BEST BETS: Big Lebowski Festival, the scoop on poop and Chorale fun

The Arrowhead Chorale presents a full cantata by J.S. Bach -- Cantata 11, otherwise called the Ascension Oratorio -- this weekend with chamber orchestra and soloists. But this isn't quite the serious night of music that one might expect. In addit...

Arrowhead Chorale
In addition a J.S. Bach cantata, the Arrowhead Chorale, a group billed as the area's premiere vocal ensemble, will sing a spoof of the Baroque art form during two performances Saturday and Sunday. (Submitted)

The Arrowhead Chorale presents a full cantata by J.S. Bach -- Cantata 11, otherwise called the Ascension Oratorio -- this weekend with chamber orchestra and soloists. But this isn't quite the serious night of music that one might expect. In addition to the Bach cantata, the group billed as the area's premiere vocal ensemble will sing a spoof of the Baroque art form. The second half of the performance includes contemporary music about coffee and other good-natured fun.


Time and Place: The performances are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Weber Music Hall at the University of Minnesota Duluth and 3 p.m. Sunday at Concordia Lutheran Church in Superior.

Tix: $14 for adults, $6 for college students, and children get in free.

Also: Enjoy snacks and a silent auction.


Check out those mosaics at Whole Foods Co-op

The next time you are at Whole Foods Co-op, check out the mosaics inside on the wall that runs parallel to Seventh Avenue East. The pieces -- "Fruiting" and "Seedling" -- made using an Italian glass mosaic technique called smalti, are the result of a three-year project by Laura Stone of Knife River.

The pieces are permanent installations, which Stone created when she heard about the environmental and architectural efforts that were going into building the store at 610 E. Fourth St.

"As I worked on [the mosaics] and studied the designs, I began to see more and more significance about how they both unfolded out of a special little knot in the center," Stone said. "It was like a piece of crochet; if you follow the lines, they go up and over and around. That center knot began to be really important. I kept thinking about seedlings. I like seedlings; I like to start seedlings, collect them and nurture them. In that knot area, I put the key pieces. The key pieces in there are gold-leaf, so that it would refer back, history-wise, to ancient mosaics."

Stone has been creating mosaics since early 2000, after a trip to the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis.

"Every single surface is covered in mosaics," Stone said. "Whether they were the marble type on floor, or Italian glass. It was on every single wall and cove and archway. It was just like walking into a jewel box. That was pretty cool."

Stone signed up for an intensive mosaic workshop in Italy, and then went back two years later.

Check out Stone's work at . She is planning to teach workshops on the art this summer. For more information, e-mail her at .


Get the 'Scoop on Poop'

It might not be a good dinner-table conversation, but anything goes at Ironworld, off Highway 169 in Chisholm.

"The Scoop on Poop: The Science of What Animals Leave Behind," opens Wednesday and runs through Sept. 7. The traveling exhibit is based on a book by Dr. Wayne Lynch and is a tactful and fun investigation into what poop is, and how animals and humans use it. It features graphic panels, 3D models and interactive components. Listen to the sounds of an animal's digestive system, examine fecal samples in a vet's lab, compete in dung beetle races, track animals by using clues left in scat, and see how long it takes an elephant to poop its body weight.

"The Scoop on Poop" was created by the exhibits department of Clyde Peeling's Reptiland in Allenwood, Pa.

Ironworld is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and is open until 9 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for students and free for children younger than 6. Admission is free from 5 p.m. to close on Thursdays.

Art that's instrumental

Check out "Instruments as Art," which features seven pieces created for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra's annual fundraiser, which is on May 29 at Cirrus North.

The art show is from 5-7 p.m. today at Lizzards Art Gallery & Framing, 11 W. Superior St., and includes hors d'oeuvres and wine. The art will be on display through May 28.


A piece by Erv Kuutti (above), an art teacher at Duluth Central High School, features a violin in the starring role of a take on Bottecelli's "The Birth of Venus."

"As with many of my art works, I couldn't help but have an element of humor in the work," Kuutti said in his artist's statement about the piece.

Students show off alternative photography

"Emerging Photographers Exhibition," a collaboration between the Duluth Art Institute and the University of Minnesota Duluth in its third year, features photographs by eight advanced students studying photography at UMD. They will be on display in the Corridor Gallery at 506 W. Michigan St.

The DAI reviewed students' portfolios and selected a sample for the exhibit.

"They have a really wonderful program going on in alternative process photography, which is a growing field in photography where they work with mostly 19th-century printing processes," DAI curator David Hodges said. "These students are using this process in a contemporary way."

The exhibit's opening reception is from 5-7 p.m. Friday and is free and open to the public. The photographs are on display through Aug. 30.

DAI hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday until Memorial Day weekend, when the DAI begins summer hours and is open from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.


Dude, It's the Big Lebowski Festival

Attention dudes: Here's a good opportunity to wear your robe in public. Stagenorth in Washburn is hosting "The Big Lebowski Festival," which kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday with games like Dunk the Marmot, Ride the Rug, Throw the Ringer, bowling and trivia.

The popular Coen brothers film from 1998 starring Jeff Bridges and John Goodman plays at 8 p.m., and a costume contest follows.

'Scoop on Poop'
Ironworld'a newest exhibit explores the ins and outs of animal excrement. Check out dung beetle races, learn to track animals using clues left in scat and more. Who knew feces could be so fascinating? (Submitted photo)

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