Arts and culture

A Festival of Student Art

Edible Dinosaur Art - click for larger imageLast week my family, along with many others in Northfield, happily participated in an array of student art events. On Thursday evening, Sibley Elementary School, where my son is in kindergarten, presented an celebration of arts and literacy. Student art filled the hallways, and participants could make bookmarks or books, listen to stories in a tent at "Camp Caldecott" (staged in the darkened gym, where shadows of tree branches were silhouetted against the wall), or attend a poetry reading. Pizza in the cafeteria was also popular; a second order from Domino's was required to meet the demand of hungry kids and parents.

On Friday night, the popular annual Arts a la Carte event took place at the high school. Honors Art students displayed and discussed their work, a viewer-judged student art show was on display in the media center, and entries in the Edible Art contest were on view in the upper cafeteria (see photo for one fine example). Magicians, musicians and dancers performed in the lower cafeteria. Visitors could also get their faces painted by a number of student artists, including my 11th grade daughter, and many flocked to the fish printing studio. "Fish printing," you ask? Yes, indeed, fish printing. For a $5 donation, one could paint a genuine dead fish to one's heart's content; a student assistant then carefully pressed the decorated fish against a new white t-shirt, leaving, well, a fish print! My son wore his proudly on Sunday, after we set the colors by briefly baking the shirt in the oven in accordance with the directions supplied with the shirt. The odor lingers a bit, since we have not yet washed the shirt, but that of course is part of the charm.

On Saturday, the Northfield Arts Guild presented Imagination Celebration, its official day-long reception for the all-school art exhibit now on view. Parents flocked to the gallery to see their children's artwork, and students added to the festive feel with performances, musical and otherwise, throughout the day. My 7th-grade daughter played a Bach concerto on violin!


Weekend Entertainment and Events

April NEG (PDF)It's the start of another jam-packed weekend full of cultural events in Northfield! In addition to tonight's Arts a la Carte at the high school, a quick glance through the Northfield Entertainment Guide presents so many options you'll want to clone yourself so you can take them all in! You'll find details on pages 6-8 of the NEG, but here's a preview of what's going on...


Arts A La Carte at Northfield High School This Friday

Click to view larger sizeThe music and visual art departments at Northfield High School are gearing up for Arts a la Carte, a student celebration of all the arts on Friday April 7th from 6:00 until 9:00 at the High School. And the one dollar admission will buy you a chance to win an Ipod! 

This event will showcase the talents of hundreds of talented students and will feature vocal and instrumental ensembles, a student art exhibit and booths of the Honors Art students who will be demonstrating in various media, including painting, ceramics and filmmaking. 

There are also student run activities for the whole family such as face painting, art button making, marbleized paper making, DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), wandering magician, portrait artists and book making, just to name a few! And back by popular demand is the make your own fish print T-shirt event. 


Norwegian girls choir to perform at St. Olaf

Jentekor, the Nidaros Cathedral's Girls' Choir from Norway, conducted by Anita Brevik, will perform a concert at St. Olaf College on Tuesday, April 4, at 8 p.m. in Boe Memorial Chapel. The concert, which is free and open to the public, is part of the choir's United States tour titled "Songs Across the Sea."

In addition to visiting St. Olaf, the choir will travel to Minneapolis, Madison, Wis., and New York. The tour runs from April 1-11 and aims to promote Norwegian culture and heritage.

The tour follows the St. Olaf Choir's visit to Trondheim, Norway in June 2005. While at Nidaros Cathedral the two choirs, together with Norwegian mezzo-soprano Randi Stene, recorded the holiday special A St. Olaf Christmas in Norway, which aired nationally in December on PBS.

The concert program for this tour includes selections spanning the musical spectrum, from Norwegian, Swedish, English, Latin and German songs, to Mozart compositions to traditional Norwegian folk songs.


Tonight's Entertainment Options

Wow! Check out what's happening TONIGHT in our not-so-sleepy little town...

On the live music front, the Blue Moon String Band gets a jump on all the other bands by strutting their acoustic/country/folk/americana stuff at 7pm at Hogan Brothers.

90 minutes later your musical options increase dramatically. A new band called Scattered Skies makes their debut at Froggy Bottoms at 8:30. Harmonic Voodoo gets their groove on at the Tavern Lounge right around the same time.

Also at 8:30, Matt Arthur and the Bratlanders [full disclosure: I am a Bratlander] rock the Contented Cow with their original folk, gospel and protest songs and an eclectic mix of roots music and outlaw country.

And finally, If music's not your thing, Faribault's Merlin Players theater company bring their Monty Python-esque Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) to The Grand for the second night of a two-night stand.

Hope to see you downtown!


Norwegian princess to visit St. Olaf College

Princess Martha Louise of Norway, the only daughter of King Harald V and Queen Sonja and fourth in line to the Norwegian throne, will visit St. Olaf College on Thursday, April 13, as part of a national speaking and promotional tour for her book Why Kings and Queens Don't Wear Crowns.

Princess Martha Louise will be in the Black and Gold Ballroom in Buntrock Commmons at noon for a 30-minute presentation about growing up as royalty in today's world and why she wrote her bestselling children's book. Her remarks will be followed by 80 minutes of book signing. The talk is free and open to the public. Svein Nyhus, award-winning illustrator of the book, also will be present. Why Kings and Queens Don't Wear Crowns is on sale at the St. Olaf Bookstore. Copies will be available for purchase at the event.

Why Kings and Queens Don't Wear Crowns centers on events in 1905, when Norway's union with Sweden was peacefully dissolved and Norway needed to find a new royal family. The book's tale begins there and is based on the childhood of the princess' grandfather, King Olav V. Little Prince Olav wants to play in the snow and ski just like the other children, but every time he leaves the palace something bad happens to the crown on his head, and the king and queen are not amused.


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Our Library

Northfield Public Library

No longer is Northfield Public Library a stuffy brick building with pull out catalog drawers as it was in 1985 when the library was last renovated.  Our library now has personal computers, the Internet, wireless access, a book section entirely in Spanish, books on tape and CD, pictures of you and me when we were in high school (provided you graduated from NHS), and old Northfield phone books.  The old Northfield phone books aren't interesting until you realize some of them listed the man's name, "wife", the man's job, and finally the kids' names and birth dates.


All School Art Show Opens at the NAG

Click for larger imageArtSmart, the 2006 All School Art Show, opened Thursday at the Northfield Arts Guild gallery. I love this show each year, which exhibits work by K-12 students from all schools in the district, including the Village School, ARTech, Prairie Creek and St. Dominic's. As the NAG website says, "Get ready for a blast of color and energy if you visit the gallery in the next few weeks." It is the proverbial feast for the eyes — vibrant and engaging.

The opening reception for this show, called Imagination Celebration, adds children's performance to the visual art exhibition. This year's Imagination Celebration will take place on April 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit runs through Wednesday, April 19.


Earth Jam 2006!

Click to view a PDF of the posterEarth Day has taken a new and more festive twist on Northfield. One month away: Earth Jam 2006! You're invited to join us on Bridge Square on Saturday April 22nd to celebrate Earth! There will be a town clean-up/beautification from 9am to 12 noon. You are encouraged to meet at the Square at 9 and be ready to get get down and dirty! From 11 am to 4pm there will be tables on the Square of local environmental groups, organizations, local farmers from the Farmer's market, composting demos, goodies from the Just Food Co-op and Mercantile and more! Then THE FESTIVAL BEGINS!  From 2pm to 7pm, a festival of artists from around the world will entertain the people of Northfield and celebrate our support for the earth and our community.

To all Dance groups and Musicians: anyone interested in performing can contact Taylor Franklin at fran0558@umn.edu.

To all interested volunteers to lead the City Wide clean-up, or have an Earth Day info table: again, you can contact Taylor Franklin via email or call the AmeriCorps office at (507) 664-3752.


Northfield 360: St. Olaf

"!{float:left; margin: 0 5px 5px 0;}http://static.flickr.com/46/110133325_68fe456d7d_m.jpg(A View From Larson)!":http://www.flickr.com/photos/torstenson/110133325/in/pool-northfield/ Sometimes these things take a lot of work, sometimes they're just handed to you.

St. Olaf has done a full set of very well done VR panoramas for the more interesting spots on campus. You "can take the entire tour here":http://www.stolaf.edu/virtualtour/, but if you'd like the highlights, may I suggest...

* "Boe Chapel":http://www.stolaf.edu/virtualtour/boe.shtml, currently under construction.
* The "Rolvaag Library":http://www.stolaf.edu/virtualtour/rolvaag.shtml
* And what everyone imagines when they look at it from a distance, "the view from on top of Larson Dormitory":http://www.stolaf.edu/virtualtour/larson.shtml.

The VR movies requires Apple Quicktime.


"Inherit the Wind" this weekend!

Click for larger viewNorthfield School of Arts & Technology (ARTech) proudly presents "Inherit the Wind" this weekend.  Students from both ARTech and NHS are performing the play based on the 1920s Scopes Monkey Trial, the court debate between evolution and creationism.  This weekend's play, directed by Bob Gregory-Bjorklund (pictured at left), is set "not too long ago" and is particularly pertinent to debates happening across our country today.

The show runs at 7:00 pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at ARTech, 1719 Cannon Road in Northfield.  Tickets are on sale at the door.  Call ARTech at 663-8806 or visit www.artech.k12.mn.us for more information. 


Northfield Arts Guild Featured in Art Center Report

The Northfield Arts Guild was featured in the recent publication, "Artists' Centers: Evolution and Impact on Careers, Neighborhoods and Economies", a study done by the researcher Ann Markusen, of the U of M's Humphrey Institute. She is noted for her analysis of, among other things, the arts as a regional economic stimulant.

Copies of her latest work can be obtained either as electronic copies (free) or paper copies ($12) from the Humphrey Institute website at http://www.hhh.umn.edu/projects/prie/artists_centers.html.

More information will be included in an upcoming Northfield News piece by Arts Guild Interim Executive Director, Rebecca Bazan.


Governors' Choir Meets the Governor

Gov. Pawlenty and the Governors' ChoirLast Wednesday, March 1, the Governors' Choir of the Northfield Youth Choirs, under the direction of their artistic director Liz Shepley, sang in the house chamber of the state capitol for the opening of the 2006 legislative session. During their visit to the capitol, the group had the opportunity to meet with Governor Tim Pawlenty, as well as House Speaker Steve Sviggum and State Representative Ray Cox.


NAG's Free Family Art Day

NAG Free Family Art Day
My son, Henry, his friend Will and I spent an hour in the ceramics studio at the Northfield Arts Guild on Saturday afternoon. NAG sponsored a "Free Family Art Day" where kids and parents could try different activities--which also included drawing, creative movement and costuming fun--and receive a coupon good for 10% off a class at the NAG. Friendly helpers showed the young potters how to work with the clay and use the wheel.


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