Area Voices

I've definitely gone through a bit of a mourning period...I was performing anywhere between one to four shows a week, for the last seven, eight years. So..., it's just been so devastating in so many ways for any artist that does it for a living...It's been stressful, but at the same time, to be able to use technology to still  play in some capacity and then, of course, to be writing's been a bit of a saving grace, if that makes sense. ... So it's kind of been all the things - it's been terrible and also amazing .- Jillian Rae on the pandemic impact

I feel like the art is sort of a vehicle for showing that connection that I have, but because it's so hands on and you're working with natural materials... in a way it is sort of a natural experience just creating it. - Kristen Anderson 

I had to learn how to make things and make do with what was available... one day...he called me up and he said, “Lance, do you make stained glass lamps?” And I lied and I said, “Yes, John. I make stained glass lamps” and he says, “Well, I've got this commission for the Duluth Airport to do the ceiling fixtures and all the stained glass windows and they want some lamps and I don't do that. Would you be interested in doing the lamps? I'll give you access to the glass at my studio if you do them.” And I said, “well, that sounds great.” So I taught myself how to make stained glass lamps and they turned out pretty good. And that got me in the door... - Lance Heddan creates kind of a higher level thinker. It's tied to that scientific brain. It's been shown to relieve stress and help people with mental health and...there are so many ways to tie it into policy and to ingrain it into what we're doing as a city.  I'm really excited about what we can do going forward.  - Emelie Rivera, Bemidji City Council

Last year was phenomenal.   We had 960 gallons of sap and then that of course boiled down to 20+  gallons of syrup. I don't know what to expect this year... The frost isn't out of the ground yet, but we've already started boiling. It could be really big or it could...It could be one and done, one big run and then they shut down and and you have to stop collecting sap. - Mur Gilman

Bob Shimek

Ininaatig...what we're talking about here is Tree of Man or Tree of Mankind. When we say that our own Indian way around here... it is like our Tree of Life. - Bob Shimek 

I call them my monsters...they're benevolent monsters who care, and they would like to give you a feeling of inner wealth...They are not not scary guys or girls, they are monsters who would like to help you heal. - Jesse Dermody on his Strange Forms


People talk all the time about how we aren't going to have a future... I sort of want a future... a good one!... and I want everyone else to, too!  So, I might as well start somewhere and just get some stuff done...and everyone should be able to garden. - Bridget Westrum, 16 

The day of the reunification, it was October 3rd, 1990, we woke up in a new country without having was a roller coaster of events, of emotions.  This just came like an avalanche, then there was the big euphoria, of course...  so first you couldn't believe it, and then as it sank in and then... What happens?- Monika Lawrence

I was fortunate to be in Mankato state...and I was taking ceramics and asked if I would like to sign up for glassblowing. I had no idea what the guy was talking about... I signed up, I went to the first class...blew a piece of glass, and I was blown away. And I decided that from then on, I was going to pursue that one way or another for the rest of my life. - Steven Weagel