Art Hounds: Folk tales cast in silver

A bridal crown
A bridal crown by Liz Bucheit.
Courtesy photo

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.

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Crafting tales in silver

Discover the enchanting world of Norwegian folk tales reimagined through contemporary jewelry at the Nordic Center. Renowned artist Liz Bucheit's exhibition "Hand of Huldra" showcases the tradition of silver as protection against evil, blending myth and craftsmanship.

Alison Aune is a professor of art education at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a former board member at the Nordic Center. She recommends a show currently at the Nordic Center, “Hand of Huldra” by Liz Bucheit of Lanesboro.

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“What she specializes in is reimagining Norwegian folk tales, folk traditions, through her contemporary jewelry,” Aune explains.

“In Norway — and in a lot of the Nordic and Baltic countries — silver was thought to protect you against evil. So there’s a tradition with the bride wearing a bridal crown of silver, having all sorts of silver pendants so that she's protected.”

On display are crowns, as well as other silver objects, which Aune describes as “phenomenal. She's just really an expert on taking those Norwegian stories and finding their way to jewelry.”

“Hand of Huldra” is on display until April 27.

Celebrating Nowruz

Join the Twin Cities Iranian Culture Collective for a vibrant celebration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, at the Ordway in St. Paul. Experience international and local musicians in a concert followed by a reception featuring tea and cookies.

Visual artist Katayoun Amjati says she’s been hearing from friends in the northeast Minneapolis arts and music scene about the concert “Voices Unveiled: A Nowruz Celebration and Community Gathering,” presented by the Twin Cities Iranian Culture Collective.

Nowruz is the Persian New Year, which was celebrated on March 19. The concert includes both international and local musicians and will be followed by a reception afterward that includes tea and cookies. 

Amjati says the concert will be a chance to celebrate and also to honor and mourn alongside those women struggling for rights in Iran. She notes that two of the singers recently moved from Iran to the U.S., and she looks forward to hearing their voices.  

“Voices Unveiled: A Nowruz Celebration and Community Gathering” is Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ordway in St. Paul. Tickets are limited. 

A tragicomedy journey

Embark on a poignant yet uplifting journey with "Phantom Loss," a puppet show by Oanh Vu, staged by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in Minneapolis. Join a Vietnamese American girl in a tale of haunting, friendship with ghosts and the struggles of generational trauma and deportation.

Anh-Thu Pham of Theater Mu has seen previous workshops of Oanh Vu’s puppet show “Phantom Loss,” and she’s looking forward to seeing the final version staged by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in Minneapolis.

It’s a tragicomedy about a Vietnamese American girl who moves to a new small town with her mother to run a nail salon. The house where she lives is haunted, and she becomes friends with the ghost.

It’s a refugee story about generational trauma and deportation, told with heart and humor. Pham, who grew up watching “Sesame Street” and “Mr. Rogers,” points out the power of puppetry to take on heavy subjects without losing sight of joy.  

“I think, for any of us that have dealt with generational trauma, or any hard things in our lives,” says Pham, “if you sit in the darkness, you won't be able to live, you won't be able to process through that. And I think that's when good art is done: you kind of see and experience life in its wholeness. I think this is what ‘Phantom Loss’ can do.” 

The show opens Friday with a preview show Thursday, and it runs through April 7. There is a pay-what-you-can performance on April 2. The show is rated PG/PG-13. 

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