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Arts Minded column: Public art honors refugees and immigrants

By Phyllis Goldin

Public art is taking a timely turn at defining the meaning and worth of refugees and immigrants to American life. In a Feb. 24 PBS news segment titled "Boston Stands With Immigrants," Mori Rothman interviewed photographer, Erik Jacobs, about his compelling larger-than-life photographic portrait projections on 18 public buildings, trees and bridges in Boston. A wide variety of immigrants, well known or not, are lit up after dark, dramatically highlighting these members of the human family. No matter opinions about immigration rights, there's no denying the power of Jacobs' contribution to public art and humanity.

Coming right up (see details below), a wonderful event, now in its ninth year, has made a big difference in the lives of people living in western Wisconsin. Bowls for Hope offers donated, handmade ceramics, fibre arts, glass, pottery and wood bowls to people attending the event who receive a bowl of their choice. Special this year are bowls from Two Hearts, created by Bob Broderson from clay that belonged to the late artist, Doug Johnson, and a silent art auction. Also included are delicious soups donated by area restaurants. A Chef's Choice Award and a People's Choice Award will be given to the soups favored by participating chefs and attendees. Enjoy live piano music by Nan Jordahl. All proceeds from Bowls for Hope benefit the Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley, which works to strengthen children, families, and communities by offering education, resources and support.

The event will be held 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 at UW-RF University Center, Riverview Ballroom. Adult tickets $25, children 12 and under $5, available at RF Chamber of Commerce, Chancellor's Office, University Center Information Desk and at the door. More info at 715-425-3201 or

Events and opportunities

• Continuing through March, Gallery 120 (Global M.A.D.E), 120 N. Main Street, RF. Photographers Wanda Brown, Deanna Grigus, Jens Gunelson, Charles Rader.

• March 1-3, 7:30 p.m., "Silent Sky," based on the true story of Henrietta Swan Leavitt and other female "computers" at the Harvard Observatory in the early 20th century. UW-RF Davis Theatre, KFA, adults $10, seniors $8, students $5. 715-425-3114.

• Friday, March 2, 5 to 8 p.m., First Friday, Seasons on St. Croix annual all artist show; an evening of "green" conversation, information, exceptional art, refreshments and live music. 401 Second St., Hudson.

The following UW-RF concerts are free, Abbott Concert Hall, Kleinpell Fine Arts, unless indicated otherwise:

• Friday, March 2, 7:30 p.m., Falcon's Nest, University Center. RADD Jazz, Sam Newsome, soprano saxophone, and UW-RF Faculty Jazz Combo.

• Sunday, March 4, 3 p.m., St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra at Bethel Lutheran Church, Hudson. Tickets $10.

• Thursday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., Symphony Band / University Band, $8 adults, $5 seniors, $2 students.

• Friday, March 9, noon, Frances Cohler Coffee Concert, St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra, Young Artists Celebration; Gideon Scheeler, piano; Rebecca Tank, saxophone; Hannah Scheele, harp.

• Friday, March 30, noon, Natalia Moiseeva, violin, Ivan Konev, piano.

Other events around the community coming up:

• Friday, March 9, 4-7 p.m., Artful Friday opening reception, artists Matt Jorgensen, Jennifer King, Melodie Needham, Pat Nistler, Doug Peterson, Libby Ungar. Art's House, 108 E. Maple, RF.

• Friday, March 9, 7 p.m., Smoke on the Kinni Blues Festival, Juniors, 414 S. Main St. RF

• Saturday, March 17, 7 p.m., RF Community Arts Base Barn Dance, with Greenwood Tree, River Falls Academy, 439 W. Maple, RF. Adults $5, children 12 and under, $2.50.

• Six Mondays beginning March 19, 7 p.m., Foreign Film Festival, RF Public Library, 140 Union St.

• Call for artists to submit work for a juried exhibition, "Heart of the River: Celebrating the First 50 Years of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway" at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Sept. 14 to Oct. 21, 2018. Contact Nicole Pederson

Some other sources for classes and/or events:

• River Falls Community Theatre

• Gallery 120, 120 N. Main St., RF (at Global M.A.D.E.)

• Kinnickinnic Clayworks, 103 N. Main St., RF, 715-821-3982 or

• Fox Den Books, 120 S. Main St., RF, 715-425-6180 or

• The Phipps Center For The Arts, 109 Locust St. Hudson, , Hastings, 651-437-3779, Hammond Arts Alliance

• River Falls Community Arts Base at Art's House, 108 E. Maple, invites artists to show at the gallery from March through December. Even if you haven't shown before, please consider exhibiting at Art's House. Artist openings monthly on second Fridays.

• Call for volunteers for CAB: contact Steve Preisler 715-425-7530. Join or renew your CAB membership. You'll receive newsletters, information on local arts events and an Arts Partner card with discounts and offers from local businesses and restaurants. 715-426-5219, or