lost them all, he would have a $1,000 tax loss.”

In state news, Bit-O-Honey has a new home as Pearson Candy Co. moved production to St. Paul from another manufacturing facility in Illinois. The Bit-O-Honey brand, which dates back to 1924, was acquired last year by Pearson’s, a company making candy in Minnesota for more than 100 years. The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) reported at least 40 jobs would be added with this expansion.

“To help Pearson’s offset the cost of moving equipment, expanding its production line and other related expenses, DEED awarded the company a $200,000 forgivable loan from its Minnesota Investment Fund,” DEED reported.

In Little Falls, the chamber congratulated Heidi Czech Pasela for opening her new business, Everyday Beautiful Skin Care & Body Spa, which includes “facials, massage, microdermabrasion, make up and full body waxing performed by a spa therapist with over 10 years of experience.”

RTX Solutions has a new office in Little Falls. The company works with businesses to integrate telephone systems, certified voice and data cabling upgrades, data centers, security solutions, video surveillance, multi-tenant applications and access control systems.

Spirit Horse Center, south of Brainerd on Highway 371, is again having Dominique Barbier for a weekend clinic on riding methods and ways to create a good foundation for riders in all disciplines to emphasize balance and lightness in the horse.

People may register as a participant with their own horses or auditor the class by observing. Barbier will lead a lecture and question-and-answer session April 5 to talk about riding issues and his new book.

Great American Think-Off essay submission deadline extended to April 15. This year the essay topic is “Love or fear: which motivates us more?” Essays for the 22nd annual contest should not be more than 750 words. To encourage participation, there are four $500 prizes to anyone who enters and travels, all expenses paid by the Great American Think-Off, to New York Mills in rural Minnesota to debate the issue on June 14. Participants are urged to craft essays “grounded in personal experience choosing to argue love or fear.

Essays may be mailed (no entry fee) to Great American Think-Off, P.O. Box 246, New York Mills, Minnesota 56567 or submitted on line through the Think-Off website, or by email to

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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