East metro arts briefs: Sculptor to unveil latest work in Stillwater

  • Updated: June 29, 2013 - 4:20 PM

Artist/teacher Kinji Akagawa, who was honored at MCAD in 2009 by artwork of students like this music-box like creation by Mitch Dose, will unveil a new work of his own in Stillwater.

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Kinji Akagawa, local artist and educator, will unveil his newest sculpture at this year’s “Light a Spark,” the Stillwater Public Library Foundation’s Fourth of July fundraiser.

The work is commissioned by the Huelsmann Foundation in memory of Richard Huelsmann, community leader and philanthropist. Huelsmann was a driving force in the library’s 2005-2006 renovation and expansion project.

Winner of numerous awards and fellowships, Akagawa is best known for sculptural constructions that serve a practical function and celebrate the connection between art and community. His work is noted for its refined elegance and use of natural materials. For the Richard Huelsmann Memorial Sculpture, Akagawa is using Minnesota granite and rock from the St. Croix Valley to create low tables and stools where people can contemplate the beauty of the river or meet and interact with others.

Akagawa is professor emeritus at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Locally, his sculptures are found on the Nicollet Mall, in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center, in the Lyndale Park Peace Garden and at Normandale Community College.

“It is a rare privilege to have work by an internationally renowned artist as a permanent installation in the community,” said Lynne Bertalmio, library director.

“Light a Spark,” hosted by Bill Lunn, KSTP 5 Eyewitness News anchor, is a family-friendly event that includes music, magic and sweet-and-savory treats by Chef Per Carver of Kowalski’s Catering. Also featured are a giant cake walk with cakes from local bakeries, a cash bar featuring specially selected wines by Swirl, and of course, the fireworks. The event is from 7-11 p.m. and the sculpture unveiling will take place at 8 p.m.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. Tickets are $35 for adults and teens, $20 for children ages 5-12 (under 5 free) and may be purchased online at www.lightaspark.org or by calling 651-275-4338 ext. 130.

Events commemorate Battle of Gettysburg

In remembrance of the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, the Washington County Historical Society will be hosting historian Ken Martens for a free discussion on medical practices in the Civil War at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 7, at the Warden’s House Museum, 602 N. Main St., Stillwater.

Martens, the vice president of the Afton Historical Society, is a local expert on the Civil War. His presentation will delve into grisly, interesting topics such as how doctors viewed illnesses and infections without an understanding of bacteria or the damage a saber can do on the battlefield.

For weeks surrounding the anniversary, the Warden’s House and the Hay Lake School museums will be displaying a series of paintings commissioned by the Washington County Library system of Civil War soldiers from the area.

David Sandager at Hay Lake in Scandia also will host a free, evening screening of the film “Gettysburg” at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 6.

Cruisin’ on the Croix shows have started

Cruisin’ on the Croix, a hot rod and vintage car show taking place each Wednesday evening in Stillwater, has begun.

Along with a gathering of fine classic vehicles, the free event includes vendors, festivities and live 1950s music. The shows are at Lowell Park, behind the Water Street Inn, on the banks of the St. Croix River. For more info call Scott at 651-494-8657 or John at 651-439-5718.

Forest Lake

Arts in the Park has a full lineup

Forest Lake’s Arts in the Park summer concert series, craft fair and farmers market that runs on Tuesdays through the end of August (the farmers market extends through the end of September) have begun. It takes place at Lakeside Park, 95 E. Broadway Av.

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