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                           2014 Think-Off

  • Margo McCreary and MargoCropped

    The On-Time Circus

    Saturday July 26 (11 am)
    at the Farmers Mkt in New York Mills
    Friday August 8 (3 pm)
    at the Farmers Mkt in Wadena
    Sat. & Sunday August 9 & 10
    at Old Wadena Park

Puppet Pageant

PicMonkey CollageJoin us for two weeks of fun and creativity!
Learn to walk with stilts, children & adults
help to make large puppets and
perform in our theatrical event!

Workshop Schedule:

For all participants
August 4-8 Mon thru Fri 9:00 am-12:00 pm

August 11-14 Mon thru Thur 9:00 am-12:00 pm

For Stilters ONLY
August 5, 7, 12 & 14 Tues & Thurs 1:00-2:30 pm

Adults and Children Accompanied by Adults

August 4, 6 &7 Mon, Wedn & Thurs 6:00-8:00 pm
August 11-14 Mon thru Thur 6:00-8:00 pm

For all participants
August 15 Friday 4:00-5:30 pm Pre-Performance

Grand Performance August 16 at 7:00 pm after the corn feed
Both adults and children are welcome to participate!

Margo McCreary Puppet Show


The Cultural Center brings a puppet show by extraordinary puppeteer Margo McCreary to New York Mills Farmers Market on Saturday, July 26 at 11am.

The performance is free to the public, and is made possible, in part, through funding provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Tour Minnesota program with funding provided by the Legacy Amendment appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature, and by the West Central Initiative Foundation in Fergus Falls.

“The On-Time Circus” will be performed with live music under the awning on the east side of the Creamery in New York Mills. The show will be staged on a puppet wagon that serves as a stage. This show is appropriate for persons of all ages and will last approximately 45 minutes.

Additional performances of this marvelous show will be held at the Wadena Farmers Market on Friday, August 8th at 3:00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday, August 9 and 10 at the Old Wadena Rendezvous in Old Wadena Historic County Park.  For details about the Old Wadena Rendezvous, click this link.

Decoy Judging Results


The Annual Decoy Show will be on display in our gallery from July 9-July 19th. Stop in and take a look!

Congratulations to all winners! Also, a  special congratulations to Paul Sparks and John Peeters, who placed in all 3 categories!


lund boat camo winner john peetersclass 2 winner paul sparksdecorative walleye winner john peetersyouth winner nathan leaderbrand






Class 1 Lund Boat Camo                                                       Class 2 Decoys

1) #44 John Peeters                                                                     1) #31 Paul Sparks

2) #30 Paul Sparks                                                                       2) #40 Todd Schulze

3) #49 Lyle Bethel                                                                        3) #32 Paul Sparks

4) #35 Larry Lange                                                                       4) #46 John Peeters

5) #39 Todd Schulze                                                                    5) #42  Todd Schulze


Class 3 Decorate Walleye                                                   Class 4 Youth 

1) #48 John Peeters                                                                  1) #61 Nathan Leaderbrand

2) #43 Todd Schulze                                                                  2) #67 Ryan Leaderbrand

3) #38 Larry Lange                                                                    3) #68 Natalie Oday

4) #59 Curt Soine                                                                        4) #66 Parker Wegscheid

5) #34 Paul Sparks                                                                     5) #62 Mia Campance

Masks and Stone Sculptures by Simon Zornes

Simon Zornes show through Thursday, July 31 in the upstairs gallery

Artist reception on Friday, July 11th from 2-5 pm

Using native rock and wood, Simon Zornes creates powerful images expressive of his Anishinaabeg heritage.  Here are three images that tell more about Simon’s work than words can.  Please visit with Simon in person on Friday, July 11th from 2-5 pm during the Summer Celebration in New York Mills.











Following is Simon’s artist’s statement:

Boozhoo (greetings), Ishkode Indizhinikaaz (my spirit name is Fire), Makwa Indoodem (I am from the Bear Clan), Gaawaabaabiganikaag Indoonjibaa (I am from White Earth). I have lived and learned from Maamaa Aki (Mother Earth) for nearly 4 decades – harvesting manoomin (wild rice), gathering and making ziinzibakwad (maple sugar), and growing minomiijim (good food).

Along with harvesting, I have been creating sculpture with asin (stone) and mitig (wood) for over a decade. My journey with asinoog (Stone grandfathers/grandmothers) began when my dear friend, Tim Stone, and I started finding and playing with unique rock from the moraine region of the Mississippi Headwaters and White Earth Reservation.

I have found that each stone holds many stories that access me as their storyteller. One includes the geological saga of its creation and composition over eons. The others evolve from images invoked from within me as a result of the interaction between the stone’s unusual characteristics and the narrative it shares with me. Some pieces start from a gentle low pitch whisper and take days and often weeks to unfold due to both the quiet reverberation and the time it takes to research, sketch, and find the “right” angle and tool. Others boldly present and need less attention presenting in near final form.

Most of the sculptures have indigenous themes like mikinaak (turtle), miigwan (feather), and Chief Hole-in-the-Day the younger. Since the asinoog have spirits of their own, they often choose their resting place.   Many sculptures have been gifted to friends and family. Larger creations have found homes throughout the Bemidji Sculpture Walk, the Minneapolis American Indian Center, and my private sculpture garden. Others have found resting spaces throughout the country via my website “Art from Nature.”

John House and annual decoy art exhibit

Wild nature, human nature, and fish decoys July 9 – 19

Meet John House on Friday, July 11 from 2-5 pm at his reception

John HouseRenowned artist John House will fill the Cultural Center gallery with portraits of human nature and wild nature as part of the annual fish decoy show at the Cultural Center this summer.  This show is held each year in conjunction with the LundMania Fishing Tournament and the New York Mills Summer Celebration.

Born in 1956 in St. Paul, Minnesota, John showed both artistic talent and a love for nature at a very early age. John’s passion for fur, fin and feather overshadowed his artistic pursuits in high school, but the unpleasantness of an accounting major in college forced him to rethink the direction his life was taking.  John has been recognized as one of the foremost wildlife artists in the United States, having won competitions for his work to be placed on Minnesota’s duck, walleye, trout, turkey, and pheasant stamps.  John’s art graces the cover of the 2014 Cabela’s Catalog.

After a short stint as a fishing guide in Canada, John married his high school sweetheart and took up knife and chisel, deciding that he was a professional decoy carver after having carved the grand total of one decoy. It was difficult at first, but drawing from his years of duck hunting experience, eventually his talent came through and the public began to take notice. In 1985 he entered his first carving contest and won first place with Canvasbacks. Three more national contests followed, all with blue ribbons, culminating in his first win at the Ward World Championships in 1992. All of these contests were won with Canvasbacks, the grandest duck God ever made. To date, John has hand-carved and sold over 500 decoys.

However, as a carver in the mid-‘80’s, John’s first passion of drawing and painting returned to him, and slowly he began to blend flat art into his repertoire, depicting the many dramatic scenes he’s experienced as a duck hunter. Again, it was a slow start, but his carving background gave him the foundation he needed to portray birds in sporting situations, and eventually the public began to respond. In time, John began to enter painting contests sponsored by the Minnesota DNR (known as “Stamp contests”), and finally won the Minnesota Duck Stamp contest for 1999, followed by the Pheasant Stamp for ’04, theTrout Stamp for ’06 and the Turkey Stamp for ’08. With this last win, John became the first and only artist to win all four of Minnesota’s Stamp contests, the “Minnesota Grand Slam”, a significant and gratifying win for him, something he has wanted for a long time. In addition, he has illustrated three books and has been on Field and Stream Radio and ESPN Outdoors.com

John has been a full-time, professional artist for over 30 years now, being largely self-taught with the exception of a year of training at The Atelier in St. Paul, Mn. in 1997. He and his wife Barbara live in the tiny town of Melby, Minnesota on 80 acres where they enjoy the outdoors with their four children.

AmazonSmile program at the Cultural Center

AmazonSmile helps bring you the

Puppet Pageant and the Think-Off

If you buy goods from Amazon.com you can now help provide resources to the Cultural Center too.  When you shop on Amazon just click on the following link to ask for Amazon.Smile.  You will still be on the Amazon website, but .5% of your purchases will be automatically donated to the Cultural Center.

Just click on the banner below and you will be directed to the Amazon.Smile site. This can be an effective way to  bring the Puppet Pageant, Longest Night Festival, and the Great American Think-Off, among other programs, to you.  Thank you!


Visiting artist Katie Rose Pipkin

katierosepipkinTaking up residence in the Arts Retreat house during the first part of the summer of 2014 is visual artist Katie Rose Pipkin. During the early part of her residency, she has been focused on her drawings and has been quite productive amidst small town life in New York Mills.

Katie Rose Pipkin was born in Austin, Texas in the fall of 1990. She grew up in the woods, spent her adolescence in the suburbs, and has since migrated back to the woods. She holds a BFA from the University of Texas, was a founding member of Wardenclyffe Gallery, and is a member of collective Cloud to Ground. She has received generous support from The Texas Cultural Trust, Caldera Arts Center, The Texas Biennial, Joshua Tree Highland Houses, Austin Visual Arts Awards, and other institutions. She makes drawings with her hands, the internet, and sometimes her words. She is interested in working along the fault lines.

KatieRosePipkinmagicwanddrawingPipkin will be here until July 8th and will continue to draw both on paper and in the electronic world of video games and the internet. On Tuesday, July 1st at 7:30pm, she will teach a free class on technical art and drawing at the Cultural Center, the class will be centered around an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories called Twine, It has been used to produce games, interactive fiction, poems, comics, and other forms of nonlinear media. No coding is necessary with Twine, but stories can be expanded with variables, images, CSS, and JavaScript. In an hour-long workshop we will view some examples of things that have been made in Twine, and cover the basics of making your own piece of interactive storytelling. Katie will also  share some of the drawings she has worked on during her residency. This event is free and open to all.

See more of Katie’s artwork at her website, http://katierosepipkin.com/.

Little big year in Minnesota and at the Cultural Center

Little big year orientation meeting July 17th

George Gloege "Birds on Birch"

Painting by Nimrod artist George Gloege, “Birds on Birch.”

The Cultural Center will sponsor a “little” big year to begin August 1 and continue for 12 months.  And on July 17th you are invited to join Alice Martin and others from around the state of Minnesota in a year-long quest to make an informal list of bird species sighted.

There will be prizes and lots of fun.  Join us on July 17th at 7:00 pm at the Cultural Center to learn the details.  There will be several opportunities in the next twelve months for special events related to the birds of Minnesota.  You do not need to live near New York Mills to participate.