Art Hounds®

Art Hounds: North country expressionist landscapes

Plus: Indian and Western classical music meet in Maple Grove and a Minnesota music fest in St. Peter

art on wall
Art by Jennie Ward, on display at Art Project 605 in Detroit Lakes.
Courtesy of Art Project 605

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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Food writer Amy Thielen of Park Rapids recommends a gallery space in Detroit Lakes with a show that opens Thursday for the peak summer season.

The gallery, run by ceramicist Ellen Moses, is called Art Project 605. Visitors can see the abstract landscape paintings and drawings of Jennie Ward of Lake Park. Entitled “Love Song in the Chaos,” the show will be up through Aug. 2.  

Thielen offers this background: Ellen moved back from New York City during the COVID time. I feel like we gained in the North Country — we gained a lot of very cool people who moved back up north, where they are now working remotely. She and her wife Lori O’Dea bought a storefront.

In the back, it’s Ellen’s studio: She makes plates, cups and 3D sculptures. In the front space of the storefront there’s a gallery, and [Thursday night] a show opens by Jennie Ward, an artist who lives a little bit further west in Lake Park.

Jennie’s paintings are really interesting. They’re very beautiful. They’re abstract expressionist landscapes. The colors are big, swaths of thick paint; she’s a great colorist. I’m very excited for this work. I think everybody in town will love it.  

It’s a beautifully renovated storefront: a beautiful, clean, minimalist working space. It reminds me of a corner in a bigger city, like New York or Chicago.

— Amy Thielen

Global grooves gala

Padma Wudali is an amateur musician who plays the veena, a South Indian classical carnatic instrument. She loves the band Maithree, whose work combines Indian and Western classical music styles and instruments.

Maithree will be performing this Saturday, July 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hindu Society of Minnesota’s campus in Maple Grove. The concert is a fundraiser for a new Cultural, Arts and Heritage Center.

Padma says: Maithree is a band of Minnesotans who collaborate with classical music, both Western and Indian. So it to me it’s not about them diluting any of their art forms, but rather stepping into each other spaces to create amazing music. The music that we will get to hear is Indian, classical Irish, Turkish melodies all seamlessly blended together and various compositions.

Shruthi Rajesekar is the youngest member, and I’m super excited to see her work be represented by this group. She is a Western classical music composer who very much grew up in Plymouth and how her work is just being admired by so many people in the United States and abroad.

— Padma Wudali

two people in the woods
Shruti Rajasekar (left) and Nirmala Rajasekar. Shruthi Rajesekar will perform with Maithree July 13.
Courtesy of Shruthi Rajasekar

Band blitz bash

Amanda H. Malkin runs the PaperLoves Conservation in St. Peter, where she’s involved in the local arts scene. She’s looking forward to the 2024 Minnesota Original Music Festival, which starts next Wednesday, July 17 and culminates in two days of live, local music on July 20 and 21 at MN Square Park in St. Peter. 

Amanda describes the events leading up to next weekend: There are workshops and jam sessions. There’s also this really awesome event called the 48-Hour Band Challenge. They basically invite musicians who are interested to put their names in a hat.

New bands are formed by picking names out of the hat, and then those new bands have 48 hours to write a song together and then perform it. It’s a way for musicians to find each other, workshop together, learn, practice, vibe!

— Amanda H. Malkin

Annie Mack singing onstage
Annie Mack performs at The Current's 14th Birthday Party, First Avenue. Mack will perform as part of the 2024 Minnesota Original Music Festival.
Nate Ryan | MPR News 2019
This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.