Entertainment Briefs — July 15

A roundup of area concerts, shows, book and visual art events in the Brainerd lakes area.

Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

Bay Lake gallery features collage and clay

AITKIN — Collage and clay artwork by two artists will be featured beginning Wednesday, July 15, and run through Aug. 16 at Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake.

While collage paintings by Karlyn Atkinson Berg and pottery by Guillermo Cuellar might seem to have little in common, work by both artists reflects their devotion to process and their passion for their craft, the gallery owner stated in a news release.

In her series, “Uncertain Realms,” Atkinson Berg explored new ways to challenge herself as a collage artist.

“It becomes very easy to create within an established comfort zone where you employ a favorite color theme, a style, image components, or safe repetitive formula for your paintings,” she stated. “I always attempt to break out of that comfort zone even if it means a risk.

“Working on a collage is always an exciting visual journey offering a multitude of possibilities.” More than a mere assembly of pictures, collage is an art form that allows the artist to combine a multitude of shapes, objects, color and pieces to form a painting or sculptural assemblage. Each added element builds on the previous one by changing, adding or even eliminating the other components. For “Uncertain Realms” Atkinson Berg challenged herself to include steamed and shaped bent wood components to add a three-dimensional element to her collage.


“With each panel I experimented with different paint textures and color palettes and wrestled to maintain quality design and execution to create accomplished paintings,” she stated. “The challenge was integrating the three-dimensional components to move effectively with the whole composition. Because I approached each panel as a different investigation, I risked not having a cohesive group of paintings. I have to rely that my voice as a painter remained sound though each work was different.

“I hope these paintings transport the viewer into a mystery of the color and the imagined worlds.”

Elephant Walk
This art piece titled "Elephant Walk” is a mixed media collage by artist Karlyn Atkinson Berg. Her work is on display starting Wednesday, July 15, at the Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake. Submitted Photo

Atkinson Berg graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, continued her studies at Pratt University and worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was awarded grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2017 and 2020 and from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council in 2018 and 2019. She is currently administrative assistant at the Edge Center for the Arts in Bigfork.

In 1980, Cuellar began making pots for a living in his home country of Venezuela. During a workshop in Caracas in 1981, chance led to a formative experience as an assistant to Minnesota potter, the late Warren MacKenzie.

“Visiting his studio and home over the years I saw the most beautiful pots, old and new, that I had ever seen,” Cuellar stated. “The kinship I continue to feel with that work, with Warren’s life and his work, and the historical sweep of useful pottery making informs my work to this day.”

After working, exhibiting and teaching in Venezuela for 25 years, Cuellar set up a pottery studio in Shafer, Minnesota, in 2005. In addition to making pots full time, he has exhibited, taught workshops and juried exhibitions. Since 2009, he has been a host studio on the annual St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour. Though primarily a maker, he is also committed to mentoring and teaching and currently has two apprentices.


Cuellar pottery
Artist Guillermo Cuellar created this covered jar. Cuellar began making pots for a living in his home country of Venezuela. Submitted Photo

“I love to make pots that invite handling and use, that suggest participation and enjoyment, not only contemplation. Pots are tactile as well as visual and are felt physically,” Cuellar stated. “Beauty also has a function, which is to make a piece engaging to the user. I think good pots are associated with what I see as important priorities in living a good life and balancing the rough edges of contemporary life. I hope my pots will encourage folks to slow down, cook, and share their own delicious food and drink in good company.”

Ripple River Gallery is open with health and safety measures in place. Masks are required.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

For more information call 218-678-2575 or e-mail .

Ruttger’s summer concert series a go

DEERWOOD — The fourth annual Ruttger’s Summer Concert Series is going to continue through the rest of the summer, with modifications, including this Saturday’s concert, July 18, by blues and classic rock group Brother Jon Band.

The concert series beginning at 7 p.m. each week will feature local and regional bands performing from the shores of Bay Lake. Concerts will be limited to 250 people with social distancing required. Guests are encouraged to wear masks.


Tickets are $5. The public is asked to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets are available at or by calling 218-678-2885, extension 2215. Seating is provided, or people can bring their own lawn chairs.

Concert lineup for events beginning at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted

  • July 25 — King’s Ransom, classic rock band.

  • Aug. 1 — Mallrats, a high energy, ‘90s rock show.

  • 5-9 p.m. Aug. 8 — Blues & BBQ Bash featuring the Dee Miller Band. This event will include three blues bands and a barbecue feast. Starring Minnesota Blues Hall of Famer Dee Miller Band, with New Feral Cats and Bruce Archer. Cost is $5 for music and $30 for the music and food.

  • Aug. 22 — Too Short to be Stormtroopers, an interactive live karaoke cover band.

  • 5-9 p.m. Sept. 5 — Second annual Bluegrass Festival featuring the Barley Jacks. This event includes three bluegrass bands and a picnic. Starring the Barley Jacks, with Broken Heartland String Band and Jenna & Martin. Cost is $5 for music and $25 for the music and food.

Wine and Words
Six authors will participate in the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library's Taste of Wine and Words virtual event. The event is open and free to the public to join virtually at 6 p.m. July 30 and 10:30 a.m. July 31. Photo illustration

Taste of Wine and Words set digitally

Friends of the Brainerd Public Library announced its Taste of Wine and Words event will be open and free to the public to join virtually at 6 p.m. July 30 and 10:30 a.m. July 31.

Friends of the Brainerd Public Library President Sheila DeChantal and author Lorna Landvik will host the event live from Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. The library group canceled the event at Grand View Lodge due to the inability to host a large event and while maintaining attendees’ safety.

“We are thrilled that all of our authors will be participating,” the group stated on its website. “Please note, that for those of you who are still going to meet as a group — only one of you needs to register as you will be watching together.”

People may register at and click on the “Thursday July 30th Registration” or “Friday Brunch July 31st Registration” link.

Authors participating include:

  • Landvik, author of 11 novels, including the best-selling “Patty Jane’s House of Curl,” “Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons” and her newest addition “Chronicles Of A Radical Hag.”

  • Kaira Rouda, an American author, journalist, public speaker, marketing executive and entrepreneur. She is best known for novels of psychological suspense, including “Best Day Ever” and “All the Difference.”

  • Jay Ryan Stradal, author of “Kitchens of the Great Midwest” and “The Lager Queen of Minnesota.” His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Granta, The Rumpus and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

  • Julie Schumacher, who won the comedy writing prize for her novel “Dear Committee Members,” becoming the first woman to win in its 20-year history. Her first novel, “The Body Is Water,” was published in 1995 and was an American Library Association Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award.

  • Jenna Blum, author of “Those Who Save Us,” “The Stormchasers” and “The Lost Family.” Blum also is the author of the novella “The Lucky One” and the audio course “The Author At Work: The Art of Writing Fiction.”

  • Kelly Harms, author of “The Bright Side of Going Dark,” “The Overdue Life of Amy Byler,” “The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane” and “The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay.”

Wine and Words is the largest fundraiser the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library host every year. This event raises the funds to provide many of the programs at the Brainerd Library. While this year’s event is free, the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library are asking participants to consider making a donation to support the costs of putting the event on. Donations are tax-deductible.

Heartland Symphony Orchestra announces fall concert season

Heartland Symphony Orchestra will begin its 44th season with a fall concert series that reflects on the universality of music.

"One World in Music" will be presented Oct. 10 at the Charles D. Martin Auditorium in Little Falls and Oct. 11 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. Initially, a Halloween theme was considered, but after the experiences of the coronavirus it was decided that the biggest thrill this season would be relief from the very real goblins and ghouls of the pandemic, organizers stated in a news release.

Music will include the "Funeral March of a Marionette," "Night on Bald Mountain," plus a medley of themes from all eight Harry Potter movies. This year, HSO hopes to collaborate with students from Forestview Middle School and Brainerd High School to prepare them to play side-by-side with the orchestra as the St. Francis Music Center has done for many years.

Meanwhile, the orchestra is using its traditional summer break between the spring and fall concert series to prepare for living with the pandemic. Organizers have been considering a variety of scenarios, and the very process of doing that has hopefully prepared them to be able to adapt to a variety of circumstances, a news release stated.

“One thing is certain, HSO continues to have the goal of bringing live classical music performances to west-central Minnesota,” a news release stated. “If there is a need for social distancing, one possibility might be to reduce the size of the orchestra in order to maintain adequate distance between players. Another might be the need to provide multiple concerts in one venue, with sanitizing between concerts.”

Ryan Webber
Heartland Symphony Orchestra Conductor Ryan Webber

Conductor Ryan Webber has been brainstorming ideas for different repertoire if needed, such as various combinations of chamber music.

Weber also has been encouraging members of the orchestra to share their music online. He has started a Music Monday series on the Heartland Symphony Orchestra's Facebook page. Each week he posts a video that one of the members or guest artists has recorded from their home. Musicians who have contributed include:

  • Noah Harstad, co-principal trombone, performing “Blue Bells of Scotland” by Arthur Pryor;

  • Sandy Larson, first violin, performing “Ave Maria” by Bach/Gounod;

  • Lauren Nickisch and her husband C.J. Anderson performing “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” by Paul Simon;

  • Nathan Herfindahl performing “Stars” from Les Misérables;

  • Cathy Dens performing the “Allegro” from Handel's Flute Sonata No. 3 in G;

  • Golden Fisk performing the first movement of Bernhard Romberg's Sonata in C Major, Op 43 and the Bourree for Cello by W.H. Squire;

  • Hannah Wallis performing her own medley of “Sunrise/Sunset” from Jerry Bock's Fiddler on the Roof and “Danny Boy”; and

  • Quinn Mason performing “A Joyous Trilogy” by Orchestra Seattle.

Future contributions will be coming from Tim Roehrich and Mary Clement.
These musical selections and others will soon be available on the Heartland Symphony Orchestra website and Facebook page.

If you would like your event listed in the entertainment guide, contact Jennifer at, 218-855-5851 or mail to Jennifer Kraus, Brainerd Dispatch, P.O. Box 974, Brainerd, MN 56401. Please include time, date, place, admission price and contact information. Deadline is 11 a.m. Monday for Wednesday publication.
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