Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Hop to Art Leap 2009 in the Park Rapids area September 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 1:30 PM
The White Birch Artists are kicking off Art Leap 2009 with a reception from 3 - 6 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Park Rapids Area Library.

The White Birch Artists are kicking off Art Leap 2009 with a reception from 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, at the Park Rapids Area Library.

Talking Stick, Volume 18, Common Threads, officially releases at a weekend party.

Talking Stick, Volume 18, Common Threads, officially releases at a weekend party.

IF I DIDN’T ALREADY have a jam-packed weekend and I lived closer to the Park Rapids area, I would certainly consider heading north this weekend for Art Leap 2009, a driving tour of artists’ studios and other cultural destinations.

That’s according to info I gleaned from www.parkrapids.com, where you can find details about the Sept. 26 – 27 event. Unless otherwise noted, hours are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Bemidji artist Al Belleveau tipped me off today to this arts tour. Bemidji has a First City of Arts: Studio Cruise set for Oct. 16 – 18.

Autumn arts tours seem to be growing in popularity in Minnesota. We have one coming up in the Faribault area (Southcentral Minnesota Studio Art Tour, Oct. 24 – 25) and there’s one in southwestern Minnesota (Meander, Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl, Oct. 2 – 4). And that’s a good thing. What a perfect mix—driving through our beautiful state to view the fall colors and stopping along the way to visit with artists or take in a performance.

The Park Rapids Area Arts Council is sponsoring Art Leap 2009, a tour that leads visitors to places like Menahga, Forestedge Winery & Gallery, Stoney Lake, Nevis, the Long Lake Theater, Park Rapids and Strawberry Lake Corner. I love the folksy sound of that name, Strawberry Lake Corner.

No matter your artistic bend, you’re sure to find a medium of interest, like woodcuts, pottery, stoneware, weaving, jewelry, batik, photography and much more, not to mention live theatrical and musical performances and poetry readings.

The Jackpine Writers’ Bloc is also hosting a book release party on Saturday, Sept. 26, in Park Rapids for The Talking Stick, Volume Eighteen, Common Threads. This literary journal features a collection of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction from some of Minnesota’s most gifted writers. I haven’t read volume 18 yet, but volume 17 has made me a fan of this outstanding anthology. Check it out at www.thetalkingstick.com or www.jackpinewriters.com.

That said, if you’re free this weekend, head to the Park Rapids area for a little culture.

Henry Schoolcraft's poetic words in stone at the Itasca State Park interpretative center. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Henry Schoolcraft's poetic words in stone at the Itasca State Park interpretative center. Click on the photo to enlarge. The Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center is on this weekend's Art Leap 2009 tour.

A Native American doll for sale at the Itasca State Park gift shop. Native American crafts, foods and more are featured in the Art Leap tour and can be seen at Strawberry Lake Corner.

A Native American doll for sale at the Itasca State Park gift shop. Native American crafts, foods and more are featured in the Art Leap 2009 tour and can be seen at Strawberry Lake Corner this weekend.

(Watch upcoming blogs for more info about Minnesota art tours.)

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Shopping flea markets and other trendy places

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:02 AM
Merchandise displayed at the Rice County Steam and Gas Engines Show flea market.

Merchandise at the Rice County Steam and Gas Engines Show flea market awaits shoppers.

SOME PEOPLE LIKE THEM. Others hate them. But I am among those who enjoy shopping at garage, rummage and yard sales and the occasional flea market.

Actually, I’ve been shopping like this for nearly 25 years, out of necessity at first, to buy baby stuff and later clothes for my growing kids. Now I shop such sales for enjoyment and the thrill of the hunt.

It’s also currently vogue to recycle and reuse as part of the going green fad. And to think that I am actually, for once, part of a trend rather than lagging years behind is truly remarkable. Typically I could care less about the latest whatever.

That said, just look at the items I found (with my camera lens at least) at the Rice County Steam and Gas Engines, Inc. show near Dundas a few weeks ago.

Not real roses, but roses from China.

Not real roses, but fake roses from China.

Some call it "junk." I prefer the word "treasures."

Some call it "junk." I prefer the word "treasures" for flea market finds.

Fitting with the day's theme, toy tractors were available for purchase.

Fitting with the day's theme, toy tractors were available for purchase. A perfect gift for a would-be farmer.

In hindsight, I should have purchased some of these beautiful old jars.

In hindsight, I should have purchased some of these beautiful old jars for my kitchen.

Even the quilts featured recycled batting, according to the quilt-maker.

Even the tractor quilts featured recycled batting, according to the woman who sewed them.

For more information about Rice County Steam and Gas Engines, Inc., go to www.ricecountysteamandgas.com.

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling