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Articles written by Ann Markusen

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 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    October 18, 2019 

ON THE MARK: What we know about artists

We are learning a lot about industrial arts training and jobs these days, well-deserved and long overdue. But what about artists? Musicians, performing artists, writers, filmmakers, painters,...

 

On The Mark: Democracy thrives in the trenches

For most of us, our direct experience with American politics starts and ends with the voting booth, supplemented with what we learn, selectively, from the media. We rarely see our elected representati...

 

On the Mark: Trade debates should include democracy goals

It’s puzzling how President Trump’s erratic trade initiatives aren’t prioritizing good relationships with democratic countries and nudging autocratic countries, like China and Saudi Arabia, to...

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    September 6, 2019

On the Mark: Cromwell-Wright embraces industrial arts for students

It used to be called just "shop" or, in the '90s, at least in my son's school, "tech." But now, K-12 educators are according industrial arts its prominence as an academic subject, preparing teens for...

 
 By Ann Markusen    People    August 30, 2019

Artist puts people in the outdoors

The natural world and how we interact with it are Fond du Lac artist Karen Savage-Blue's inspiration for her paintings. "Nature is always my base. My goal is to make it more accessible to folks. As hu... Full story

 

Gallery hop on Thursday

Three is definitely not a crowd when it comes to art shows. On Thursday, Sept. 5, the Pine Knot News is partnering with the County Seat Theater and Magnolia Café for a gallery hop. Start at the Pine... Full story

 

On The Mark: Outstanding whodunit shows always entertain

I’m not a TV watcher. Movies are often too long for that last hour before falling asleep. In recent years, we’ve watched two whodunit series, available on Netflix, that stand out for their excelle...

 

Birds can be found during dog days of summer

You can still find birds in August. They're not as noisy and easy to spot as in April or May and during fall's migration. They've found their mates - the goal of the glorious singing they treat us to...

 
 By Ann Markusen    People    August 9, 2019

On The Mark: Family history runs through our reunions

I've long admired the way some area families are so locally present. Hosting a reunion requires little more than picking a date, sending out the word and preparing food. Since the last Stillwater reun...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    August 2, 2019

On The Mark: The North Shore is lake source cooling at its finest

The day after my 73rd birthday, my husband, Rod, and I headed up the North Shore. We fled exhaustion and duties, immersing ourselves in glorious summer. Lake Superior operates like a cooling chamber,...

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    July 26, 2019

Small digs, big plans

Another CSA hits county Tilling up hayfields, enriching soil, building a greenhouse and capturing rainwater off its roof, erecting a tiny house to live in, planting, weeding, harvesting and selling...

 

On the Mark: A salute to Finnish descendants

On a warm Saturday afternoon at Lakeside Cemetery, southwest of Wright, more than 90 offspring and partners of Isaak and Maria Haukkala Walli gathered to celebrate their Finnish ancestors who gave...

 

Coloring our outdoor worlds: Adam Swanson's Pine Knot show

For the next two months, the Pine Knot Gallery is showing Adam Swanson's paintings. When I first saw his work, I was struck by his blends of color, as in his "You Are the Water," depicting two... Full story

 

On the mark: Summer hums along in Cromwell

On June 28 the Cromwell Area Community Club hosted its fourth annual midsummer steak fry, silent auction and variety show. It was a lovely evening. Some people remained well past the events, enjoying...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    June 28, 2019

On the mark: Whet your cinematic sensibilities this weekend

I like films that stretch me. Bring me to new places and cultures, present surprising solutions to daunting problems. Films that make me think, films that avoid violence, films that explore love and...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    June 21, 2019

On the mark: You've graduated ... now it's time for your job fit

Moving beyond high school to a lifetime of work is not easy. In high school, most things are dished up for you. You have some choice over subjects you study. You may have worked part-time, and you...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    June 7, 2019

Places large and small deserve dashes of culture

In late May, Emily Swanson of Carlton’s Oldenburg House and I journeyed to Jackson, Miss., for a week of deep and lively conversations on how arts and culture transform our communities. Hundreds...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    May 31, 2019

Graduation parties are a grand tradition

In the years I lived in cities, I was rarely invited to a high school graduation party. Now living fulltime in Cromwell, friends and neighbors are making up for that. After Cromwell-Wright's...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Outdoors    May 24, 2019

DNR needs to support our non-motorized trails

This past fall, cross-country skiers performing trail maintenance in Carlton County's Fond du Lac State Forest came upon a mess. Loggers earlier in the year had obliterated our sturdy ski trail...

 
 By Ann Markusen    People    May 10, 2019

Chairs make the canvas

Teaching K-12 art is a continually creative act. You must imagine projects for kids of various ages, acquire materials on a tight budget, and help as many as 30 kids per classroom fashion distinctive...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Outdoors    May 3, 2019

Birding away the month of April

"April is the cruelest month," T. S. Elliot penned in his masterpiece, "Four Quartets." When I moved back to Minnesota in 1999, my brother warned me that November, March and April were the worst for...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    April 19, 2019

Book Review | Girl Gone Missing

In this, the second Cash Blackbear mystery, Marcie Rendon serves up her Native woman protagonist's experiences as an older student in a largely white college. In probing the sudden disappearance of a...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    April 12, 2019

The Northland's language gem

It's not that easy to learn another language when you are well past your schooling. For five years, I've watched my husband, Rod Walli, learn Finnish, his parents' first language. Motivated by the...

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    April 5, 2019

Retired doctor pivots from medicine to watercolors

The Pine Knot is delighted to be exhibiting Dr. Lloyd Backus' watercolors in our downtown Cloquet gallery through April. I recently sat down with Lloyd, surrounded by his paintings. Lloyd was family...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    March 29, 2019

Contest!

It's been many years since I've been surrounded by students in their daytime setting, the high school. And I've only sporadically accompanied singers on the piano. In high school, I'd play the...

 

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