Stoney Brook Strings to perform

Stoney Brook Strings will make its debut in the Concerts in the Park series with a performance 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, near the large pavilion at Lum Park in Brainerd.

Stoney Brook Strings is a violin and fiddling group in the Brainerd lakes area. The group is made up of about 35 musicians and plays different genres of music ranging from classical to hymns and a large dose of Scandinavian folk music. Most of the musicians are students of Arnie Anderson and are young and old. Students get a private lesson each week.

These free concerts are at Lum Park due to construction at Gregory Park. People who attend may bring their lawn chairs or blankets, while they listen to the music.

Concerts occur rain or shine; with rain site at The Center, 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd.

Concerts in the Park are a collaboration between the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department and The Center. Concerts are made possible by funding from grants. Organizers thank 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.

Next Brainerd Ski Loons show set

The Brainerd Ski Loons will perform its next free water ski shows at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at Lum Park in Brainerd. People will see human ski pyramids, ski jumpers, barefoot skiers and skiers being pulled 360 degrees around the boat. This event is family-friendly and concessions will be available. Free will donations are appreciated.

People who attend may bring their lawn chairs or blankets.

There will be two more shows this month scheduled at 5 p.m. Aug. 11 and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14.

The Ski Loons are a nonprofit organization in Brainerd. For more information, visit the website at www.skiloons.com.

Art exhibition to be featured at Franklin

Artist Martin Nelson’s exhibit titled “Elsewhere,” a mix of collage and mixed media artwork, will be on display through Aug. 17, with an opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd.

Meet the artist during the opening reception, where there will be free art door prizes to the first 10 visitors. Refreshments will be served.

"Phantom Phantasy” is the title of this digital collage art piece created by artist Martin Nelson. Nelson’s work will be on display Friday, Aug. 2 through Aug. 17 at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd. Submitted Photo
"Phantom Phantasy” is the title of this digital collage art piece created by artist Martin Nelson. Nelson’s work will be on display Friday, Aug. 2 through Aug. 17 at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd. Submitted Photo

Nelson explores the concepts of place, time and existence with the exhibit. According to a news release, Nelson incorporates images and ideas by pulling from various themes rooted in tribal/native, holistic, ritual and scientific aesthetics.

“This body of work creates a mesmerizing visualization of questions unknown, that in the end are really just an unending abstracted visual of our own history,” the news release stated. “Current events and issues of today can still be seen in the shadows of each piece, as traditional means of the past and 21st-century ideals of the present collide to form their own revitalized presence. Bold colors, textures, and design patterns enhance these visualizations as they mix together creating an unabridged union of artwork that is deeply thought-provoking.” Nelson's recent artwork takes a new approach to the medium of collage and how he has created this type of work in the past; all of the collages included in this exhibition were created in a digital format. In addition, the exhibit will feature an art film and some sculptural work.

The exhibit will be in Gallery 101 on the first floor of the Franklin Arts Center, 1001 Kingwood St., Brainerd.

BookEnds features poet, Freya Manfred

WADENA -- Poet Freya Manfred will be the featured speaker at BookEnds this month at 11 a.m. Aug. 10 at the Uptown Café in Wadena.

Manfred’s latest, and ninth book of poetry, “Loon in Late November Water,” celebrates the vital lifeline of nature, our fragile mortality and the passionate arc of long-term relationships, a news release stated. At BookEnds, the poet will concentrate mostly on reading from her three latest books of poetry and will also read pages from her two memoirs, including one about her father, Frederick Manfred, a well-known Minnesota author who died in 1994.

Manfred’s poetry has appeared in more than 100 reviews and magazines and more than 40 anthologies. Her memoir about her father was nominated for a Minnesota Book award and an Iowa Historical Society award.

BookEnds is a monthly literary event connecting readers and writers. Now in its third season, the event is hosted each month on the second Saturday at The Uptown Cafe in Wadena, unless otherwise noted.

BookEnds is hosted by the Wadena County Historical Society and Travelin’ Storyseller in collaboration with the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. For more information, call 218-631-9079 or email 603wchs@arvig.net.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Pop-up gallery features images of disappearing landscape

AITKIN -- Award-winning photographer Rachel Cain will show her images of landscape and architecture at a one-day pop-up gallery noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake.

A photographer for more than 15 years, Cain’s subject matter is varied.

“If I fall in love with a subject, it is fair game,” she stated in a news release. She is particularly drawn to old buildings, texture, architecture, landscapes and birds. Traveling the back roads of Minnesota, she captures images of the trappings of bygone eras -- stately barns that have fallen victim to changing economies.

"Lone Barn" is what Rachel Cain titles this photograph. Cain's images of landscape and architecture will appear at a one-day pop-up gallery -- from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3 -- at Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake. Submitted Photo
"Lone Barn" is what Rachel Cain titles this photograph. Cain's images of landscape and architecture will appear at a one-day pop-up gallery -- from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3 -- at Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake. Submitted Photo

Cain, of White Bear Lake, states her goal with each photograph is to get to the essence of the subject, eliminating distracting details. She enjoys the post-processing part of her work, using it to emphasize essential qualities. Cain has exhibited and earned awards at numerous venues around the region. Some of her images have been published in Capture Minnesota books.

For more information on the gallery, call 218-678-2575 or email ripplerivergallery@gmail.com.

Neznik reunites with October Son for concert

STAPLES -- Eric Neznik is teaming up with his former band October Son for a concert 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at Northern Pacific Park as part of the Music in the Park Series in Staples.

In case of rain, the concert will be moved to Faith Lutheran Church.

The band performed together from 2001-04 before Neznik moved to Texas to pursue a career in country music. October Son played at clubs and festivals throughout Minnesota, gaining a large following and a reputation for performing tight-knit versions of contemporary country and classic rock tunes.

Musician Eric Neznik will reunite with his former band October Son, with a concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at Northern Pacific Park as part of the Music in the Park Series in Staples. Submitted Photo
Musician Eric Neznik will reunite with his former band October Son, with a concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at Northern Pacific Park as part of the Music in the Park Series in Staples. Submitted Photo

October Son features lead guitarist Jason Franzen of Brainerd; drummer and vocalist Trevor Ebinger of Brainerd; and bassist and vocalist Mark Moele of Sauk Rapids. At the Staples concert, Neznik will take the place of Steve Michaud, the band’s guitarist and lead vocalist. The band will perform many of the songs it kept in its set list years ago, a news release stated. Expect to hear songs made famous by George Strait, Garth Brooks, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Alan Jackson, Jimmy Buffet, Waylon Jennings and more.

Neznik is back in Staples these days, where he is the sales and event coordinator at Timbers Restaurant and Event Center and Timberlake Hotel. Before returning to Staples, he spent three years with Carnival Cruise Line as a cruise director. Prior to his time with Carnival, Neznik was a country musician living in Nashville, Tennessee, and Austin, Texas. He recorded five albums, which include a mix of original and cover songs.

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.

Green Fair Folk Festival set

LITTLE FALLS -- The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls will host the Green Fair Folk Festival 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, on the west lawn at St. Francis Convent in Little Falls.

Now in its 13th year, the Green Fair welcomes nearly 1,000 people who may browse the exhibits and find earth-friendly products, learn about green education, fair trade items, seasonal produce and observe the work of local artisans.

People may bring blankets or folding chairs to enjoy a wide variety of entertainment. Appearing on stage 4-6 p.m. will be the URock bands and soloists as well as the St. Francis Percussion Ensemble. From 6:30-8 p.m., Nashville recording artist Levi Pelzer will take the stage.

Children can visit the Teddy Bear Clinic and stuffed animal adoption center, participate in a Bike Rodeo hosted by the Little Falls Police Department, and have their faces painted. Upcycled traditional woven rugs, a blacksmith, a willow basket maker, fresh, local produce for sale, repurposed wood items and an array of other exhibitors and vendors will be on the property. Ride the horse-drawn wagon and enjoy an outdoor tour of the campus grounds.

The festival is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Elise Carey at 320-632-0634, gfff@fslf.org or visit www.fslf.org/GreenFair.

Preservation talk set at Little Falls museum

LITTLE FALLS -- National Register Historian Denis P. Gardner of the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office will give a talk about historic preservation 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum in Little Falls.

Gardner reviews the eligibility of properties for the National Register of Historic Places. He also assists people with the process of nominating properties to the register.

National Register Historian Denis P. Gardner of the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office will give a talk about historic preservation from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum in Little Falls. Submitted Photo
National Register Historian Denis P. Gardner of the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office will give a talk about historic preservation from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum in Little Falls. Submitted Photo

Gardner is the author of several books, including "Minnesota Treasures: Stories Behind the State's Historic Places," "Wood, Concrete, Stone, and Steel: Minnesota's Historic Bridges," and "Our Minnesota State Capitol: From Groundbreaking Through Restoration."

During his talk, he will be discussing the renovation of Minnesota's State Capitol and the history of the National Register of Historic Places. He will also explain what makes a property eligible for the National Register. He will include Morrison County properties on the National Register in the course of his talk.

This event is free, but reservations are requested by Aug. 23. To make reservations, call the Morrison County Historical Society at 320-632-4007.

Open house set at Brainerd social club

The Inspiration Zone, a non-alcoholic community social club on the 200 block of South Sixth Street in Brainerd, is hosting a remodeling open house 1-3 p.m. Aug. 17.

Admission is free and donations will be accepted.

There will a new showcase of art on display created by Gregory Gray and music by Kevin Engebretson and Brady Zierke. Cake and cookies will be provided and beverages will be available for purchase.

For more information, call Merci Martinsen at 218-513-9681.

Annual Puppet Pageant set

NEW YORK MILLS -- The Cultural Center in New York Mills announces its 11th annual Kalevala Puppet Pageant community theater opportunity, beginning Monday, Aug. 5, in New York Mills and ending with culminating performances Aug. 16 in New York Mills and Aug. 17 in Perham.

Community members of all ages are invited to participate. Each year, an original play is written by Creative Director Anne Sawyer based on characters and tales from the Kalevala, the Finnish book of legends. Community members take on the roles of mythical Finnish creatures in the final narrated play.

A photo from previous years of the Cultural Center in New York Mills' annual puppet pageant. This year's 11th annual Kalevala Puppet Pageant community theater opportunity, begins Monday Aug. 5 in New York Mills and ends with culminating performances Aug. 16 in NYM and Aug. 17 in Perham. Submitted Photo
A photo from previous years of the Cultural Center in New York Mills' annual puppet pageant. This year's 11th annual Kalevala Puppet Pageant community theater opportunity, begins Monday Aug. 5 in New York Mills and ends with culminating performances Aug. 16 in NYM and Aug. 17 in Perham. Submitted Photo

Workshops run for two weeks, Aug. 5-16, ending with the two performances.

The cost to participate is $50 per child, with a $100 family maximum. Scholarships are available. Older teens who help with younger children and adults are free. Open to ages 5 and older. Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult or older sibling.

The workshops begin 9 a.m. Monday at The Barn at the New York Mills Sculpture Park. Register by calling the Cultural Center at 218-385-3339 or emailing info@kulcher.org. Visit www.kulcher.org for all workshop times and details, as well as volunteer and supply needs and an online registration form.

‘American Pickers’ seeks photos from Minnesota residents for show

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and their team plan to film episodes of the series “American Pickers” in October in Minnesota.

“American Pickers” is a documentary series exploring the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Wolf and Fritz as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They look for sizable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Wolf and Fritz are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items, a news release stated. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

“American Pickers” is looking for leads and would love to explore a hidden treasure. If anyone has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send a name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST (653-7878).