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Catholic school to host first production

Saint Francis Catholic School of the Lakes drama club will host its first production called “Pirates of the Curry Bean” at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday in the school gymnasium.

The production involves more than 50 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Volunteer director is Toni Schmidt, who is a parent of two Saint Francis School students.

For more information contact Amy Kalthoff 829-2344.

Larsen’s work on display at arb

Artist Sonja Larsen work will be on display from through June at the Northland Arboretum Art Gallery.

Larsen first discovered fish prints at the Bell Museum Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Show years ago and began direct printing fish. She learned about the Nature Printing Society and attended their annual workshops.

Larsen uses actual specimens to ink and print for her work that can show every vein in a leaf or every scale on a fish. The results also can be somewhat abstract.

Larsen creates greeting cards from original artwork and she will lead a workshop on nature printing June 1 at the arb. Pre-registration is required as the workshop, as it’s limited to 12 people. Contact Larsen at to sign up for her class.

Larsen also has co-authored a book called “Creating Art From Nature.”

Author appearance in Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS — Author Deborah Ann Thomalla will appear from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Good Book and Gifts in Little Falls.

Thomalla, a Bowlus resident, will be available to sign copies of her book, “The Bumblebee Cousins.”

Meet Wyatt and Nolan, “The Bumblebee Cousins.” As the pair of bees migrates back to Minnesota for the spring, they reunite with all of their granite garden friends like the fireflies, butterflies, bumblebees and other neighbors. The cousins live in beautiful harmony — until the angry, mean hornet twins arrive back home. Fueled by generations of bitterness and jealousy, will they all be able to put their past behind them? Or will the mean hornets continue the generations-old habits of humiliation and torture?

The Okee Dokee Brothers to perform

PINE RIVER — The Okee Dokee Brothers will perform a free concert Friday at The Warehouse in Pine River.

After years of touring the Midwest with their bluegrass band, childhood best friends Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing, originally of Denver, Colo., decided to return to where it all began: Childhood imagination. That’s when they moved to Minneapolis to start their family music band called The Okee Dokee Brothers.

The Okee Dokee Brothers have a mission to remind children – and adults – of their intrinsic ability to discover, imagine, and create through music. By appealing to the musical needs of the entire family and recognizing that children deserve quality music, they are working full-time to regain the integrity of the children’s music genre. They believe that music should be an energetic, interactive and fun experience where children can enjoy dancing, singing and playing instruments with their families.

Mailander and Lansing are now accomplished musicians whose original music is inspired by their own backyard adventures. Their songs will give the audience opportunities to be both silly and serious. And their show will serve as a wonderful connecting point for families as every song makes room for children to dance, parents to feel like kids again and everyone to gain respect for nature, each other, and the world we live in.

The concert is free and tickets are available at the Pine River Public Library.

This free Legacy Program is funded in part or in whole with money which is dedicated to preserve Minnesota’s art and cultural heritage. The Pine River library will be bringing more Legacy programs to the community like the Café Accordion Orchestra in June. For more information, contact the library at (218) 587-4639.

Area artists receive awards

Brainerd lakes area artists were recently awarded for their accomplishments at an annual spring show of statewide group called Artists of Minnesota, held in Hutchinson. 

The following area artists received awards for their accomplishments, as judged by Pat Undis: Karen Cheney, Baxter, received first place in Mixed Media, for work titled “Make Believe” and a merit ribbon in Mini-Show category, for piece titled “Uncommon;” Jean Tidhome, Deerwood, second place in Opaque Advanced, for painting titled “It’s About Minnesota” and a merit ribbon in Opaque Advanced, for painting titled “The Nippon Maru;” Kris Olson, Brainerd, merit ribbon in Beginner category (all media), for work titled “Fishes;” and Sherri Wagner, Brainerd, merit ribbon in Transparent Advanced, for piece titled “Gone Fishing.”

Textile artist explores Japanese textile tradition

AITKIN — Silk and linen, rice paste, soybean juice and natural pigments are some of the ingredients that textile artist Kit Eastman uses to explore the natural world.

Eastman’s fabric wall hangings will be on display at the Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake through June 10. The public is invited to meet Eastman at a reception from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday.

Using the materials and processes of the centuries-old Japanese textile tradition called katazome (stencil dyeing), Eastman captures her experience of beauty in nature.

“I find inspiration whenever I pay attention the patterns and cycles of the seasons — whether that be just beyond my front door or in a larger, wilder and more distant landscape,” Eastman said in an email. Eastman designs and cuts stencils from layered mulberry paper that has been waterproofed with persimmon tannin and cured with smoke. The fabric — silk, linen or cotton — is stretched and then treated with soybean milk, which acts as a sizing agent and serves as a binder for the natural pigments. Eastman then spreads rice paste through the stencil. Once dry, the pasted areas prevent dyes from penetrating the fabric. Natural pigment dyes are painted on the remaining open areas in three separate coats. The fabric air cures for at least a week before the rice paste is washed out.

Eastman of St. Paul earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in studio arts from the University of Minnesota, where she focused on drawing and painting.

Her love of cloth, and of pattern on cloth, began in childhood with the influence of her grandmother, who was trained as a dressmaker. These interests and influences all came together when she learned the katazome process through a residential workshop with

John Marshall in 2004. Eastman has been working with these materials and techniques exclusively since 2009.

The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

For more information call (218) 678-2575 or e-mail

Calling all Brainerd lakes area musicians

The Cuyuna Range Community Band — that meets and performs throughout the summer at various summer events in the Aitkin and Crosby communities — is looking for new members. Musicians represent the communities of Aitkin, Brainerd, Crosby, Emily and Palisade.

The band has performed together for the past 10 years. There are 25 members of varying backgrounds, ages and musical abilities with varying instrumentation.

The band’s repertoire consists of traditional marches, patriotic music, jazz, pop, Broadway and novelty numbers.

It strives for a varied program that appeals to the musicians in the band and to the audiences. The band has featured the saxophones on “In The Mood,” the trumpets on “Bugler’s Holiday” by Leroy Anderson, a Dixieland Band on “At a Dixieland Jazz Funeral” and have done other separate Dixieland numbers.

This band has two seasons, summer and Christmas. Each has approximately eight rehearsals along with several performances. The band is led by Aitkin band director Chris Halvorson and it rehearses on from 6:30-8:00 pm Tuesdays in the Aitkin band room.

If a member needs to borrow anWd instrument, it can be arranged.

For more information contact Chris Halvorson at (218) 927-2115, extension 3120.

Chuck Brown, pioneer of ‘go-go’ funk music, dies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chuck Brown, who styled a unique brand of funk music as a singer, guitarist and songwriter known as the “godfather of go-go,” has died after suffering from pneumonia. He was 75.

Brown died Wednesday at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. Hospital spokesman Gary Stephenson confirmed he had died after a hospital stay that began April 18.

Thanks to Brown, go-go music was uniquely identified with Washington.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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