Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Whimsy, joy and music kick off a 'mellow' First Friday art event of the new year

A sculpture titled "Take a Seat" that looks like a tricycle, made from various found parts.
MacRostie Art Center
A sculpture from John Bauer's collection, "A Lost Art" called Take A Seat.

January is a quieter month for art events, but you can still support the creative community of Grand Rapids during the First Friday Art Walk on Jan. 5.

GRAND RAPIDS — It’s a new year with new events and art to explore. Grand Rapids Arts presents the First Friday Art Walk 4-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5.

MacRostie Art Center Executive Director Katie Marshall joined the KAXE Morning Show to discuss details.

Here’s what’s happening:

MacRostie Art Center

“A Lost Art” is showing in the Minnesota Gallery with found object sculpture by John Bauer, co-host of Friday's KAXE Morning Show. The evening includes a reception with food, wine, and other refreshments 4-7 p.m., with an artist talk at 6 p.m.

“I just think there's beauty in everything,” said Bauer about his latest exhibit of sculptures.

His sculptures are made of items he's found at recycling centers, junk yards, and dumpsters. “I have a knack for seeing things that are beautiful and my beauty is something different."

Bauer described one of his large statues on display.

"Just a big, massive bent piece of steel that's green and I mounted it on an ashtray stand I saw just sticking out of a scrap yard in in Hibbing," he said.

He added, "Oh my God, why would you throw this away? So you take it home and you clean it up and you use a wire brush on your drill and it just pops.”

To Bauer, everything deserves a second chance, including old dolls, musical instruments and scrap metal.

“Time has made me happy."
John Bauer, in reference to his new chapter in life as an artist

In his artist statement, Bauer says after retirement from full-time work at KAXE, he had the time to learn to be an artist and put his ideas into practice.

“Time has taught me to appreciate every day,” he wrote, adding retirement makes him feel like he can’t waste a single minute. His sculptures show him the joy of bringing something discarded back to life, with a new purpose.

“A Lost Art” will be on display in the Minnesota Gallery at MacRostie Art Center until the end of February. You can see the sculptures here.

Guitar tuning pegs, a gas tank cover, a carburetor, wooden bowls, parts of tables, portions of dolls and toys, a fireplace mantle and even a tossed aside barrel are part of a new story apart from their past lives.

Pencil drawing with colored shading of heads in various posititions.
MacRostie Art Center
Artwork by Scout Humphrey, part of the "Decidedly Weird Birdie Nest" exhibit, on display at MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids until Feb. 23, 2024.

Giinawind Creative Space

Scout Humphrey’s exhibit "Decidedly Weird Birdie Nest” is opening as well at the newest gallery at the MacRostie Art Center, Giinawind Creative Space.

Marshall said of Humphrey’s work: “It's very inspirational in terms of just seeing that kind of a glimpse into somebody's creative mind.”

The exhibit will run until the end of February and reveals the whimsical, weird and wonderful mind of Humphrey, an artist from Deer River.

The Giinawind Creative Space is a gathering place for the creative community that seeks to provide an opportunity for cultural connections while creating a catalyst for community development.

Giinawind is an Ojibwemowin inclusive pronoun that means we/us. It was chosen for the name as a reflection of a vision for a space that centers Indigenous art and artists while welcoming the whole community.

Musicians play jazz in northern Minnesota, including the gypsy jazz style of local musician Sam Miltich.
Lakeland Public Television
Sam Miltich, second from left, performs with Clearwater Hot Club and friends.

Rapids Brewing Co.

Perennial favorite Sam Miltich and friends will perform jazz 6-9 p.m. at Rapids Brewing Co. Special guest Tony Balluff on clarinet.

Stay Connected
Jennifer has worked at Northern Community Radio since 2006 and spent 17 years as Membership Manager. She shifted to a host/producer position in 2023. She hosts the Monday Morning Show and is the local host of National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" a few days a week. She also writes public services announcements and creates web stories.
Heidi Holtan is KAXE's Director of Content and Public Affairs where she manages producers and is the local host of Morning Edition from NPR. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North.