The Herald's Arts Notebook: Emily Lunde folk art exhibit, Empire Theatre Company to present ‘The 39 Steps’

Check out the local arts and entertainment happenings in the Grand Forks area this week.

An exhibit of Emily Lunde's folk art, including this work, "Serene Village," is on display through Feb. 18 at the Lake Region Heritage Center in Devils Lake. The exhibit is part of the Rural Arts Initiative, an educational outreach program of the North Dakota Museum of Art, located on the UND campus.

Check out the local arts and entertainment happenings in the Grand Forks area this week.

Emily Lunde folk art exhibit in Devils Lake

An exhibit titled ‘“Uff Da: The Folk Art of Emily Lunde” is on display through Feb. 18 at the Lake Region Heritage Center, 502 Fourth St. NE, Devils Lake.

A native of northern Minnesota and long-time resident of Grand Forks, the late Emily Wilhelmina Dufke Lunde “is one of the state’s eminent folk artists and unofficial cultural historian,” said Laurel Reuter, director of the North Dakota Museum of Art, the exhibit sponsor.

The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 5 and 12. On Feb. 11, Suzanne Kelley, editor-in-chief of NDSU Press, and Matthew Anderson, NDMOA director of education, will talk about Lunde’s work at 7 p.m., following a reception at 6:30 p.m.

Lunde’s artwork reflects the lives of early Scandinavian immigrants who settled the prairies and small towns of the Red River Valley. Childhood memories of her grandparents’ farm inspired much of her work.


Her paintings have been included in a number of important private and public collections throughout the country and U.S. embassies worldwide, Reuter said.

The exhibit is part of the NDMOA’s Rural Arts Initiative. Anyone interested in bringing the exhibit to their community, at no charge, may contact Anderson at or call 701-777-3599.

This painting, titled "Building a Dream," by the late Grand Forks folk artist Emily Lunde, is on display in an exhibit of her works at the Lake Region Heritage Center in Devils Lake through Feb. 18.

Metropolitan Opera auditions at UND

About 20 aspiring opera singers from around the country will perform at the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition on Saturday, Feb. 5, in the UND Hughes Fine Arts Center.

The free public event, formerly titled the North Dakota-Manitoba Met Auditions, begins at 11 a.m. in the Campbell Recital Hall.

Judges will select up to three singers to advance to regional competition in the Twin Cities. Winners at that level advance to the Metropolitan Opera stage in New York.

“Come for an (hour) or come for the day,” said Royce Blackburn, voice teacher at the University of Iowa and former UND faculty member.

Audience members who hear all the singers may vote for their favorite to receive the G. Paul Larson Audience Choice Award, Blackburn said.


Judges for the competition are: Allan Glassman, internationally acclaimed tenor; Mark Schnaible, renowned baritone; and Cori Ellison, opera dramaturg.

Singers must have proof of a COVID vaccination and must show a negative COVID test 48 hours before they sing Saturday. UND requires audience members to be masked.

For more information, email or visit .

Empire Theatre Company to present ‘The 39 Steps’

The Empire Theatre Company will present a parody of an Alfred Hitchcock film, “The 39 Steps,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, from Feb. 10-26.

The company’s managing artistic director, Kathleen Coudle-King, said the production is a hilarious parody of the famous filmmaker’s spy adventure that blends simple stagecraft with today’s technology.

“The playwright has taken Hitch’s twisty plot and crafted a comedy that has four actors playing more than 150 characters in scenes from London to the Scottish highlands on a train and chased by a plane,” Coudle-King said.

The plot for the stage play mimics the film. An Englishman from Winnipeg, played by James Tweedale, travels to London where he meets a femme fatal and spy, played by UND alumna Gina Uhlir. He soon becomes embroiled in a spy caper. Other cast members are Emily Wirkus and Cathleen Norton, who play the “Clowns” and most of the roles.

The show, directed by Wirkus, is co-produced by ISight Drone Services.


For tickets — $20 per person or $16 for seniors and students — call the Empire Arts Center, 701-746-5500, or visit .

Fosston library hosts Traveling Art Exhibit

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council’s Traveling Art Exhibit will be displayed at Fosston Public Library until Feb. 16.

The exhibit includes 15 original pieces by regional adult and student artists that were chosen from works submitted in the annual juried exhibit.

Artists whose works were selected for the traveling exhibit are: Heidi Danos, Fosston; Peggy Branden, Lake Bronson; Glen Heppner, Warroad; Lucille Nelson, Argyle; Bert Foster and Christine Foster, Thief River Falls; Phyllis Kalliokoski, East Grand Forks; Dara Maunu, Warroad; Cindy Kolling, Gully; and James Johanneck, Red Lake Falls.

The student artists are: Aubree Bonham and Riley Moland, both of Fertile; Eskyla Manriquez, Ada; and Trinity Walseth, Goodridge.

The exhibit is expected to be displayed at Crookston Public Library from Feb. 16 to March 16, and Red Lake Falls Public Library from March 16 to an undetermined date in April.

For more information, visit , call (218) 745-8886, or send an email to or .

Related Topics: ART
Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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