Art Hounds®

Art Hounds: A trail of crocheted mushrooms

Also: Nordic folk music in Duluth and codependency onstage

A perso touches art outside
Fiber artist Lydia Hansen with crocheted mushrooms.
Courtesy Lydia Hansen

From MPR News, Art Hounds are members of the Minnesota arts community who look beyond their own work to highlight what’s exciting in local art. Their recommendations are lightly edited from the audio heard in the player above.  

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Puffy mushrooms

Laurie Byrne of Chatfield is looking forward to the opening artist talk and hike on Lost Creek Hiking Trail this Saturday. Fiber artist Lydia Hansen will discuss and lead people on a hike to see her life-sized crocheted models of native mushrooms tucked along the trail.

Lost Creek Hiking Trail is located 25 minutes south of Rochester. 

Laurie says: As a teen, Lydia started crocheting, and she has grown her crocheting into these very unique pieces of art. Last year, she made a sculpture garden — all out of fiber, crocheting and making those little pom poms. It was a lot of fun!

And this year, she’s doing mushrooms and she’s adding it to a hiking trail in Chatfield. They are very lifelike. She’s done her research. These are all mushrooms that are from Minnesota. She has signage up identifying these mushrooms. Just a very cool idea. 

The trail is just over six miles. And it goes through public and private lands. It’s a beautiful hiking trail, mostly through the woods.

— Laurie Byrne

Person smiles next to crocheted musrhroom outside
Fiber artist Lydia Hansen with crocheted mushrooms.
Courtesy of Lydia Hansen

Music from the north country

Duluth musician Zack Baltich recommends Duluth-stämman, a gathering that includes Nordic folk music, dance and workshops. The event runs this weekend, June 8 and 9.

Friday’s events will be held at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Saturday’s events are outside at Chester Bowl, with UMD as a rain contingency location. Saturday admission is free to youth 17 and under who bring an instrument, and non-performing youth get in for $5. 

Zack says: So much music is about an audience witnessing musicians play. What is interesting to me about this event is that it kind of removes that wall. A lot of these events are workshops where people can play. People are invited to dance — it’s a very community-oriented thing.  

It’s kind of mind-boggling if you go on their website. Like, 150 musicians are coming from all over North America to play. It’s a very accessible event. Tickets go from $5 to $35, depending on how much of it you want to see.

— Zack Baltich

The drama of codependency

Twin Cities theater maker Kurt Engh recommends the play Devoured: Notes on Love and Enmeshment,” which explores codependency through three queer, intimate relationships.

Written by local playwright Liqing Xu, the show includes depictions of mental health issues and sexual situations. The 60-minute show runs this Friday, June 7, through Sunday, June 9, at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis.  

Kurt says: “Devoured” breaks down these three relationships whereby two people co-create this unhealthy dynamic. One starts to relate to these characters only to feel uncomfortable. When you realize how much you relate to this by the end of the play. It’s kind of scary.

The playwright’s writing unpacks these therapy buzzwords — codependency, trauma, triggering — and places them out to this granular level as people try to communicate with one another. How do you prove to someone you love them? How quickly does care turn to harm? And who’s right and who’s wrong in a relationship? 

I keep telling people that if you are in a relationship or you’re looking to be in a relationship, you should see the show. 

No spoilers (but) it’s not a super happy ending, but at least I think the characters start to realize their own patterns, especially by speaking about it and by recognizing their behavior. Then they can start moving forward with hopefully something that’s healthier and in the next iteration.  

I’m obsessed with the show “Couples Therapy” on Showtime, in which this psychologist — her name is Orna [Guralnik]. She’s iconic — she breaks down the psychology of how people have gotten to these really weird relationship dynamics where you’re going, “Why aren’t these people just breaking up?” And I think there’s this direct line between this play and “Couples Therapy,” where we’re seeing how people get enmeshed in these relationships.

— Kurt Engh 

Two people on a bed
“Devoured: Notes on Love and Enmeshment" at the Southern Theater.
Courtesy photo