Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Chholing Taha Art Exhibit

Chholing Tata Art Exhibit at the Bigfork Art Gallery

The Chholing Taha exhibit is the October art show at the Edge Art Gallery in Bigfork this year.  She is a Cree First Nations artist born in Canada and is now based in Anoka Minnesota. She uses Native imagery to express both contemporary issues and indigenous stories.  She is a master story teller, artist and seamstress from which her name "The Shawl Lady" originates. Chholing Taha’s vibrant colors and masterful interpretations of Native North American’s tales, myths, legends and dreams, leap out from the paintings and shawls you’ll see when you visit Edge during October. Come and see Chholing’s work at the Edge Gallery from October 4th through the 27th .  The gallery is next to the Bigfork School and is open from 10 am to 4 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Admission to the gallery and October 5th reception is free.

October brings artist Chholing Taha to the Edge Gallery. A master story teller, artist and seamstress of exceptional talent, her masterful interpretations of Native North American’s tales, myths, legends and dreams, bring story, color and artistic expression into incredible works of art.

Chholing Taha was born in Canada and now based in Anoka. She draws on symbols from tribes from the Northwest coast, as well as the Great Lakes tribes, and it is her heart’s wish to instill a sense of mystery within anyone who views her work and discovers that place within each of us that beats together as one communal “spirit drum” common to all of humanity.  Her paintings act as an honoring, translating and preserving great stories, traditions, and messages.

Chholing Taha will be showing her work at the Edge Center for the Arts October 4th through the 27th. An open hose reception is on October 5th from five to seven P.M. at the gallery. This is an event filled with color and stories. You will be impressed by both so don’t miss this special talent with her colors and interwoven stories.

Monday, September 17, 2018

“All the King’s Men” is the October Film Classic in Bigfork

The October film for this season “Classic” movies at the Edge is a 1949 Film Noir classic, “All the King’s Men.” The movie won three Oscars including Best Film.  The plot is about a small time political want-to-be politician who rises from a rural county seat to become governor of a state. It’s a thinly disguised story of Louisiana politician Huey Long who rose to power with a similar anything-goes approach to politics in the 1930’s. The movie’s success is not just the story in the movie, which is compelling by itself, but the incredible editing done on the first attempts to tell the story that ended up being much to long and complicated. This October Movie Classic will be shown at the Edge Theatre in Bigfork by Jack Nachbar. It will be accompanied by Jack’s presentation providing a better understanding of the time period of the movie.  Date: Thursday October 11th. Time: 6:30PM. Price: FREE of charge.

The movie ended up so long after the “normal” tinkering done by editing that it made some of the management panicky to say the least. Production team members Robert Parrish and Harry Cohn were instructed to take just the best part of each scene and cut the rest, music and all. Then they cut another 100 feet from the beginning and end regardless. What ended up is a 109 minute movie “diamond in the rough” with a “jagged urgency” that is “compelling and Oscar worthy”. You got to see it knowing the back story to appreciate what happened. Don’t know if it was ever done that way again, but it worked.

The stars in the movie were Broderick Crawford, who won the best actor Oscar and Mercedes McCambridge who won the best supporting actress Oscar. The acting talent does not stop there because John Ireland was also nominated for the Best Supporting Actor. That is some special talent on in one film.  In total the film was nominated for seven Oscars.  Great acting, great directing and a film “miracle” all combined to make this one well received by audiences and film critics then and now.

I think maybe this is one of those times where we should stop trying to restate what the critics said and let those reviews speak for themselves. Then you decide whether a trip to Bigfork is worth to see what the nice accolades were all about.  As a footnote to the reviews: in 2001 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registery and to date it is the last Best Picture winner to be based on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. 

Bosley Crowther who reviewed films for thr News York Times, who said, "Robert Rossen has written and directed, as well as personally produced, a rip-roaring film of the same title ... We have carefully used that descriptive as the tag for this new Columbia film because a quality of turbulence and vitality is the one that it most fully demonstrates ... In short, Mr. Rossen has assembled in this starkly unprettified film a piece of pictorial journalism that is remarkable for its brilliant parts. Critic William Brogdon, for Variety Magazine, said  “As the rural Abe Lincoln, springing up from the soil to make himself a great man by using the opinionless, follow-the-leader instinct of the more common voter, Broderick Crawford does a standout performance. Given a meaty part, his histrionic bent wraps it up for a great personal success adding much to the many worthwhile aspects of the drama’”.

Those strong opinions most likely mean there is something special on the big screen in October. Come and see a film that will make you think.  Place: The Edge Center for the Arts, Bigfork. Date and time: Thursday October 1tth at 6:30PM. It will be worth going to Bigfork, because Jack will provide you with background about the movie and a cartoon of the period. An appropriate snack will be served courtesy of Jack and his wife/projectionist, Lynn. The Classic Movie Series is part of the District 318 Adult Education Program.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Betsy Bowen Block Prints at the Edge Center Art Gallery

Betsy Bowen: Block Prints is this month's exhibit at the Bigfork Art Gallery. Betsy is an illustrator of the wildlife and domestic life around her longtime home near Grand Marais on Minnesota’s North Shore. The immediate lure of color and line in Betsy’s woodcuts invites viewers to discover the good-humored stories she tells with her images. Come and see Betsy’s block prints at the Edge Gallery from September 6th to the 29th.  The gallery is next to the Bigfork School and is open from 10 am to 4 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Admission to the gallery and September 7th reception is free.

If you are a parent or grandparent, you're most likely familiar with Betsy's children's book Antler, Bear, Canoe, found in children's bedrooms throughout Northern Minnesota and beyond. The book carries young readers through the seasons of the year in an "ABC" format and is also one of the first books introduced to kindergartners at Bigfork Elementary School

Constructed with bold colors, Betsy's woodcuts delineate the essence of our northern lifestyle, history, and existence: they literally pulse with the feeling of Northern Minnesota

Of her work, Betsy says, “Poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote that ‘Scientists tell us that the world is made up of Atoms, but we know it is made up of Stories.’ Now here is a concept that shaped my view of the world.” Bowen's prints are from the stories “that hold the very form and energy of our existence.

Bowen will be showing her woodcuts at the Edge Center for the Arts September 6th through the 29th. An open house reception is on September 6th from five to seven P.M. at the gallery. This is an evening you don’t want to miss.

There was also an Author Event at the Bigfork school where Bowen had an opportunity to speak to the K-3 students (See below).  She Read from her book, Antler, Bear and Canoe plus explained the art of block printing. The Bigfork Art Gallery Committee also donated 100 of Bowen's books to the school.