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Entertainment Briefs - July 5

A wet felting wool art piece in progress by Lisa Jordan. Jordan’s exhibit “Woolgatherer,” opens with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday, July 6, at The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd. Submitted photo 1 / 3
Minnesota bluegrass band The WoodPicks will kick off the Music in the Park Series at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 8, in the Northern Pacific Park in Staples. Submitted Photo2 / 3
Diane Saumer and Friends will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 5, in the bandstand at Gregory Park in Brainerd. Submitted Photo3 / 3

Fiber art exhibit to open

"Woolgatherer," an exhibit of fiber art by Lisa Jordan, opens with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday, July 13, at The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd. A brief artist talk is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. An assortment of refreshments will be served, courtesy of The Crossing Arts Alliance Advocacy committee.

The exhibit is open July 13 through Aug. 4 and is free and open to the public.

This is Jordan's first exhibition at the gallery featuring a series of organic forms and renderings of natural scenes made of wool and other fibers, often combined with natural materials such as wood and stones.

Drawing from her deep love of nature, especially the odd and overlooked details and employing both wet and needle felting techniques, Jordan creates pieces that seem at once fantastic and familiar, a news release stated. She asks the viewer to let their minds wander and indulge in a bit of daydreaming while engaging with her works.

Visit crossingarts.org or call 218-833-0416 for more information.

Diane Saumer and Friends to perform

Diane Saumer and Friends will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 5, in the bandstand at Gregory Park in Brainerd.

Saumer has been playing since she was 9. Saumer and her friends have performed in the Brainerd lakes area since 1990 with a mix of jazz, swing, country, rock and everything. As a solo vocalist, Saumer has performed locally with The Ladies of Elegance and Gentlemen of Note, The Jules Herman Orchestra and other area festivals.

This year's band includes guitarist Dick Wilt, who has performed since age 12, and is in the Minnesota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; bassist Eric Johnson from Aitkin; and new this year are Hank Henkemeyer on vibes and Joe Yager on drums. Hank has been a musician for many years and has a wide versatility on a variety of instruments. Yager began playing drums at a young age with school bands and also professional bands. As a young man, he relocated to Los Angeles to attend the Musicians Institute and for private instruction. He has continued to play and entertain with local, regional and national acts.

The concert is free and open to the public. People can bring a lawn chair and enjoy live music.

Rainout site is The Center, 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd. If the concerts are moved indoors, signs will be posted on the bandstand and it will be announced on WJJY radio.

Concerts in the park are a collaboration between Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department and The Center. Concerts are made possible by funding from grants by the Brainerd Community Foundation and the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

The WoodPicks to open music series

STAPLES—Minnesota bluegrass band The WoodPicks will kick off the Music in the Park Series at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 8, in the Northern Pacific Park in Staples.

This is the first concert in the series which will run for six Sundays.

With an acoustic mix that includes gospel, bluegrass, country and Americana music, the five-member band is known for their unique blend of instrumental dexterity and vocal presence,a news release stated. Their stage show incorporates strong harmonies and a style that features their own arrangements of original music and old favorites.

Since 2005, the group has been performing at a variety of rural and urban venues, including county fairs, bluegrass festivals and corporate events. In 2012, The WoodPicks were featured on the PBS television show Prairie Musicians.

"Get ready for a boot stompin,' toe tappin' good time with The WoodPicks from Thief River Falls," Barb Gravel, production manager for Prairie Public, stated.

Members of The WoodPicks include Greg Dally, mandolin and guitar; Gary Broste, Dog House bass; Gene Lunsetter, guitar; Milo Ballingrud, banjo; and front man J.D. Kezar, fiddle, harmonica, jaw harp and guitar. All five contribute vocally to the band.

The members have many years of experience playing in various groups throughout the United States, Canada and Alaska. They have shared the stage with a number of renowned acts, including the Grascals, Monroe Crossing, Dailey and Vincent, JD Crowe, John Cowan, High Plains Tradition and Special Consensus.

The Music in the Park Concerts will run through Aug. 12. In case of rain, the concerts will be moved to Faith Lutheran Church. For more information on the Music in the Park series as well as the regular concert series, check out www.staplesmotleyarts.org.

The Music in the Park series is funded by the Staples Host Lions Club. The series is organized by the Staples Motley Area Arts Council, with the assistance of the Staples-Motley Public Schools and the city of Staples.

Merrifield Lions Park-Fest set

MERRIFIELD—Merrifield Lions Park-Fest is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 14 at the Lion's Park in Merrifield, which will include a car show

The free event, which will include kid games, is a fundraiser to benefit the maintenance and improvements at the Merrifield Lions Park.

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