Art Hounds celebrate milestones of life

Jim Denomie painting
"Four Days and Four Nites - Blue Green River" acrylic and oil on canvas (c) 2020.
Photo courtesy of Jim Denomie Estate and Bockley Gallery.

Artist, poet, and activist Dougie Padilla recommends a visit to ArtReach St. Croix in Stillwater to see the exhibit “Jim Denomie, Sweet Dreams,” which runs through May 7. Denomie passed away March 1. Padilla, his longtime friend, said Denomie was a “truly brilliant painter” and “a sweet and gentle man, a blessing to many in many different communities.”

“Jim was also the master of his own style of portraiture, and of what can only be called Dreamworld painting. With his own unique palette of blues and purples, pinks and oranges, greens and golds, Jim told stories that came out of some deep underground stream from far down inside his psyche, in the psyche of his Ojibwe ancestors,” Padilla said. “It penetrates the heart softly, even while shaking the very ground beneath our feet.”

The show in Stillwater includes portraits and character studies. Denomie painted figures with antlers and rabbit ears, riding on horseback.

“Are they leaving this world headed for the next? Are they already in the next world looking back, waiting for us? Named almost a year ago, this exhibit “Sweet Dreams” not only foreshadows Jim's leaving us here on this troubled Earth. It takes us along with him for the first mile or two of his ride home,” Padilla added.


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Eric Heukeshoven, a jazz musician and composer who teaches at St. Mary’s University, plans to drive from Winona to Rochester to attend “A Tribute to John Paulson: Jazz at 70.” Paulson plays saxophone and flute, and he’ll perform original compositions and jazz standards. The rest of the quintet has musicians drawn from Rochester, Winona, and environs: Cliff Jack on guitar, Larry Price on piano, Miles Johnston on drums, and Robert S. P. Gardner on bass.

The Rochester Chamber Music Society event is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester. Masks are optional, and the show is free. 


Musician Keith Nystrom of Ham Lake says he was “blown away” by Minneapolis musician Jesse Norell’s new concept album, “Aorta Borealis.”  Norell’s daughter Alyssa was born with Trisomy 21, also called Down’s Syndrome, as well as a serious heart defect. The album describes learning the diagnosis, the darkness and uncertainty of the heart surgeries and, ultimately, the love and joy of family. Alyssa is now 6.

“Jesse has a real knack for doing very complicated things, but doing them in such the right way, that you don't really notice how complex they are,” said Nystrom.

Jesse Norell has an album release show on Friday with guests Ben Noble and Chris Mason at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis. Doors open at 7 p.m. Music starts at 8 p.m.