art notes

‘Between the Lakes’

A combination book launch and wine tasting takes place on Monday, April 10 at 6 p.m. at the France 44 liquor store, 4351 France Ave. S. “Verse and Vintages” kicks off the release of “Between the Lakes: The Poets of Linden Hills,” a book of poetry by Linden Hills poets and writers with ties to the neighborhood.

Linden Hills poet laureate Doug Wilhide isn’t completely certain that any poetry reading will take place at “Verse and Vintages.”

“I’m not sure if we’ll be reading, but my guess is yes, especially after a little wine,” Wilhide wrote in an e-mail. “As many of the poets as can make it will be in attendance.”

The poets in the book are Esam Aal, Cris Anderson, Carrie Bassett, Kirsten Bergh, Felicity Britton, Elissa Cottle, Stephan Grandpre, Jolene Gustafson, George Scott, Doug Wilhide and Sam Wilhide.

The book is $14.95 and is available at Bibelot, 4315 Upton Ave. S.; Black-eyed Susan, 4300 Upton Ave. S.; and from www.bibelotshops.com and Doug Wilhide at [email protected] (add $5 for shipping and taxes when ordering from Wilhide).

State of the (dream) state

Sekou Sundiata is coming to town to contemplate America’s national identity. The poet, theater artist and musician, along with a dozen musicians, singers and spoken-word artists, is at the Walker Art Center for the last half of March to develop his latest work, “The 51st (dream) state.”

It will examine our national mythologies and what it means to be a citizen and individual in our complex society. The piece incorporates new music by Ani DiFranco, Graham Haynes and others.

Essayist and Village Voice writer Greg Tate wrote of Sundiata, “here is a writer with the bluesy poetic grasp, historical insight and populist spirit to reach the bourgeois, seminar the politically correct and still rock the boulevard.”

Sundiata and his fellow artists will follow each of the performances of “The 51st (dream) state” with a question-and-answer session with the audience.

If you’re interested in catching this Harlem-born artist in action, you can experience a free open rehearsal of “The 51st (dream) state” on Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. Be sure to call ahead for reservations for this event. (Sundiata and company will take questions after the rehearsal, too.)

F-Sa March 31-April 1, 8 p.m., Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., $15 ($12 for Walker members)., 375-7600, www.walkerart.org.

Sun, water, wine

Linden Hills artist Jeanne Long bathes her watercolors in the glow of the nearest star, imbuing them with golden white energy and hues. You can see sunlight creating strong shadows in her “Crossing at Harmon,” which depicts a scene down the street from where her art hangs, at Willie’s Wine Bar and Coffee House.

Long worked in the administration offices of the University of Minnesota before deciding 10 years ago to strike out on her own and dedicate herself to painting. She’s now the house artist at Willie’s, where her work will rotate as pieces sell and new ones are created. She has over 40 paintings hanging there now, mostly of scenes from around the Minneapolis lakes, as well as some from first-growth wine chateaus in France.

You can see her work at www.lcolor.com/gallery/long or by dropping by Willie’s, 1100 Harmon Pl. Call 332-881 for more information or visit www.experiencewillies.com.

Birth of a salesman

The Walker will shed light on America’s past identity, and perhaps some indirect light on its current international identity, by showing a series of movies made when the United States was engaged in rebuilding Europe via the Marshall Plan. “Selling Democracy, Films of the Marshall Plan: 1948-1953” consists of 25 movies that were part of Secretary of State George C. Marshall’s post-World War II plan for European recovery. (The Marshall Plan Motion Picture Section made over 250 films.)

The movies weren’t viewed for nearly 60 years as a result of a 1948 piece of federal legislation preventing them from being shown to American audiences. The four-part “Selling Democracy” series is the first major public showing of these movies since.

The series begins Wednesday, April 5 at 7 p.m. Films shown that night include “Hunger,” a controversial film about postwar misery that lays the blame for the desolation on Germany. German audiences rejected the film and the U.S. military pulled it from theaters there.

“Selling Democracy” continues the next night with, among others, “Island of Faith,” a 20-minute, 16mm black-and-white film depicting in classic propaganda form the struggle to reclaim land and water.

On the following night, Friday, April 7, the selection of films shown includes “Aquila,” a 21-minute, 35mm film said to be a beautiful example of early Italian neo-realism, and “The Smiths and the Robinsons,” a 19-minute comedy about British class divisions.

On Saturday, April 8, “Selling Democracy” concludes with, among others, “The Hour of Choice,” a 21-minute, 35mm film about the threat of Communism, as well as “Do Not Disturb!” a satirization of Soviet Union propaganda that attacked the United States and West Germany.

You can get a complete schedule of films by going to www.walkerart.org.

W-Sa April 5-8, 7 p.m., $8 ($6 for Walker members).

Art notes

‘Open-Ended'

A Walker Art Center gallery is to become a stage, media station, info lounge, salon and cinematheque. When &#8220Open-Ended” debuts on Saturday, March 25, this collaborative project will feature new work created on-site by Minneapolis-born choreographer Ralph Lemon, filmmaker Spencer Nakasaka and visual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija.

&#8220Open-Ended” will also feature works by Catherine Opie, Sam Durant and Julie Mehretu.

The constantly evolving exhibit will invite the public to step outside of its traditionally passive role of viewer to become an active creator of the art.

Walker Art Center is at 1750 Hennepin Ave. S. Call 375-7600 or go to www.walkerart.org for more information.

Blues for the ages

He's the walking, talking, burning, intoxicating blues. Hubert Sumlin has been a part of some of the most important, riveting blues records ever made. He played his combustible blues guitar stylings on Howlin' Wolf's 1960s Chess Records platters, propelling masterpieces such as &#8220Wang Dang Doodle,” &#8220Shake for Me” and &#8220Killing Floor” into history books and cover-band repertoires for eternity.

He's also laid down scorching tracks of his own on albums such as 2003's &#8220About Them Shoes.” The album pays tribute to another of Sumlin's former bosses, Muddy Waters. It features the likes of masters Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, James Cotton, Levon Helm and Bob Margolin adding their impressive talents to the proceedings.

The 74-year-old Mississippi firebrand can still light it up. Don't miss him.

Hubert Sumlin plays Famous Dave's BBQ Ribs and Blues, 3001 Hennepin Ave. S., Saturday, March 25, 9 p.m. $7., 822-9900, www.famousdaves.com.

Eyes wide open

The ordinary can sometimes become extraordinary just by looking a little closer. Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientific researcher Felice Frankel makes that very point with her large-scale close-up photography in &#8220Visions of Science.”

&#8220Like equations in mathematics and structural formula in chemistry, these photographs are intended to communicate ideas,” Frankel said. &#8220They are a visual representation of physical phenomena.”

The exhibit is part of a project Frankel has undertaken at MIT that promotes understanding of the role of images in teaching and research.

Some of the images in the exhibit include &#8220Bubbles,” shot with a 105mm macroscopic lens. The photo is of bubbles trapped between glass walls, which force them into unusual shapes.

Water is turned into cubes reminiscent of minimalist art in &#8220Square Drops of Water.” Like the researcher she is, Frankel describes the image as &#8220hydrophobic lines on the surface of a specially treated surface of gold (called a self-assembled monolayer).”

&#8220Visions of Science” is open through April 21 at the Bakken Library and Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults; $5 for seniors and students. Children ages three and under get in free.

Call 926-3878 or go to www.thebakken.org for more information.

Poetry of the Hills

&#8220Between the Lakes: The Poets of Linden Hills” is a collection of 75 poems by 11 poets who live in, or have close ties to, Linden Hills. The book is an outgrowth of Linden Hills' poet laureate program. The book was edited by Doug Wilhilde, the neighborhood's poet laureate.

&#8220We have an unusual number of writers and poets living here,” Wilhide said, &#8220and a high affection for both the neighborhood and for poetry. I kept running into these talented people and decided to collect some of their work in this book. I think it's not just local poetry. It's good poetry.”

&#8220Between the Lakes: The Poets of Linden Hills” is published by Trolley Car Press and will be available in local bookstores in late March. Profits will be used to benefit Linden Hills poetry programs and the poets included in the book.

&#8220As far as I know, we're the only neighborhood with its own poet laureate. I know Duluth is looking for one, and our current governor doesn't believe we need one, but it's an extraordinarily worthwhile thing to do,” Wilhide said.

Art of radio

The Walker will host Radio mnartists: Live at the McGuire on Thursday, March 16 at 8 p.m. The evening features interviews, performances and conversation with Minnesota artists Jake Keeler, Black-Eyed Snakes, Alex Lemon, Live Action Set with Spaghetti Western String Co., Yuri Arajs, TruthMaze, Maren Ward with Bedlam Theatre, Bill Cottman and more.

The event will be in the Walker's William and Nadine McGuire Theater and will be hosted by Marya Morstad and Neal Cuthbert. It will be webcast on mnartists.org and rebroadcast on KFAI Community Radio.

Honoring artists

The McKnight Foundation is inviting nominations for its ninth Distinguished Artist Award to be given in recognition of Minnesota artists with enduring, exceptional careers.

&#8220The Distinguished Artist Award is designed to honor Minnesota artists for their lifelong passion, unique accomplishments and leadership in their chosen disciplines,” McKnight's Board Chair, Erika L. Binger, said in a statement.

Previous winners include sculptor Judy Onofrio in 2005, conductor/composter Stanislaw Skrowaczewski in 2004 and visual artist Mike Lynch in 2003.

Send nominations in writing to:

McKnight Distinguished Artist Award, 710 S. 2nd St., Suite 400, Minneapolis 55401

(No faxes or e-mails will be accepted.)

For more information, go to www.mcknight.org or call the foundation at 333-4220.