PRCA to host reading by Morris writer Chrissy Kolaya

The Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) will host fiction writer and Morris resident Chrissy Kolaya for a short reading from her novel project, Charmed Particles. Bring your lunch to the brown bag event scheduled for Friday, January 21, 2011, from 12:10 until 12:50 p.m. at the PRCA located at 630 Atlantic Avenue in Morris. Beverages and a sweet treat will be provided. The reading is free and open to the public.

Kolaya’s novel is set in a fictional prairie town in which the two overarching industries are a colonial American living history facility and a National Accelerator Research Laboratory that conducts experiments in high-energy particle physics. The novel tells the intertwined stories of two fictional families, but it is based on real conflicts that occurred in the late 1980s in communities under consideration as a site for the Super Conducting Supercollider, a project eventually begun in Waxahatchie, Texas, but never completed.

After the reading, Kolaya will lead an informal Q & A on the book project, the writing life, and tips for beginning, emerging, and experienced writers.

In addition to her work as a writer, Kolaya serves as coordinator in the University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Grants Development.

This activity is funded by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

PRCA fall fundraiser scheduled for October 14

The Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) invites the public to celebrate arts, culture, and heritage at the 2010 PRCA Fall Extravaganza on Thursday, October 14, 2010, from 6 until 8 p.m. The event will be held at Northern Impressions, Highway 28 in Morris, and will feature music by local artists, delicious food, and a silent auction.

The theme for this year’s annual fundraiser is “When Everything Old Is New Again,” and PRCA artists and patrons have donated recycled, repurposed, or reclaimed items including art work and one-of-a-kind treasures for the silent auction. To add to the festive occasion, costumes from the University of Minnesota, Morris’s As You Like It production, created entirely from recycled materials, will be featured.

All proceeds from the silent auction and $5 admission charge benefit the PRCA’s mission to advocate, promote, and coordinate arts, heritage, and cultural activities in Stevens County and the surrounding area. A cash bar will be available. Please call 320-585-5087 or e-mail prca@prairierenaissance.org for more information about the event.

Last week of “Out My Window: Prairie Poems, Pictures, and Paintings”

PRCA patrons are encouraged to view “Out My Window: Prairie Poems, Pictures, and Paintings” in this last week of the exhibit at the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance Gallery. The exhibit at the PRCA Gallery pairs the written word, poetry by Morris resident Linda Hodgson, with two-dimensional art by PRCA artists Deb Connolly, Della Conroy, and Richard Walker. The exhibit closes on Saturday, September 11, 2010.

Photo Contest winners announced

Congratulations to the PRCA Photo Contest winners, and thank you to all the participants. A special thank you to this year’s judge, University of Minnesota, Morris Associate Professor of Studio Art Jess Larson. Stop in to see the entire exhibit of 104 wonderfully creative photographs before July 29.

Photo Contest Winners

The Natural World
First Place: Emily Cunningham, Hancock, “Running River”
Honorable Mention: Ted Goldstein, Morris, “Senses”

Global community
First Place: Phyllis Joos, Hancock, “Community Progress?”
Honorable Mention: Lindsey Freeman, Morris, “Unititled”

Purple
First Place: Samantha Massmann, Osakis, “Petals of Purple”
Honorable Mention: Jill Stevens, Benson, “Guardian of the Monastery”

Abstract
First Place: Ann Grandy, Glenwood, “Prairie Smoke Detail”
Honorable Mention: Leah Zierke, Hancock, “Frosted Tracks”

Wetlands
First Place: Jennifer Hope, Starbuck, “Winter Morning”
Honorable Mention: Samantha Massmann, Osakis, “Day’s End”
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Future Generations_
First Place: Barbara Burke, Morris, “Young Perseus”
Honorable Mention: Ann Grandy, Glenwood, “Sharing a Love of Prairies”

People’s Choice
Van Gooch, Morris, “Storm Coming”

Unique PRCA exhibit features poetry by Linda Hodgson and two-dimensional art by PRCA artists

The Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibit at the PRCA Gallery that pairs the written word, poetry by Morris resident Linda Hodgson, with two-dimensional art by PRCA artists Deb Connolly, Della Conroy, and Richard Walker. An opening reception for “Out My Window: Prairie Poems, Pictures, and Paintings” will be held on Thursday evening, August 5, 2010, from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

The seed for this exhibit was planted years ago when Hodgson realized that a still life, a bowl of peaches, painted by artist John Ingle, then professor of studio art at the University of Minnesota, Morris, serendipitously captured the essence of a poem she had written . She sent her poem to Ingle with a note sharing with him how she wished she could paint. Ingle responded by affirming Hodgson’s gift, stating that she, too, was creating art, a still life with words.

Like Ingle, many others encouraged Hodgson to write, from her fourth grade teacher in Wheaton where she grew up to Dwight Purdy and the late Jim Gremmels, English professors at the University of Minnesota, Morris from which she graduated in 1986. Living on the prairie also inspires the poet.

“When I write, I find that place is very important,” reflects Hodgson. “I love the prairie. It is like the ocean, a vast surface and another world going on underneath. It’s beautiful. We need to surround ourselves with beauty and then share it. I love words, and I feel good about life. That’s what I try to capture and share.”

Hodgson identifies three kindred spirits in the wildlife photography of Walker and the paintings of Connolly and Conroy. The PRCA exhibit will feature her poetry with their paintings and photographs that reflect the content and theme of her poems. While she has written “volumes” over the years, Hodgson states this particular project has been developing as an intentional and cohesive undertaking for about the last year.

Hodgson, Conroy, Walker, and Connolly, along with Bob Christianson who framed nine of the pieces, will all be present at the opening reception, which is free and open to the public.

The PRCA exhibit of poetry, paintings, and photographs will be available for viewing until Saturday, September 11, 2010, at the PRCA Gallery located at 630 Atlantic Avenue, downtown Morris. Regular hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 320-585-5037 or e-mail prca@prairierenaissance.org.

The nonprofit PRCA’s mission is to advocate, promote, and coordinate arts, heritage, and cultural activities in Stevens County and the surrounding area.

A conversation with Ben Johnson, author of We Are Not Alone: Evidences of the Supernatural Among Ordinary People, scheduled at the PRCA

In your life, have you ever heard a voice when no one was around? Have you had a dream, maybe even a vision, that has had a significant impact on your life?

Dr. Ben Arlen Johnson surveyed more than 6,000 people and gathered answers to these questions. His book, We Are Not Alone: Evidences of the Supernatural Among Ordinary People, is a reflection on his investigation of experiences that convince others of the reality of another world.

If you are curious about this topic or have your own stories to share, Johnson will be at the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance on Sunday, July 18, 2010, from 2 until 4 p.m. for a book signing. At 3 p.m., he will lead a conversation about his book and the stories he has gathered. The public is invited to this free event and reception.

Johnson, a theological professor, is a graduate of Harvard University and Gustavus Adolphus College. He currently serves as interim pastor at Chokio Lutheran Church in Chokio, Minnesota.

Please call 320-585-5087 or e-mail prca@prairierenaissance.org for more information about the event. The PRCA is located at 632 Atlantic Avenue in Morris. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., or by appointment.

The nonprofit PRCA’s mission is to advocate, promote, and coordinate arts, heritage, and cultural activities in Stevens County and the surrounding area.