Entertainment Briefs - Aug. 26
A roundup of area concerts, shows, book and visual art events in the Brainerd lakes area.
Exhibition unfolds in Little Falls
LITTLE FALLS — An exhibition is slowly unfolding in the windows of Great River Arts in Little Falls.
Regional artist Heidi Jeub, from the county seat of Morrison County, adapted her original art exhibit concept to fit the reality that COVID-19 required many small arts organizations to close the doors or drastically cut staff or operating hours. While a retrospective of her abstract artwork from 2015-20 is deeper inside the large gallery, the smaller front gallery needed to become active in a new way.
When COVID-19 shut down the Great River Arts center, the front gallery ”proved to be an ideal location to share colorful, visual representations of relevant community conversations,” Executive Director Michelle Kiley stated in a news release. “Like all relationship-building this work takes time and intention. As Jeub continues to connect in real-time with neighbors, grassroots leaders and traditionally underrepresented community members, the exhibit has been extended through September.”
Jeub stated, “There were many issues being highlighted due to the shutdown. Our community is rather fragile, due to its economic backbone and number of people that fall below the poverty line. While an art gallery may do little to solve those problems, the gallery can be a way to spark curiosity to those walking by. Even better, if I could talk to people who fall outside the usual data points or narratives of rural communities, maybe this project can start empowering folks in new ways.
“In the end, who knows? There is no framework on how to work through a pandemic with art exhibits and art centers that historically served only a fragment of the population, anyway. ... I think that this forced us to use social media formats, video, graphics and our websites in new ways. This has been a true collaborative effort, but it isn’t easy.”
With several ideas, but only a limited capacity, Jeub and Kiley worked out a plan to engage people online. The show slowly unfolds, as Jeub brings a piece in when it is completed, and both the artist and organization posts time lapse videos of the painting being created, with a voiceover of a piece the artist wrote reflecting on her conversations.
Thus far, Jeub talked to a mother of three children, two of which have special needs, reflecting on how distance learning went in the spring. Her second conversation was with a former neighbor, where they discussed their children, Rastafarianism and being from other places. Her third was with an early childhood and kindergarten teacher, who breaks the mold in politics, motherly dynamics and religion. It is Jeub’s intention to complete seven paintings of Little Falls residents before the middle of September. The exhibit titled “Far Away So Close” runs through Sept. 28.
Each painting will be revealed in the gallery over the exhibition period, so that passersby can experience the work as they unfold. A time lapse video will be shared on the website and social media feeds, as well as the accompanying materials.
The work and process encapsulates the experience of this pandemic period, civic unrest and inevitable change in our communities, the release stated.
Due to the COVID concerns, the gallery is currently open by appointment only. However, beginning Sept. 9, the gallery will resume their regular business hours, unless COVID-19 conditions change. Check the website for updated hours at greatart.org .
Youth On Stage cancels August date
Due to the current indoor COVID-19 restrictions in place, the Youth on Stage Open Mic event will not be hosted for August at the Brainerd Eagles Club.
Brainerd Elks Lodge 615 sponsors the event through an Elks National Foundation grant and by the Brainerd Eagles Club No. 215. This monthly youth-oriented event is geared for those age 25 and younger who have a family-friendly talent to share on a year-round basis.
The event typically is hosted every fourth Monday of the month.
“We will evaluate again in September and keep you posted,” organizers stated in a news release. “We all look forward to getting our talented youth back on stage ASAP!”
Daybreak to perform in bandstand
Daybreak will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, as the last concert of the summer series in the bandstand at Gregory Park in Brainerd.
Daybreak is one of central Minnesota’s most versatile music groups, playing hits from the ‘40s through today’s top pop, rock ‘n’ roll and country classics. The group of four musicians features Karla Jensen, vocals; Joe McGowan, guitar and vocals; Jim Hanson, keyboard, bass and vocals; and Jim Henkemeyer, drums.
People are asked to bring their lawn chairs or blankets to Gregory Park to enjoy the music. Organizers stated social distancing will be practiced and wearing masks is encouraged.
In inclement weather, due to COVID-19, concerts will be canceled.
Concerts in the Park are free and open to the public. Concerts are a collaboration between Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department and The Center.
Sponsorship of this summer’s concert series is in honor and memory of Helen K. Mills, Stewart C. Mills Jr.’s mother, who used to skate around Gregory Park.
“We would like to thank those of you who have attended,” organizers stated in a news release. “We hope to continue the summer concerts again next year!”
CLC invites string musicians
Central Lakes College invites musicians of all ages to join its new Central Lakes String Orchestra.
Rehearsals will be 7-9 p.m. Wednesdays in the Rehearsal Hall, room E471. All string players, both students and community members, are welcome to join. No audition is required.
Students can register for “MUSC 1420,” by attending the first meeting Sept. 2 or by emailing the instructor, David Thompson at email@example.com . Students may also take string lessons by registering for “MUSC 1468.” Community members join by attending Sept. 9 or by emailing Thompson.
Thompson recently joined the faculty of CLC, where he will teach the string orchestra, woodwind ensemble, string and woodwind lessons and various music classes.
He received his master’s of music degree from the University of Northern Iowa after completing his undergraduate degrees in music education and oboe performance at St. Cloud State University. A native of St. Cloud, Thompson has taught and performed all around Minnesota and Iowa. This season, he will join the Heartland Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with groups such as the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra and Great Theatre Pit Orchestra.
Thompson taught general music and various instrumental ensembles at Sartell Middle School, along with directing the children’s choir at St. Paul’s Church in St. Cloud.
CLC kicks off Cultural Thursday program
Central Lakes College kicks off the 24th season of its Cultural Thursdays series at noon Sept. 3 through a free webinar to commemorate National Hispanic Month.
Speaking will be the event’s founder Jan Kurtz, a retired CLC Spanish and Latin American Studies instructor. Kurtz will highlight the revelations, insights and added dimensions she gained when she learned a second language and began exploring the Spanish-speaking world. Through the virtue of being able to communicate in English and Spanish, Kurtz was able to further enhance intellectual and emotional perspectives, both her own and the perspectives of those with whom she interacts, through the crossing of borders into different cultural/linguistic worlds.
In Kurtz’s recently published book, “Northern Shores/Southern Borders: Revelations of a Bilingual Life,” she depicts how a Midwestern, monolingual life, where “pronouncing tortilla correctly made you bilingual and eating one made you multicultural” drastically changed after crossing the Mexican border at age 15, she stated in a news release. From realizing the dogs in Mexico understood more Spanish than she did, to her eye-opening shock when reading of kidnappings and government-sponsored massacres in Guatemala — Spanish is the common thread, she stated. Kurtz connects the present day immigration policies and overall lack of understanding to the need for historical information and continued activism.
Her books can be purchased from the CLC bookstore online at https://tinyurl.com/ycvxus3o . Proceeds are being donated by the author to the Kurtz Spanish Scholarship Fund at the CLC Foundation.
Register in advance for this webinar at https://tinyurl.com/y5uzt9z3 .
For more information on this event or the Cultural Thursdays Series, contact Tracey Kloeckl-Jiménez at 218-855-8183.