Art Hounds: Harmonies and bright nature

"Planet B" by Tawnee Corning
"Planet B" by Tawnee Corning, oil and spray paint on 5 ft. x 6 ft. stretched canvas, 2022.
Courtesy of Tawnee Corning

Diamond Knispel recommends checking out the work of a fellow Bemidji, Minn.-area visual artist, Tawnee Corning of Bagley. Corning is working on a series of 5 feet by 6 feet paintings that place humans in natural, yet surreal settings. The thought-provoking oil paintings are lavished with bright colors.

Conceived as a project that people could view regardless of any COVID restrictions, Corning’s work is on view both on her website and in a series of time-lapsed videos on YouTube that document her painting process.

The videos document the progression of both her paintings and her pregnancy with her third child. Motherhood is an important theme in Corning’s work, along with our connection to nature.

“Whatever our future holds, it seems that with Tawnee’s view on the world and with her paintings, it might be a more colorful one,” Diamond said.

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"Nature Nuture" by Tawnee Corning
"Nature Nuture" by Tawnee Corning, oil and acrylic paint on 5 ft. x 6ft. stretched canvas, 2021.
Courtesy of Tawnee Corning

Jex Arzayus of Minneapolis had their introduction to the Shrieking Harpies, a musical improv trio, when they attended a woman/trans/nonbinary improv class taught by one of the members, Hannah Wydeven.

Excited by the empowering space Wydeven created, Arzayus went to see the group perform and was hooked by the Shrieking Harpies’ ability to spin hourlong musical plays from a single audience suggestion.

“It was so well done that I thought, why aren't you guys on Saturday Night Live?” said Arzayus, who remembers laughing and crying at that first show.

The Shrieking Harpies perform every Friday at 7 p.m. in March and April at the HUGE Improv Theater in Minneapolis.


Michael Melrose guesses he’s been a fan of The Dollys for 15 years. Their roots-based country and Americana music make him nostalgic for the artists he heard growing up.

The Dollys cover Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash and — yes —Dolly Parton, exploring deep cuts as well as favorites and adding their own bluegrass flair.

He recommends checking out their Saturday brunch show at the Icehouse in Minneapolis at 11 a.m.

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment‘s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.