Multimedia storyteller J.P. Rennquist is impressed by the latest production of Lake Superior Community Theatre. The North Shore company wanted to stage August Wilson's play "Fences," but it's located in an area where not many black people, let alone black actors, live. The company went to Duluth, held auditions there and found the talent it needed to put on the show. Rennquist says it's the first time in his recollection that a play in northeastern Minnesota has featured an all-black cast. "Fences" tours Duluth March 27-29, Two Harbors April 6-8 and Silver Bay April 13-15.
Basket weaver Beth Kraus, aka "Birch Bark Beth," recommends paying a visit to the American Swedish Institute before its two bowl-centric shows come to a close. On the ground floor is "101 Bowls," a collection of bowls that spans from tiny spice holders to an enormous vessel carved from the trunk of a cedar tree. Then there's "CraftBOWL," featuring the work of three Swedish artisans whose work in wood, ceramic and glass ranges from the playful to the surreal. On display through April 8.
Metalsmith and jewelry designer Bridget Clark was drawn in by "Phases of Matter" at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts. The show features the work of five artists who explore transformation in nature through compelling photographs, paintings and sculpture. Clark said the show felt perfect for spring. "Phases of Matter" runs through April 5, with a closing reception and artist talk that evening from 6 to 8 p.m.