This weekend - and beyond - find some of the best photographers, musicians, dancers and more in North Iowa. And maybe learn a thing or two about fascinating architecture and nature. Get out and explore.

Celebrate North Iowa photographers

The 37th annual Cerro Gordo Photo Show opens Friday, May 12, at 9 a.m. in the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum’s Center Space Gallery. It will be open through July 15. Admission is free.

An opening reception and awards ceremony will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 18. Winners will be announced at 6:30, with $150 awarded to the entry selected as Best in Show, $100 for second, and $50 for third. Honorable mentions will also be announced.

The show, sponsored by the Safford and Lena Lock Photo Endowment Fund, received 114 entries from Cerro Gordo County residents and those attending spring and summer semesters at North Iowa Area Community College.

A panel of judges chose 46 photographs by these 24 artists: Shannon Heflin, Brad Janson, Craig Kienast, Julie Pals, Jim Reynolds, and Joyce Sorensen, Clear Lake; Lorrie Staudt of Dougherty; Shari Brandli, Joshua Brueggeman, Alyssa Corell, Lisa Grouette, Judy Lane, Bruce G. McKee, Ben Nolan, Keisuke Ohtani, Amber Olsen, Jeff Platt, Elli Ruen, Paulette Searle, Danelle Stadtlander, Ben VanHorn, Reid Walderbach and Cam Wright, Mason City; Marcus McNealy of Osage.

Create Fire Breathing Dragons at Art FUNdamentals 

Participants in the Art FUNdamentals Youth Art Program at the Clear Lake Arts Center will create "Fire Breathing Dragons."

From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 13, they will examine the "assemblages" of contemporary Japanese artist Masaki Kishimoto, and create their own.

The program explores the concept of creating art with repurposed materials. Kishimoto’s assemblages are an explosion of color and form, steeped in the concept of found objects and popular culture.

Art FUNdamentals is open to all ages; children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult. The program is offered the second Saturday of every month. Class fee is $8 per child per visit or a five-punch card for $30, good for after-school art programs, Art FUNdamentals, and Summer Creative Kids Open Studio.

For information, or to register, contact the arts center, 17 S. Fourth St., Clear Lake, 641-357-1998 or

Learn about Marion Mahony Griffin with Peggy Bang

Peggy Bang will present “Marion Mahony Griffin - Her Life Story Living and Working on Three Continents” at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13, in the Salsbury Room at the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. It is free and open to the public.

Bang's talk is in conjunction with the exhibit, "In Her Own Right: Marion Mahony Griffin," on display in the Kinney Lindstrom Gallery through Aug. 16.

The Chicago-born Mahony Griffin became the earliest licensed female architect in America in 1897. Her passions about nature and anthroposophy influenced her personal choices and architectural planning her entire life.

Bang has been a leader in historic preservation since 1990, co-chairing the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Stockman House restoration; serving 10 years, including several as president, on the Wright on the Park board that owns and restored the Historic Park Inn Hotel, and with her husband restoring their home, the Melson House.

Bang, of Mason City, is a graduate of Iowa State University and received a Master’s degree at Bank Street College of Education, New York City. She is a board member of the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America; vice president of the MacNider Art Museum Foundation and a docent for Wright on the Park.

She has given architectural presentations in Canberra and Sydney, Australia; at Falling Water in Bear Run, Pennsylvania; in Quasqueton and Mason City, and is author of "The Melson House Revealed: An Owner’s Perspective."

This program is supported by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Exhibit sponsors: Bergland + Cram, First Citizens Bank, John K. & Luise V. Hanson Foundation, David & Phyllis Murphy Charitable Foundation, River City Society for Historic Preservation, Visit Mason City, Wright on the Park.

"Cue the Music" at a dance recital

Dance Unlimited will present "Cue the Music," its 33rd annual recital, at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the North Iowa Community Auditorium on the NIACC Campus. Doors open at 6.

The show includes ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and Pointe selections. Tickets will be available at the door.

The studio is owned and operated by Kris Savas Christensen, a lifelong Mason City resident.

Sing Mother's Day songs at the Old-Fashioned Sing-Along

Join song leader Dawn Groszkruger for an hour of community singing during the monthly Old Fashioned Sing-Along on Sunday, May 14, at Hampton's historic Windsor Theatre.

Ali Holmes of Coulter, on keyboard,  will accompany a variety of songs, including Mother's Day tunes.

Doors open at 3:30 p.m. for socializing and free popcorn. Singing begins at 4.

This is a free event, but a basket will be provided for donations to the theater. For information, call Groszkruger at 641-425-8716.

Enjoy the Northern Brass Quintet at MCHS Bands' concert

Join the Mason City High School Concert and Symphonic Bands for their Spring Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 14, in the Mohawk Performance Hall in the FEMA Safe Room on the MCHS campus. Admission is free and the public is invited.

The concert, a celebration of the Instrumental Music Department's 90th year, will feature guest soloists, the Northern Brass Quintet. Directors Mike McEniry and Russ Kramer will lead the performance. A recognition ceremony for students will follow the concert.

The Northern Brass Quintet, an artist-in-residence ensemble at the UNI School of Music, boasts a repertoire that encompasses all genres from Renaissance to jazz and contemporary, with several works composed especially for the Quintet.

Members, artist-teachers from the Brass Division at UNI, are Randy Grabowski and Matt Gaunitz, trumpet; Yu-Ting Su, French horn; Anthony Williams, trombone; and Jesse Orth, tuba.

Concert Band, McEniry, director: "Joy," Ticheli; "Tudor Sketches," Owens; "Thunderbolt Galop," Huffer/arr. Glover; "Marching Song," Holst/arr. Moss; "Unraveling," Boysen, Jr.

Symphonic Band, Kramer, director: "Fantasia in G," Mahr; "Rest," Ticheli; Suite from “Mass,” Bernstein/arr. Sweeney (Northern Brass Quintet, soloists); "Curtain Call," Wasson

Learn about grassland grouse from award-winning photographer

“Save the Last Dance” will be presented by award-winning photographer Noppadol Paothong at 7 p.m. Monday, May 15, at the Lime Creek Nature Center.

He will talk about his work with grassland grouse and their fragile habitats. He'll share photographs from his book “Save the Last Dance,” which captures the beauty of seven grouse species whose populations are diminishing across the prairies of America – and one species that has already lost its battle.

Paothong is a staff photographer at the Missouri Department of Conservation. His photos have appeared in Audubon, National Wildlife, and Field and Stream.

This program is free for Lime Creek Nature Center members and $5 for non-members, and registration is required. Call 641-423-5309.

"Hamilton" highlighted at Clear Lake's Pops Concert

The Clear Lake High School Pops Concert will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, in E. B. Stillman Auditorium. Admission is free. The program will include awards and recognition of senior graduates. 

Program: Men’s Chorus: "Home on the Range." Gabby Gaubatz: "Burn." Chamber Singers: "Take Five," "Both Sides Now." Rebecca Munson and Katelyn Anderson: "My Eyes." Hope Shaman and Mahmoud Majdi: "All I Ask of You." Mixed Chorus: "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven," "Look to the Rainbow" (Katelyn Anderson, soloist), "The Rainbow Connection." Sky Toyne: "Beautiful Thing." Noan Colby:  "Death of a Bachelor."

Concert Choir: “Hamilton” ("Alexander Hamilton," soloists Bridger Thomsen, Noan Colby, Isaac Byrne; "My Shot," soloists Mahmoud Majdi, Noan Colby; "The Schuyler Sisters," soloists Gabby Gaubatz, Hope Shaman, Mallory Leisure, Katelyn Pinkham; "The Room Where It Happens," soloist Jacob Petersen; "Helpless," soloists Emily VanderPloeg, Ben Stroup; "The Battle of Yorktown," soloist Isaac Byrne). "Friends."

Ice cream and music at the New Horizons Band concert

The New Horizons Band will present its annual spring concert and ice cream social at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, at the Music Man Square, 308 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Mason City. The audience is invited to first go to the ice cream parlor and then Reunion Hall where the concert will begin at 4.

The ice cream is provided by the Cupola Inn Bed & Breakfast. The concert is free and open to the public.

Program: "Mountain Country Dances" (Vinson); "Sabre And Spurs," (Sousa/Fennell); "A Jubilant Overture," (Reed/Conaway); "Yorkshire Folk Song Suite," (La Plante); "Celebration and Tribute," Swearingen; "Camp Meetin' " (Grice); "Freedom Overture," Niehaus

Members: Charles City, John Flint; Clear Lake, John Aslakson, Chris Jensen, Dick Morris, Naomi Nowland, Jim Reynolds, Kirby Schmidt, Sheila Swift, Dave Underwood; Dows, Francine Lemke, Harlan Lemke; Forest City, Doug Jenson; Hampton, Brian Stevens; Klemme, Terry Kaduce; Lake Mills, Steve Iverson; Mason City, Ann Beasley, Tom Birdsall, Joyce Colombo, Kent Craun, Mary Davenport, Judy Haller, Joyce Hanes, Sharon Hays, John Henry, Deborah Howell, Gary Howell, Carol Johnson, Linda Koopman, June Klemas, Nicki Kruckenberg, Libby Lembke, Barb MacGregor, Carol Merches, Ellen Montgomery, Marlene Peterson, Kim Reisinger, Jim Reisinger, Craig Remmen, Carol Rye, Ron Stroup, Chris Wallace; Nora Springs, Jena Bjorklund, Margaret Hoel, Roger Hunt, Dale Mills, Judy Mills, Deb O'Banion, Judy Younger; Northwood, Steve Converse; Osage, Allan Field; Rock Falls, Dick Schinnow; Rockwell, Marlene Rice.

The band welcomes adult players of all ages. Full band rehearsals are on Wednesdays, with the first summer session rehearsal at 3:30 p.m. June 14. Director is Bernie Bjorklund. For information, call 641-424-2852.


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