BHS Musical changes venue

The venue for the Brainerd High School’s spring musical “Oklahoma!” has changed.

The musical was scheduled to be performed in the new performing arts center, but has been changed to Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd, a decision made by the school district.

Performance dates are 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, May 6-8 and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for the musical are $9 for adults and $6 for students.

Crossing Arts presents '100 Days Of Watercolor'

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The Crossing Arts Gallery presents its newest exhibition “100 Days Of Watercolor,” with artwork by Lisa Pomerleau.

The exhibition is set to open Friday, May 7, and will be on display through May 22 at the art gallery in downtown Brainerd.

After a long absence from art, Pomerleau knew she needed to do something, so she created her own challenge — 100 Paintings in 100 Days. Watercolors were the medium of choice and she added accountability to the project by posting each painting on her social media accounts daily, a news release stated.

“This 100 day challenge was just what she needed to be pushed back into the creative art scene once again. Everyday was a challenge, not only to complete a painting, but to teach herself a new technique to make her pieces look more realistic,” the news release stated. “Having a strong sense of patience helped too, as she worked through those little details within her work.

 One piece of artwork for “100 Days Of Watercolor,” created by Lisa Pomerleau.  Her work will be on display from Friday, May 7,  through May 22 at The Crossing Arts Gallery in downtown Brainerd. Submitted Photo
One piece of artwork for “100 Days Of Watercolor,” created by Lisa Pomerleau. Her work will be on display from Friday, May 7, through May 22 at The Crossing Arts Gallery in downtown Brainerd. Submitted Photo

Pomerleau’s artwork is a little bit of everything, bits and pieces of herself and her favorite things, all tied together with the characteristics in everyday life.

Due to COVID-19 and regulations for large group gatherings, there will not be a public reception for this exhibition, but the public is invited to visit the gallery during regular business hours to view the artwork.

The number of people in the gallery will be limited to 18. Social distancing guidelines will be in effect, and masks will be required at all times. For those who cannot wear a mask due to health reasons, the art center will try to make accommodations for special after-hours visits. Contact the art gallery at 218-833-0416 or to make arrangements.

This exhibition is funded, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through grants from Five Wings Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Heartland Poets to meet

Heartland Poets, a regional chapter of the League of Minnesota Poets, will meet 1-3 p.m. Saturday, May 8, in Baxter.

The meeting will be hosted at Benjamin Hallada’s residence at 6889 Clearwater Road, Apt. 107, Baxter. People who attend are asked to write a poem on fishing, mothers or May and are asked to bring a few copies to share with others. Poets also may bring other poems to be reviewed.

This meeting is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Crossing Arts calls for art

The Crossing Arts Gallery is seeking submissions for its annual exhibition “Salute To The Arts,” which will be on display from June 11 to July 3.

The deadline to submit work is May 14.

“Salute To The Arts is a well-received and energizing annual juried exhibit held at The Crossing Arts Gallery that highlights exceptional, fresh, new work from area artists,” the art gallery stated in a news release. “We are looking for your best work yet from the past year! All mediums will be considered, including, but not limited to painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, mixed media, fiber and sculpture.”

This exhibition is open to residents of Minnesota. Artists may submit up to two pieces for consideration. Artwork must have been created after June 2020 and not previously exhibited with the art gallery. The submission fee is free for Crossing Arts members and $5 per piece for non-members. Submission fees are non-refundable.

Artwork will be juried by the Crossing Arts Gallery Committee. Dana Sikkila, a Minnesota-based interdisciplinary maker and creator, is the judge, and will select first place who wins $250; second, $100; and third, $50. In addition, each of the three winners will receive a free one-year membership to Crossing Arts.

Sikkila has been named one of the most well-known creative leaders of southern Minnesota. Known for her social practice and activism programs, creative consulting, public speaking and her theory development within creative curriculum, Sikkila’s practices span working in communities from rural to the Twin Cities, a news release stated. Her self-defining administration style has bridged the gap between arts creation and administration. Developing numerous grassroots cultural projects and exhibitions throughout the state.

Visit the gallery’s website at for more information and the full list of rules. Artwork also can be submitted through the website through the online submission form.

The Crossing Arts is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Exhibit opens Friday in Aitkin

AITKIN — The Happy Trails juried art show opens Friday, May 7, at the Jaques Art Center in Aitkin.

Central Minnesota artists will submit their work for the 17th annual juried show. The show will present art in a resounding answer of positivity to the past year of lockdowns and curtailments. There will be wildlife and landscape art as well as a variety of mediums and subjects on display. There also is a student category from younger artists to be on display.

The Happy Trails opening reception, with the awarding of almost $1,500 in prize money, is set from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. The show is up for viewing through June 26.

Admission is always free at the Jaques museum. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information call 218-927-2363, or visit the museum website at

Joan Hasskamp
Joan Hasskamp

Author event set Saturday

Author Joan Hasskamp of "We Don't Care Who Wins as Long as Joan Loses" will host an in person book signing event from 3-4:40 p.m. Saturday, May 8, outside of CatTales Books & Gifts in Brainerd.

Hasskamp admits to always using humor and her upbeat outlook to navigate life even when it was challenging or uncertain. Gifted with the ability to see life through a different and humorous lens, she has enjoyed over six decades of being true to herself while never being afraid to laugh at herself, a news release stated.

After a lengthy and productive career in social services, Hasskamp found herself with extra time on her hands after retirement and decided she should do something constructive.

“My first thought was to vacuum,” Hasskamp stated. “I quickly came to my senses and dismissed that awful idea. The more I considered my options, I figured I might as well write something. That way, I can sit in a chair, look out the window, monkey around on Facebook, Google useless information and still be able to tell people I am a writer. The idea was so brilliant I could hardly believe it came from me!”

Author Joan Hasskamp's book cover of "We Don't Care Who Wins as Long as Joan Loses." Submitted Photo
Author Joan Hasskamp's book cover of "We Don't Care Who Wins as Long as Joan Loses." Submitted Photo

The result was her “half memoir/half hysterical non-fiction” book, “We Don't Care Who Wins as Long as Joan Loses.” Using her humor and upbeat outlook on life, the author shares "mostly true" stories from childhood to adulthood while providing a wildly entertaining ride filled with gentle lessons about being able to laugh, live and love while owning one's uniqueness as well.

Published in 2021, the book is packed with memorable characters and hilarious retellings of misadventures and life-lessons. Whether she’s involved in covert chick smuggling operations or evading a goat in a bar, the author rewards readers with unexpected chuckles that will keep them reading long past their bedtime, the news release stated.

“Fact is always stranger (and funnier) than fiction,” Hasskamp added. “And this book is proof of that!”

Her book will be available for purchase at the event and is also available on Amazon in paperback or as an e-book.