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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More than 65 artists. More than 40 sites. Needless to say, there are places to go and things to see for art lovers around the region. Next weekend you can find three road-trip-worthy happenings scattered throughout a good chunk of land. The events include the Red Wing Area Tour -- Studio Ramble; Crossings' annual Artists Clearing House indoor art fair; and the annual Bluff Country Studio Art Tour. Since moving from the fall to the springtime last year, Red Wing's Studio Ramble has benefited in more ways than one.
Growing up, Pam Musser was a self-proclaimed tomboy. Tramping through the woods, she often would tag along with her mom, Doris Gardas, who would use the natural world as the subject for her paintings. Musser, now a grown woman and mother, works full time creating one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. But it was those early years, watching her mom work and sometimes taking part in the creative process that instilled in her a deep love and appreciation for art. "I liked to draw," Musser recalled.
Staying active is important for you -- no matter what age. But for elders, staying active can be the gateway to an improved quality of life. Certified yoga therapist Michele Hoffman has been teaching therapeutic yoga for 15 years including 11 years of instructing seniors and owns Bluff Country Yoga specializing in people over the age of 50. She also has completed a four-year program in yoga therapy including an in-depth study of anatomy, physiology and psychology. Improving flexibility is a major benefit of staying active, Hoffman explains.
April marks National Poetry Month and to celebrate the event, Crossings will hold a handful of literary-based gatherings. Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen kicks off the annual Poet-Artist Collaboration exhibit Saturday April 6. Sutphen will teach "Writing from Life: Autobiographical Poems" from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The class fee is $75. The prose memoir is one way to shape private memory into something a reader can share - but the memoir, or the usual alternative, fiction, is not the only possibility.
A melting pot of local talent have blended their skills creating a musically flavored taste unique to Red Wing -- topped with art. "The Artist Series" is a four-disc set of pianist Neal Topliff's music; each album is accompanied with a card with cover art provided by four well-known local artists.
Forty-one degrees. No, this is not the expected temperature for this first day of spring. It is the difference between last year's high of 66 degrees and today's forecasted high of 20 degrees. In fact, the 2012 annual temperature was 3.2 percent above the 20th century average, making it the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States, according to the National Climatic Data Center. This year, we are on Mother Nature's elusive timeframe, yo-yoing between temperatures, precipitation types and layers of clothes.
In the 50 years the Red Wing Singers has performed, the group has have never shared the stage - until now. The bluegrass rhythms of the well-known Monroe Crossing meet the gospel chorus of the Red Wing Singers Saturday March 16 at the Sheldon Theatre. Each group will highlight its interpretation of some bluegrass classics and then combine to perform "The World Beloved - A Bluegrass Mass," written for Monroe Crossing by Minnesota composer Carol Barnett.
Longtime Minneapolis resident Jaspar Lepak is a folk/Americana songstress who will hit the stage Friday Feb. 22 at the Oak Center General Store. Riding on the heels of her critically acclaimed album "Forgiving Wind," which Rolling Stone South Africa - where the album was recorded - hailed as an album full of "beauty and original charm," Lepak has been performing from the West Coast to the Midwest. Lepak spent two years in South Africa, following husband Kale and his job transfer to the coastal city of Durban. "During that time I wrote enough songs to make an album," she said.
The 1993 film "Grumpy Old Men" tells the story of a lifelong feud between two neighbors, Max and John. Add a new female neighbor into the mix and the grudge only grows. The original movie and its sequel "Grumpier Old Men" will be the cause of celebration in Wabasha next weekend. Both films were set in the small river town, although no scenes were actually filmed in Wabasha. Neighboring Minnesota towns and cities, including Red Wing, were graced by the camera's presence. Nevertheless, Wabasha has held an annual Grumpy Old Men Festival.
Looking for a good book to read during the chilly days of winter? Warm up your mind, while satisfying your taste buds at the second annual Local Authors Day from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday Feb. 9 at the Cannon River Winery. Guests at the event can meet authors, purchase their books and have them signed while sipping on award-winning wine.