Art Hounds: Puppets, song, stories, laughs and clay

A person uses a puppet to perform.
Artist Liping Vong performs with a puppet.
Photo by Bruce Silcox

Puppeteer Karly Bergmann was a fellow in the previous PuppetLab cohort, and she is excited that the series is back after a pandemic hiatus for its 10th year. Four residency artists have spent the past six months developing and workshopping new, experimental works with puppets, which will air as two distinct shows this weekend and next. Titled, The PuppetLab Festival of New Work at Open Eye Theatre in Minneapolis, Dominique Herskind and Mary Plaster will perform this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Amoke Kubat and Liping Vong perform Aug. 19-21. Both shows run about 60 minutes. Masks are required in the theater.

A person uses puppets in an ornate costume.
Artist Dominique Herskind in costume for the Puppet Lab.
Photo by Bruce Silcox

Brian Parmeter has been a fan of Prudence Johnson’s singing career for decades. He’s looking forward to seeing her and a number of other performers he recognizes from “Prairie Home Companion” at the Backus Community Center in International Falls on Friday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. The free concert is entitled “An Evening of Stories, Songs & Laughs” and it features storyteller Kevin Kling along with musicians Dan Chouinard and Randy Sabien, as well as special guest Anishinaabe comedian Pebaamibines.

Visitors can also check out a show of paintings and photography, “Natural Wonders II,” at the Backus Center through Aug. 12. There is an artists’ reception for both performers and artists at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.


Matt Wehling of Northfield is an artisan violin bowmaker and musician, and next weekend he’s ready to head to the Cannon River Clay Tour in and around Northfield. Wehling remembers last year’s event as “a wonderful weekend to be out,” adding that he invariably runs into people he knows and pottery he likes. This year, 21 potters are displaying their creations at four different locations in the Northfield area Aug. 20-21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can find a map of the locations here.

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