Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.
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Writing to preserve American history on the pioneer front, Laura Ingalls Wilder may have had no idea the outcome of her tales of the lost era. Her successful series "Little House" among others have been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. Readers of all ages still enjoy Wilder's tales of a family's simple joy and elemental struggle as they work together to build a life on the frontier. To honor the author and her birthplace, Pepin holds Laura Ingalls Wilder Days. The two-day celebration is jam-packed with events, stories, demonstrations and history.
When Tricia Back met Amy Stanton while on the job, she really wanted nothing to do with her. "I was not looking to making friends," Back said, "and she was a bubbly person so I avoided her like a plague." The two women work as self-proclaimed whistle-wearing "recess ladies" at an elementary school in Cottage Grove. "I have a guitar charm on a necklace that I also wear," Back added. Once Stanton noticed that piece of jewelry, the door to a new relationship was soon opened. "She asked me, 'Do you want to jam?'" Back laughed. "I thought she was the biggest dork in the world ...
How do you express yourself? If you're still trying to think of answer, maybe it is time try an artistic approach to learning something new about the wide world of art -- and maybe yourself. Sprinkled throughout the region are fall workshops and classes offering an eclectic taste of bold flavors. "You're never too young or too old to be creative and learn a new skill." Crossings at Carnegie director Marie Marvin said.
A bus trip to Nashville combined with a shared love for Minnesota has created the opportunity to experience one of the country music city's No. 1 shows live from Cannon Falls. The Shepherd's Center of Cannon Valley is presenting "The Tim Watson Show" at 7 p.m. Saturday Aug. 18 at the Cannon Falls High School Auditorium. The concert's conception was masterminded by Rod Johnson. "The center led a tour to Nashville in last November, where we went to a number of shows. One of the shows we went to was head and shoulders above any we had seen, including the Grand Ol' Opry.
When Cole Jacobson heard his next assignment from art teacher Kristin Bray, he didn't quite understand the concept of the project. After a brief explanation, the creative wheels in Jacobson's head started to spin. The assignment's theme was "Youth as a Catalyst for Change" and was not only meant for art students at the Red Wing High School. Jacobson and fellow classmates had been given the opportunity to take part in the Sister Cities International Art Contest -- a worldwide competition challenging youths through a variety of visual media, poetry and essays.
"Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me..." Cue the air guitar as the bombastic ballad plays through your head. The 1977 Styx song hints at your next activity to add to the growing list of local adventures. Lake Pepin offers much more than just a priceless view of beauty, relief from the heat, fishing haven or even the birthplace of waterskiing. If you really want to experience the sheer power, depth and life of the lake while tuning in to your surroundings, it's time to try sailing.
What started as a simple gathering of talented, outgoing, enthusiastic art-lovers on the shore of Lake Pepin has turned into an art fair that far out-numbers residents of this tiny town. The Stockholm Art Fair was established in 1974 by a creative community. Back then, artists who had recently moved to the area held the art fair as a way to "let the people know who we were and what we did." The thinking was that if no one showed up, it would be just a picnic. But people did come to the upstart fair along the Mississippi River.
Rivers, bluffs, valleys and even fields are a common backdrop for local artists and the everyday passersby alike. Daily encounters with such landscapes are mandatory for our area, some perhaps taking advantage of the ever-changing natural beauty. Red Wing resident Mark Abrahamson has found an invigorating exploration of the land from an authentic angle. For the last 25 years the photographer has captured aerial images exploring the nation's urban and rural environments.
Summer road trips are a right of a passage for the average American. Cruisin' the highways and byways of the good ol' USA with an open mind, a map and an itinerary has been a quintessential part of our culture, blossoming in the late 1930s upon the completion of Route 66. As the automobile industry boomed in the 1950s, cars became a part a tool of leisurely activity. Add the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System into the picture and the summer-vacation-road-trip pandemic was born.
Deep in his mind, Peter J. Miele conjures stories intertwining real life and fantasy. Call him what you want - a writer, musician or adventurer - any of those titles describes this mysterious, mischievous man of many thoughts. Best known as the mastermind behind the Trapman Comic series, Miele's obscurely interesting imagination first saw print in 1994.