Wall Art

The Ascott reveals green rebrand for Somerset

CapitaLand Investment’s The Ascott Limited has unveiled a brand refresh for Somerset Serviced Residences.

The updated concept features new experiences anchored in sustainable travel for multigenerational families.

Middle Eastern Updates

As the second largest brand in Ascott’s global portfolio, the Somerset brand is present across 70 properties, including seven in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Central Asia, all of which are implementing upgrades to deliver the revamped brand reflect.

Signature brand design includes a lobby wall feature, a nature-inspired centerpiece. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain has a green wall built on the exterior of the property to create a natural ambience, while Somerset City Center Atyrau in Kazakhstan and Somerset Maslak Istanbul in Turkey are working on a living wall in the lobby install to present. guests a scenic and peaceful access to the properties. Somerset West Bay Doha, Qatar has a dedicated wall in its social room, specially designed with wall art and counters decorated with seasonal plants.

Further reflecting sustainability, Ascott’s regional properties spearhead dedicated gardens for their kitchens. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain has planted herbs that are used in food preparation and as a way to engage long-stay guests as part of the community. Somerset City Center Atyrau will introduce an organic garden for guests to enjoy freshly grown vegetables, while the restaurant at Somerset Westview Nairobi serves an organic menu with farm-to-table meals.

Green gyms

Within Somerset estate grounds, the Eco Play Area and Gym is a child-friendly area with biophilic elements and play features powered by solar and kinetic energy. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain specially designed an ‘ocean’ themed room for children, while Somerset Downtown Al Khobar switched its play area to one that encourages children to engage in more physical games rather than electronic ones. Somerset Westview Nairobi’s dedicated play area is equipped with toys, drawing books, colors and puzzles, displaying bright and vibrant colours.

Guests can also work out at the Eco Gym, which includes gym equipment and technology that is either energy-saving or power-generating. Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain is home to a hand-treadmill machine that generates energy when operated, powering the tablet attached to the machine. At Somerset Downtown Al Khobar, the space is equipped with wood-look flooring and non-electric consumables, while Somerset Maslak Istanbul will introduce an outdoor gym with plates and yoga supplies.

The recently opened franchise property Somerset Al Mansoura Doha will also implement the new Somerset brand signatures to offer guests a sustainable stay in the capital of Qatar. In Africa, Somerset Rosslyn Nairobi will double the brand’s site count in the Kenyan capital in Q4 2023, preceded by the 162-key Somerset Almadies Dakar heading to Senegal in Q2 2023.

Sustainability expectations

Tan Bee Leng, Ascott’s managing director for brand and marketing, said: “Sustainable travel has gained prominence in recent times as travelers become more socially conscious and aware of their environmental footprint. We are seeing a return trend towards family holidays and multi-generational trips, and Somerset has been most popular with our guests due to its flexibility to cater for different travel purposes – from long-stay moves to short-stay holidays. Against this backdrop, the Somerset brand has been refreshed to meet travellers’ growing expectations for sustainability, whilst ensuring they can immerse themselves in a truly inclusive, harmonious experience.”

Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s managing director for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India, added: “We are delighted to launch the refreshed Somerset brand across our regional properties and to see the brand signatures come to life. There is no doubt that sustainable travel and consumer sustainability awareness will continue to rise, and our Somerset properties are at the forefront of providing our guests with the best hospitality experience that has sustainability at its core.”

Brand strategy

This brand refresh follows Ascott’s recently announced Ascott CARES, a sustainability framework that aligns Ascott’s growth strategy with environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations. The renewal of the Somerset brand marks another milestone in marking Ascott as one of the first hospitality groups to be awarded standard status recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Somerset’s brand update is part of Ascott’s Brand360 strategy, a group-wide exercise to strengthen its extensive brand portfolio through sharpened brand stories and the launch of signature experiences and programs unique to each brand. The Citadines brand refresh was unveiled in September 2022. With the tagline ‘for the love of cities’, Citadines aims to offer the comfort of a serviced residence and the flexibility of a hotel. Ascott, Oakwood and The Crest Collection brands will also introduce new brand signatures and programs in 2023.

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Police Thwart Thieves’ Attempt to Steal One of Banksy’s Murals in Ukraine

Ukrainian police have managed to rescue an artwork by Banksy in the town of Hostomel, just outside Kiev, after it was nearly stolen by a group of eight people.

On the 2nd of December the thieves cut the work of the wall of a ruined and unused building which had been badly bombarded when the city was taken by the Russians. The image shows a woman wearing a dressing gown with her hair in curlers. These signs of comfortable domesticity are shockingly juxtaposed with two paraphernalia of war, a gas mask and a fire extinguisher.

Fortunately, the police were quickly on the scene of the crime. “Several people were detained on the spot,” Kyiv Governor Oleksiy Kuleba reported in a post on Telegram. “The graffiti is undamaged and is with law enforcement while the investigation continues.”

A woman walks near a section of the wall of a damaged building from where a group of people tried to steal a work by the famous British artist Banksy in the village of Hostomel, near Kiev, on December 3, 2022. Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/ AFP via Getty Images.

Kyiv police chief Andriy Nebytov said as many as eight people between the ages of 27 and 60 were suspected of being involved in the attempted robbery.

The mural was one of seven stenciled pieces that Banksy completed in November in various war-torn Ukrainian cities. They are all now under police protection, says Kuleba’s statement.

“These images are a symbol of our fight against the enemy,” Kuleba added. “These are stories about the support and solidarity of the entire civilized world with Ukraine. Let’s do everything to preserve the works of street art as a symbol of our future victory.”

This is not the first time thieves have shown an interest in getting away with one of Banksy’s public works. Earlier this year, another group of eight were found guilty of stealing a mural by Banksy painted on the entrance to the Bataclan in Paris, honoring the victims of the 2015 terror attacks.

After being stolen in January 2019, it was recovered in an attic on a farm in Italy in June 2020.

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Art review: History of persecution connects two artists featured at Farnsworth

“Leonard Baskin: I Hold the Cracked Mirror Up to Man” at Farnsworth Art Museum. Photo by David Troup

Two compact exhibits at the Farnsworth Art Museum confirm an old adage, which I’ll turn more superlative here: Great things come in small packages. Although “Leonard Baskin: I Hold the Cracked Mirror Up to Man” (through Jan. 15) has been around for some time, that show and “Louise Nevelson: Dawn to Dusk” (through Dec. 31) are apt statements for our particular moment in time.

Both shows represent the work of Jewish artists, which, with the approaching Hanukkah holiday, seems timely. Furthermore, Louise Nevelson was born Leah Berliawsky near Kiev in present-day Ukraine, but fled the tsarist regime’s pogroms with her family in 1905 and eventually settled in Rockland.

Nevelson’s background is a reminder not only of this region’s ongoing history of conflict, but also of the censorship and persecution faced by Ukrainian-born artists such as Alexander Archipenko, Kazimir Malevich (although of Polish descent) and others – first under imperial, then Communist, systems. And inhumanity of many stripes – towards Jews, Native Americans, Black and colored people, victims of war – is the subject of Baskin’s exhibition.

As challenging as Baskin’s images are, during the year’s most poignant, commercialized holiday, it’s worth remembering those who are less fortunate, or find themselves in circumstances that make joyous celebration almost unthinkable.

Years ago, when I was studying journalism and art history at New York University, I ran the lunch counter at a Greenwich Village restaurant called Café Loup, which was frequented by writers, intellectuals, and artists. One day the door swung open and in walked a woman with heavy black kohl around her eyes, her head wrapped in a long black scarf trailing behind her as she parted the water from the restaurant. Louise Nevelson knew how to make an entrance. She came to eat with her friend Dorothy Dehner, the painter and sculptor who was married to the mercurial artist David Smith for 23 years.

Louise Nevelson, “The Endless Column,” 1969-1985, Painted wood sculpture, Bequest of Nathan Berliawsky, 1980.35.30, © 2022 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Photo courtesy of Farnsworth Art Museum

What I knew of Nevelson’s work at the time was mainly her all-black constructions, although a few years later I saw her immaculately white 1977 “Chapel of the Good Shepherd” at St. Peter’s Church in downtown Manhattan (now under restoration) would discover. At the Farnsworth, a wall legend accompanying Nevelson’s seminal 1959 white constructed environment called “Dawn’s Wedding” quotes her explaining her initial detour away from the black works that made her famous: “For me, the black contains the silhouette, the essence. of the universe. But the whites move a little out into outer space with more freedom.”

In fact, freedom was Nevelson’s modus operandi. Which means that what’s most interesting about this show is less these famous works than the adventurous explorations she made on the way to get to them.

Among the surprises here are Nevelson’s early paintings, through which she tried various genres while developing her own signature. For example, with its rounded shapes, color palette and Art Deco aesthetic, a 1929 work like “Female Nude” bears the stylistic imprints of Kenneth Hayes Miller and Chaim Gross, two of her teachers at the Art Students League in New York.

Louise Nevelson, “Woman with a Red Scarf,” 1946, oil on board, Bequest of Nathan Berliawsky, 1980.35.24, © 2022 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Photo courtesy of Farnsworth Art Museum

The angularity and bright hues of her 1946 self-portrait, “Woman with a Red Scarf,” resemble the work of German Expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Although painted in 1946, three years before she first visited Mexico, the Central American influences of “Two Women”—from the dress to the Tamayo-like paint application—indicate that she was already familiar with the work of the great Mexican murals.

Freedom of experimentation – as well as an obsessive quest to find her own voice – is also evident in Nevelson’s journey through various mediums. Over the course of the show, we see her create art with paint, carved wood, cast bronze (the show is particularly strong in these holdings), collage (of both cut paper and wood), embossed handmade paper, silk screen materials, jewelry and more . We see paintings, sculptures, manufactured environments and even a stage design for a 1984 production of the opera “Orfeo and Eurydice.”

One fascinating pairing occurs diagonally across one side of the gallery. To the left of the entrance is a wall cabinet containing several of Nevelson’s collaged wood pendants, some with gold-painted overlays, mostly from the 1980s. In the corner diagonally opposite the case is “Series of An Unknown Cosmos I,” a 1979 wood and paper collage on plywood that no doubt represents the jewelry. It almost looks like a study for those body decorations.

Louise Nevelson, “Series Of An Unknown Cosmos I,” 1979, Wood and paper collage on plywood, 36 x 24″, Gift of Louise Nevelson, 1985.23.25 Photo by Dave Clough

By then, Nevelson had long established her particular magic of assembling collaged wooden forms into her truly – to use a word that has become trite today – correctly – iconic works. Yet she continued to dabble in different media, working out ideas through a plethora of techniques.

This is the mark of a great artist: the refusal to stand still, to reject constant replication of the work for which people have come to know you. By the time she joined Café Loup in the early 1980s, she had done all of these things. I’m glad I didn’t know the extent of it. Otherwise, I might have been too tongue-tied and too starry-eyed to simply greet Nevelson and Dehner and lead them to table 14.


It’s hard to imagine that Leonard Baskin was ever a happy person. A sculptor and graphic artist, this was after all the man who in 1942 founded one of the earliest and most influential art presses in the United States, which he called Gehenna, a term meaning “place of misery” and sometimes used as a synonym for hell. He was 17 and a student at Yale, and World War II was three years later.

Lynchings of African Americans had been taking place for nearly two centuries by then. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by an atomic bomb was only three years away, and the development of the hydrogen bomb a decade in the future. Not unimportantly, he felt deep empathy for all this suffering. As the son and brother of rabbis, he was already well acquainted with a heritage of persecution. In “Cracked Mirror” one feels Baskin’s visceral distaste for our human capacity for cruelty.

Leonard Baskin, “Hydrogen Man,” 1954, woodcut, 62 1⁄4 x 24 3/8 in., Collection of the Farnsworth Museum of Art, Gift of Kenneth N. Shure and Liv M. Rockefeller, 2007.23.1 Photo courtesy of Farnsworth Art Museum

And that’s why it’s an important – with a capital “I” – exhibition to see. As they like to say in academia these days, “trigger warning”: This is a downer and deeply disturbing. Check out “Hydrogen Man,” a woodcut on paper measuring 3 feet by almost 6 feet. It is a picture of a man reduced to bones and raw fascia muscle, which appears to have been flattened (or the skin evaporated cleanly from his body).

It is a haunting and horrible image. Yet it is made even more so when we realize it was printed from an almost life-sized single block of carved wood. Baskin’s choice to work at this scale (the scale of many works in this exhibition) must have strengthened his own identification with his subjects. He produced images of tortured souls in his own relationships. To indelibly imprint this idea on our psyches, the exhibition produces an actual block of wood, carved on both sides, which he used to produce two of his unsettling life-size prints.

Leonard Baskin, “Man of Peace,” 1952, woodcut, collection of Kenneth Shure and Liv Rockefeller, © The Estate of Leonard Baskin Photo courtesy of Farnsworth Art Museum

The small gallery these works occupy is replete with similarly disturbing references, including lynchings (“The Hanged Man”) and the Holocaust (“Man of Peace” and various other works). Still, as depressing as Baskin’s messages are, you can leave the show inexplicably exhilarated. I suggest it is twofold.

First, they are works of conscience, and no matter how uncomfortable works of conscience make us feel, there is an inherent aliveness in being aware of our discomfort (the opposite of which is the deadness of pitting our feelings against these kinds of truths to numb). The more aware we are, the more we feel the totality of our human experience, including the innate dignity of our higher selves and our capacity to be kind and compassionate.

Baskin recognized that, although humans “made Eden a landscape of death,” we are still noble, even “glorious” beings because we possess an ever-present hope of redemption. Second, witnessing an artist’s power to invoke our aliveness is awe-inspiring. Baskin once wrote that “the forging of works of art is one of man’s remaining semblances of divinity.” And this is simply why art matters.

Jorge S. Arango has been writing about art, design and architecture for over 35 years. He lives in Portland. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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The Top 10 Countries Influencing Interior Design Trends

Do you like to keep up with the latest interior trends? Or spend hours browsing while looking for your next dose of inspiration? Well, you’re in luck – we’re revealing the hottest countries influencing interior design trends in 2022.

New research by Secret linen shop cross-referenced social media data with Google search data to discover the countries that most inspire interior design trends. The research combined the number of TikTok views, Instagram hashtags, Google searches and Pinterest boards related to interior design from more than 150 countries.

The top 10 countries currently inspiring interior design:

  1. Japanese – 2,104,093
  2. French – 1,996,598
  3. Danish – 1,739,788
  4. Brazilian – 936,815
  5. Mexican – 536,979
  6. California – 451,085
  7. Australia – 313,227
  8. Malaysian – 275,789
  9. Moroccan – 150,900
  10. Swedish – 140,977
    1. Molly Freshwater, co-founder of Secret Linen Store, says: ‘The patterns, colors and furnishings we see in international interiors are so evocative of a time and place. Incorporating it into how we style our homes helps us either relive precious memories or dream of new exciting adventures.

      ‘It’s easy to see why Japan’s interior design came out the best, as its principles resonate with how so many of us want our homes to be – light, airy and simple without clutter. It’s exciting to see a contrast of designs that inspire people, with the vibrant colors and patterns of Morocco and Mexico also making the top 10.

      Keep reading for a closer look inside the top three countries:

      • Minimalist Japanese interiors

      The interiors of Japan combine minimalism, simplicity and organic silhouettes. Japanese interiors also focus on the balance between the inside and outside of the home, with neutral colors and organic materials that evoke the calm in the natural world.

      Pendant lights, Nedgis


      top of the world framed abstract canvas art

      Japanese interiors shy away from ‘noisy’ designs, opting instead for scaled-down spaces that soothe and calm. It includes an understated color palette, wooden furniture and lots of natural light. Order and organization also play a role in Japanese homes, which tend to avoid exaggerated decorative elements in favor of clutter-free spaces.

      • Eclectic French interiors

      Home of bold fashion and an avant-garde art scene, France is also the place to find a clash of bold decor and rustic farmhouse-style interiors. Eclectic is probably the best word to describe French interiors, with a playful approach to color and the mindset that you should decorate your home in a way that is unique you.

      sophie chest of drawers

      curtain in lacewing French blue

      Curtain In Lacewing French Blue, Arley House

      Arley House

      The beauty of French interiors comes from mixing and matching a variety of pieces (both new and old) throughout the home—an antique bed paired with fresh white linens, for example. A cherished chair passed down through the generations can sit under neon wall art, or artwork found at a flea market prominently displayed in a modern apartment.

      • Functional Danish interiors

      Functionality, simplicity and the way it makes the most of your available space means that Danish interiors inspire the world year after year. Thanks to the Scandinavian concept of hygge rooted at its core, Danish interiors are also welcoming (not to mention cosy) – the perfect space for relaxed entertaining and relaxed evenings at home.

      logan weave armchair

      Logan Weave Armchair, Satara


      double cone shade

      Streamlined shapes and simple designs are a hallmark of Danish design, meaning that interiors have a timeless quality. Wooden furniture plays a big role in Danish interiors, as does rustic texture and neutral shades – all things that contribute to creating an understated space that can be further personalized with bolder decor and colours.

      Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.

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    Sculptural Puppeteer: A Review of Alex Chitty’s “Figs break open of themselves” at Patron

    Alex Chitty, “Lifelong Conversations Between Women,” 2022. Fused ceramic bowls, pelicans from a hotel ashtray, ipe wood, black oxide-plated steel, brazed copper

    Patron is the home for Alex Chitty’s ecosystem of wall-based sculptures and photographs in “Figs Break of Themselves.” Chitty, the sculptural puppeteer of sublime composition, creates invigorating pieces by combining familiar objects in unfamiliar ways. The objects are mainly obtained from inside the house, comfortable and safe, and synthesized with each other through their positioning. Relying on texture and form, surprising combinations of materials amalgamate within the sculptures, and the photographs provide a two-dimensional plane to rest within.

    Alex Chitty, detail of “Beautiful and Menacing and Slightly Out of My Control,” 2022. Cherry wood, cotton bands, carved wooden bananas, fused plastic cups, powder coated steel, 26 1/4 X 24 1/2 X 4 inches

    “Figs Break Open of Themselves (I, II, III)” (2020-22) serves as the footnote to the exhibition, providing a home base to which each additional piece can return. The triptych is filled with elegant gestures and introduces the physical object as a form of marking that can be found throughout this body of work. The frame is expansive and balanced, punctuated by surprising moments of allure, such as a gold chain reading “Name” hanging from the top right corner, or the small Donald Duck figurine nestled in a hole in the wood . Most interesting is what can be recognized as the back of a photograph attached to the back of the wooden boards, with the image facing the wall. Whether the image exists or not cannot be confirmed because there is no angle, no matter how hard the viewer turns their neck at which it can be seen. This exhibition’s particular artist-to-viewer relationship is established through this detail, and Chitty launches as the thoughtful orchestrator to walk the line between stubborn discussion and overreveal, remaining serious and making fun.

    “Yesterday was so Pretty” (2022) demonstrates Chitty’s masterful ability to create visually sound compositions, relying on the depth and textures of objects and deliberate marks, and then breathing life into them. The bleached oak plank creates a clean plane as a stack of six circles descends down the left side. Two painted wooden oranges rest gently on the right side on a small steel shelf. Although this pewter coat adds a surreal element to the fruit, the oranges are animated by their positioning, leaning lightly on another in a moment of repose.

    Alex Chitty, “Like a Mule Through Honey,” 2022. Porcelain bowls, spoons, cast concrete, plastic horse, copper, honey dropper, various woods, cotton furniture, powder-coated steel, 40 3/4 X 31 1/2 X 8 1/2 inches

    The wall-based images are made with familiar materials that rely on maintaining their honest form, but the combination of objects camouflages that familiarity for a split second. In “Like a Mule Through Honey” (2022), a rectangular wooden frame houses thick strips of cotton fabric, which protrude outwards through wooden and copper pins woven through. The central dowel is a honey dropper, its head protruding from the dust on the right. This sends the viewer’s eye in a zigzag down to the small platform extended from the lower left of the frame, holding a plastic horse figurine, and to its final resting place, a mint green bowl at the bottom. The resulting sculpture is stabilized and gratifying. The piece is activated by the imagined stream of honey, sticky and slow, seeping from the dropper. “Like a Mule Through Honey” (2022) is an extreme example of Chitty’s ability to see objects encountered on a daily basis for what they are, and to present to the viewer what they could be.

    Alex Chitty’s “Figs Cracking Open of Themselves” at Patron, 1612 West Chicago. On view until January 28, 2023.

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    Happenings around the Perham area, Dec. 1-15 – Perham Focus

    The Perham Focus is accepting community calendar items for publication online and in our Thursday print edition, space permitting. Submissions must be made in writing to either party at least a week before the event date

    [email protected]


    [email protected]


    Each submission must include the date, time and location of the event, whether it is recurring or a one-time event, and where to go for more information (phone, email and/or website). Also include whether the event is free or paid entry, and how much it costs when applicable.

    Otter dazzles: The Ottertail City Chamber of Commerce is gearing up to host its annual Otter Dazzle celebration at the Ottertail Community Center, beginning at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast, and continuing with a vendor and craft show, hayrides, children’s crafts, a visit from Santa, Christmas tree lighting in the City Park and a chili bar to end the day. Open to the public.

    Rudolph’s closet: Dent United Methodist Church is offering free holiday shopping for kids from 9 a.m. to noon. Kids can buy gifts for their whole family and enjoy hot chocolate, coffee and treats while they shop.

    Christmas Bake Shoppes: Calvary Lutheran Church, located at 619 3rd Ave. SW, Perham, will host its annual Christmas Bake Shoppes from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Shopping opportunities include the Minnesota Store, Kitchen Store, Cookie Store, Candy Shop, Craft Shop, The Pantry, Card Shop, The Bakery (formerly The Broodwinkel) and Smakte Godt Lefse. There will also be drinks and treats in the Fellowship Hall.

    American Indian Education Parent Committee: Frazee-Vergas Public Schools will host an American Indian Education Parent Committee meeting at 6:00 pm in District Conference Room 331, Frazee-Vergas High School, 305 North Lake Street, Frazee. All parents and guardians of American Indian students enrolled in the district are encouraged to attend. Meeting is open to the public.

    Holiday Open House: The History Museum of East Otter Tail County, 230 First Ave. North, Perham, will host its annual holiday open house from 1 to 4 p.m., open to the public.

    Free Marketing Seminar: Clarity Branding Co. will present a free marketing seminar, “How to Talk About Your Business So People Will Buy,” 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the Perham City Council meeting room. Refreshments provided. The seminar will be presented by Clarity Branding Co. owner, Nikki Thompson of Perham.

    Horse Sleigh Rides: The Perham Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor sleigh rides from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, departing from behind City Hall/Chamber Building.

    Photos with Santa Claus: The elusive Santa visits MN Tru North in Perham on December 10th and 17th and poses for photos from 1:00pm to 3:00pm during each visit.

    BookEnds Online: The Wadena County Historical Society’s BookEnds Online Edition will feature author Ryan Rodgers. He will talk about his book, “Winter’s Children: A Celebration of Nordic Skiing,” which captures the essence of cross-country skiing in the Midwest, from its earliest days of making wooden skis to the snowmaking loops and big races of today. This Zoom presentation hosted by the Wadena County Historical Society will begin at 11:30 am. For more information, including access to the Zoom program, call 218-631-9079, email [email protected] or visit

    Mallrats Unplugged: The Mallrats Band will perform a special tribute show, “MTV Unplugged,” at The Hub Auditorium, 200 5th St. at 7 p.m. Presenting SW, Perham. MTV Unplugged was a television series that showcased the biggest musical artists of the ’90s in “unplugged” acoustic performances filmed and recorded in front of small audiences. This tribute show will capture all the essence and nostalgia of those shows on stage, the lighting, the vibe and most importantly the music, from superstars like Eric Clapton, Alanis Morisette, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and more. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at the Perham Area Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds will go to support Perham businesses during the 2024 Main Street restoration project.

    Wrap For Life: Volunteers from Otter Tail County Relay for Life will wrap Christmas presents from 5 to 8 p.m. in the gym at the Perham Area Community Center. Proceeds will benefit the Relay for Life program, which supports American Cancer Society programs.

    Multi-day and recurring events

    NYM Artists Bazaar: The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center will host its 13th annual artist bazaar on Thursday, December 1, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, December 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with wrapping paper available on Saturday. For more information visit or call 218-385-3339.

    NYM Christmas Tree Festival: The annual New York Mills Civic & Commerce Association Community Christmas Tree Festival will continue through Saturday, December 3 at the New York Mills City Hall Ballroom.
    Tree viewing will be Thursday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; with a special “Sip and Paint” event from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Thursday and concluding with the Lions Community Christmas Party from 7pm to 10pm on Saturday, with a social hour at 6pm, dinner at 19:00 and dancing to follow, with the band Hard Days Night. Bidding is open until 10pm on December 3, with proceeds benefiting the Santa Anonymous program.

    Free Christmas Movies: The Comet Theater in Perham is hosting a free Christmas movie screening at 11am and 1pm on December 3rd, 10th and 17th. Open to the public.

    Cupkie Christmas Village: The Cupkie Christmas Village will be open daily until December 23 (except for Thanksgiving Day), from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be trolley and pony rides, a petting zoo and visits from Santa, December 3-4 from 12 to 4 pm daily.

    Lego Holiday Town: Come to United Community Bank in Perham between December 5-23 and vote for your favorite entries in the Lego Holiday Village competition. Winners will receive prizes including Perham Bucks, Lego building sets and more.

    Lights in the Pines: The first Lights in the Pines community celebration will be open at the Perham Pioneer Village, Nov. 26-Dec. 25. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The show will not be open on Christmas Eve, but on Christmas Eve. Suggested donation of $5 per person; presented by Scouts Troop 321

    From the wall art exhibition: The new “Off the Wall” dimensional art exhibit at the Lake Region Arts Council Gallery in Fergus Falls runs through December 23rd. Featured artists include Penny Kagigebi of White Earth Ojibwe, Rick Kagigebi of Lac Courte Oreille, Mary Jo Wentz of Battle Lake, Cathy Oehler of Detroit Lakes, Vicky Radel of Norcross, Jarod Marrow of Fergus Falls, Phyllis Joos of Hancock, Judy Christoffersen of Dent, Kae Homeman of Erhard, Kristi Kruder of Battle Lake, Dar Eckert of Fergus Falls, Timothy Cassidy of New York Mills, Mary Williams of Clitherall, Brian Christensen of Fergus Falls and Carl Zachmann of Fergus Falls. The gallery is located at 133 S. Mill St., Fergus Falls. For more information, contact the LRAC office (toll free in Minnesota) at 1-800-262-2787 or 218-739-5780, or email [email protected]

    Meat raffle: The Rockin’ Horse Cafe in Richville hosts meat raffles every Saturday night at 6 p.m., with proceeds benefiting the Otter Tail Rod and Gun Club.

    Baby Bin: Come look through the baby drum at Crosspoint Alliance Church, 600 8th St. NE, Perham, on the first Tuesday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All WIC participants receive one pack of diapers and wet wipes. Everyone can look through our children’s clothes, sizes 0-10.

    Quilting: The Calvary Cut-Ups quilting group meets Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon at Calvary Lutheran Church in Perham. Questions? Contact Brenda Halvorson at 320-493-0802.

    Library story times: The Perham Area Public Library offers preschool story time every Tuesday at 10:15 am. Kindergarten Storytime with Becky is held regularly on Monday nights at 6:00 pm Visit or call 218-346-4892 for more information.

    Progressive Bingo: Every Tuesday, 6-7 p.m., Thumper Pond, Ottertail.

    Tuesday Trivia Night:

    Billy’s Corner Bar & Grill in Vergas offers Trivia Night every Tuesday at 7pm open to the public.

    Perham Networking Event: The Nest in Perham hosts a free one-hour business networking event on the first Wednesday of every month, starting at 8:15am. Personal introductions, sharing of upcoming events and projects, and a focus presentation. Coffee will be provided by the focus topic presenter.

    Mah Jongg at Calvary Lutheran: Men and women are welcome and play Mah Jongg at Perham’s Calvary Lutheran Church on Thursdays at 12:30 in the library. No previous experience necessary as experienced players will teach the game to newbies.

    Sit-n-Stitch: A weekly gathering of fiber artists will be held every Thursday from 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm at the Cultural Center in New York Mills. Free and open to all.

    Old time photos: Stop by the History Museum of East Otter Tail County, at 230 First Ave. North in Perham, and take a trip down memory lane. The museum would like the public’s help in identifying old photographs. Hours are 11:00am-4:00pm, Tuesday through Friday, and 9:00am-12:00pm on Saturdays. Call 218-346-7676 for more information.

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    The End is Just a Beginning for Something Else: An Obituary for Hans Gallery’s Last Exhibition

    Installation view of “Death Bearing” at Hans Gallery/Image courtesy of Hans Gallery

    “Yes, but to die and go we don’t know where”
    Shakespeare, “measure for measure”

    “For in the sleep of death, what dreams may come”
    Shakespeare, “Hamlet”

    In “Death Bearing,” artwork by Isabelle Frances McGuire, Kira Scerbin and Joe W. Speier serve as the Grim Reaper coming to claim one of Chicago’s beloved Hans Gallery. Peter Anastos, the gallery’s founder and curator, has arranged a tasteful selection of artworks that are less about mourning and more about tension, humor and the eerie with a touch of creepiness.

    Joe Speier, “Recliner in Living Room,” 2022, ballpoint pen, acrylic and acrylic medium on canvas, 64 x 43 in./Image courtesy of Hans Gallery

    Joe Speier exhibits two uplifting mixed media artworks, “Be Good” and “Recliner in Living Room.” “Be Good” hangs on the left wall near the entrance to the gallery. The message, “Be good to yourself,” is painted in bold gray letters across the canvas, accompanied by a large portrait reminiscent of a stage-child scribble done with ballpoint pen in the early years. At the forefront are loose brushstrokes of purple under the outline of the red flowers. Speier’s other work, “Recliner in Living Room,” hangs near the back window. Reflecting its title, the piece depicts a girl, hands behind her head, lying on the couch in her living room. Similar to “Be Good”, Speier’s technique mimics an amateurish doodle that has been pixelated and magnified. In an interview with Gabrielle Jensen, Speier reflects on his practice, “I’m interested in images that are born out of a need to self-soothe,” drawing from sources such as DeviantArt, thrift stores, and memes that are typically considered “low value ” ” imagery.

    In Speier’s words, the pieces are meant to communicate a comforting message about rest, “that it’s okay to take a nap; you are perfect!” and, indeed, it is soothing. But Scerbin and McGuire’s work evokes a more eerie feeling.

    Kira Scerbin, “So Tight Girl,” 2022, oil on linen in artist frame, 20.25 x 32.75 in./Image courtesy of Hans Gallery

    Scerbin’s three works “Sucker,” “crocus” and “So Tight Girl” manifests from an otherworldly dimension and renders figures brought to this level to express a foreboding. “Sucker,” placed across from the gallery entrance, depicts an abnormal figure with a blunt head and bulging eyes floating in red space accented with floral patterns. “So Tight Girl” also features a peculiar figure with a gray face and blue eyes floating next to a giant pink heart in a setting that could be a bridge near a large body of water. Many words have been used to describe Scerbin’s figures, ranging from “primordial flesh body”, “surrogate”, “a mixture of gray alien and ancient fertility image”, “humanoid with references to Albert Pinkham Ryder” and “salad fingers”. ; which is all true. The irregular figure is only understood from a distance as something possibly human because of openings such as the mouth, eyes, nose. Other details in the figure’s flesh hint at more mystery such as circles around the bones, bruises, scabs, tattoos and other textures.

    McGuire’s sculpture, “Lamp #1” (self-portrait) is placed in the center of the gallery. Two cords hang from the ceiling with LED bulbs centimeters above the floor. Hanging, frozen, in tension are miniature models of the atomic bombs Fat Boy and Little Man attached to the light cords. Growing up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, the birthplace of the Atomic Bomb, I immediately recognized the models and felt the serious weight of their message.

    “Lamp #1” (self-portrait), says McGuire, is “part of a larger series of open-source models and 3D prints. I’m interested in this nebulous ever-growing pool of mostly files for creating cosplay and war memorabilia.” It was inspired by “Call of Duty” and the U.S. military as a major stakeholder and its function as a recruiting tool. When the game is played, McGuire notes, “There’s a kind of folding of reality that happens and game time is blurred with real-time. There is a moment in the beginning of the new ‘[Call Of Duty]’ where the player’s perspective shifts from the character, Ghost, to the point of view of a bomb hurling itself at a group of enemies. “Lamp #1” (self-portrait) is a reflection on the extent of immediate destruction and death that would be caused by an atomic bomb as well as McGuire’s personal history.

    The impending sense of an end is acutely present for small gallery spaces. Small gallery initiatives are extremely vulnerable and only last from two to five years. As a result, they are inherently ephemeral and wonderfully ephemeral. Knowing this, I still mourn when one of my usual haunts closes. And sometimes I wonder if it is possible to provide more support to the stability of small art initiatives. But that discussion can be saved for another article—this one is about honoring the closing of Hans Gallery and Anastos’ generous opportunity to let viewers mourn in a final celebration through “Death Bearing.”

    Anastos founded Hans Gallery in 2019 and has curated three years of compelling exhibitions, bringing together Midwestern art legends and international artists. Serving as an important gathering place for emerging and established creatives, Hans Gallery brought palpable energy to Chicago and the broader art community.

    “Death Bearing,” at Hans Gallery, 2000 West Carroll, open by appointment. Until January 14, 2023

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    $250,000 enhancement approved for 4th Ave. retaining wall

    Satisfied with the explanation provided about the source of funding, the City Council voted 4 to 2 in favor of spending an additional $250,000 to add some flair to the word Cochrane at the 4th Avenue retaining wall currently under construction is, to add.

    Up until that point, the vote on the controversial expenses appeared threatened by a deadlock.

    READ: Council takes time to consider options after public backlash

    Drew Hyndman told council an arts endowment reserve was established with voluntary contributions from the developers to a community improvement levy established in the early 2000s. A portion of that went into a fund that currently has a balance of $750,000.

    “It was always intended to provide community improvements within the downtown area, so it was referred to as the arts endowment fund. We had tentative discussions a number of years ago for a gateway function to use that money for when the freeway project was being completed. be, knowing the success of Banff’s project.”

    City administration continued to emphasize that the welcome sign to Banff has become a leading attraction in the mountainous community. It has been reported that it attracts so much attention that it causes traffic jams.

    Councilor Morgan Nagel reversed his position from earlier in the meeting, based on the information that was only provided to the council for the first time last night. Up until that point, he said, he had personally indicated that he liked the design, but was opposed because of significant negative feedback he received about the project when he reached out to people.

    “I will support it because it’s funded by developers and the number one reason for me to vote against it was to be respectful of taxpayers, and it’s not funded by taxpayers.”

    Councilwoman Susan Flowers expected other ideas to be presented to the council, but Pinky De La Cruz, director of engineering and asset services, focused largely on the option administration preferred.

    “I thought we were going to talk about artwork, a mural if possible on the cement or other ideas that might be cheaper. I didn’t really realize we were just going to have a sales job on this particular idea. It is a lot of money and we’ve had a lot of feedback on that. I’m not sure where I stand. I was hoping we would have two or three choices and we could choose from those.”

    In the end, she says she’s cut short by the fact that the funds have been around for several years and that she wants to see the Jack Tennant Memorial Bridge also be enhanced with art as the town council originally discussed.

    Despite the funds being described as coming from what was called an art endowment, Mayor Jeff Genung said it’s not art, it’s a sign on a wall, and he doesn’t believe it’s considered a piece of art should not be

    He reiterated his previously stated position in support of the project. He said the town tends to build things for functionality, but holds back when it comes to adding enhanced features.

    “For lack of a better word, we guess at the end when it’s nice to have, and the improvements, the things that actually make other communities stand out from others. We said that in our community vision, we” I said it in our strategic priority session, we want to be unique, we want to preserve our character, we want to improve our community, well, this is an opportunity to do just that.”

    “We asked our development industry to raise the bar,” he continued. “We’re actually going to make it harder and more expensive to buy into our community because we want them to reach that bar.”

    Councilwoman Tara McFadden liked the project, but sought a friendly amendment to Councilwoman Alex Reed’s motion to include public involvement. While giving consideration and weighing the value of public involvement, he ultimately rejected the amendment. Instead, the amendment was voted on separately and failed by a 4-2 vote, with the majority opting instead for an information campaign telling people why it was a good idea.

    McFadden suggested giving residents a chance to choose between the four designs originally presented or a fifth option to reject the idea altogether. She wanted it to be a short term engagement ending at the end of January.

    Others, like Councilor Nagel, questioned the value of this form of public consultation, fearing that the response would be minimal. He believed this would require a sample of at least 1,000 residents. He questioned whether the question would receive that level of interest and feared it would become a niche special interest survey.

    Mayor Genung was one of those who dismissed the need for public consultation.

    “Originally when we first saw it at the committee-of-the-whole, we all loved it, not knowing the cost implications, without any unfettered feedback from the community. I think it was a good sampling of the representation elected by the community to make decisions on their behalf, so I don’t think we need to continue down that path.”

    Patrick Wilson was the only council member who supported McFadden’s amendment. The two of them also opposed going ahead with the project without that consultation piece.

    Wilson measured his opinion on the project as 60-40.

    “I just think I could have seen value in seeing a little more public participation before we go ahead with it because it wasn’t that consequential to do, so I would vote against it, but I wouldn’t be as upset if I don’t lose. tonight.”

    Councilor Marni Fedeyko was not present.

    The additional $250,000 is on top of the previously approved $1.5 million budget for the retaining wall offsetting the realignment and upgrades to the Hwy. 1A corridor.

    Contributions are no longer made to the community improvement fund due to the establishment of the town’s more robust off-site levy, but the funds left over are available for other projects in the community.

    This has already attracted the attention of councilor Blomme.

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    Tactile mural gives children a place to center

    The community invests

    Much of Clifton was built during an oil and gas boom in the early 1980s and most of the bonds that were taken on counted on Exxon and other companies to continue to thrive. They didn’t – and the new cul-de-sac became vacant literally overnight. Clifton has been wounded ever since, and the schools are where you see some of the worst effects.

    That’s why it was so noteworthy in 2020 when a group of businesses, assisted by the D51 Foundation, pooled resources to rebuild the dilapidated library of Clifton Elementary. They raised over $60,000 to re-carpet, paint and build new shelving. They equipped the library with new technology for modern learners. They made the library the inspiring place it is meant to be, and many of the staff and leadership of the businesses actually rolled up their sleeves and did the renovations themselves.

    But, something was missing

    The investment of money and time was truly felt and appreciated.

    “The library was renovated, redone and children loved it!” said Ciera Colson, the family center coordinator at Clifton Elementary. “We had a ribbon cutting ceremony which was really exciting. After that, our principal and our assistant principal noticed that there was just something missing…we had all the new stuff and we got the updated space, but we needed something where the kids wanted to be. It was a beautiful space, but it just lacked a little color and life.”

    Around this time, recognizing the emotional effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, the D51 Foundation offered grants to add elements of SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) to the school environment.

    Colson recalled, “We told the D51 Foundation that we were going to create a peace corner for the library and make it kind of an interactive space for kids who, you know, are having trouble during that precious learning time.”

    The grant was approved and when the idea of ​​an interactive mural was presented, Colson knew just the right person for the job: TJ Smith.

    Smith said, “When I was approached to create this mural … they kind of had a basic idea that it was a therapy or social-emotional tool. But we didn’t really know exactly what it was. ”

    Everyone involved in the initial ideation phase remembers the time fondly.

    “It was really nice brainstorming to sit in the library with principals and the librarian and the guidance counselor and we fell on nature and we fell on this idea that… it’s like you’re walking and you come to that place that has a great view and good shade and there might be water running,” recalls Smith.

    Smith had his camera ready to photograph the finished product. About 12 children were invited to see the unveiling and finally touch it as it was intended. And, that’s just what they did. They climbed the rock and jumped away. They grabbed the bark of the tree. They explored a carpet that looked like a continuation of the grass on the wall. They counted all the ants they saw. Some of them only chilled. They interacted with the mural, in the ways its creators had hoped.

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    There’s a Samsung Frame TV Black Friday sale happening now

    While there are plenty of great Black Friday deals going on, these deals on The Samsung Frame TV are pretty great, especially given how beautiful the TV is and how well it blends in with the surroundings. There are several different sizes to choose from; you’ll get up to $1,000 off from Best Buy, depending on what size you want.

    • 43-inch Samsung The Frame 4K TV: $800, was $1,000 —
    • 50-inch Samsung The Frame 4K TV: $900, was $1,300 —
    • 55-inch Samsung The Frame 4K TV: $1,000, was $1,500 –
    • 65-inch Samsung The Frame 4K TV: $1,600, was $2,000 —
    • 75-inch Samsung The Frame 4K TV: $2,000, was $3,000 —
    • 85-inch Samsung The Frame 4K TV: $3,300, was $4,300 —

    Why you should buy the Samsung Frame TV

    A Samsung Frame TV hangs on a wall.

    As mentioned above, there are many different sizes, but the specs remain the same, so you’ll get a great 4k TV no matter which size you choose. Picture quality is one of the essentials in a TV, and we’re happy to say that it’s excellent on The Frame, as it uses a QLED panel with quantum dot technology, essentially Samsung’s way of saying that it’s billions pixels that recreate color very well. Quantum dots also bring about Quantum HDR for better contrasts and true blacks, which we would hope for on such a premium TV. If you’re a gamer, you’ll also be happy to know that it has a 120Hz refresh rate, which is ideal for those who play on the latest consoles.

    However, one of the more remarkable features is that the TV doubles as wall art, hence its name “The Frame.” Once you put it on the wall, you can scroll through dozens of images that look incredibly lifelike, and you can even choose from 1,400 different pieces with a subscription to Samsung’s Art Store if your photos aren’t good enough. Not only that, but you can change the colors of the ring to match your home and make it look like a real frame, although it has to be purchased separately. Finally, there is an easel stand that you can also buy separately to sell the feeling that it is a painting, especially since you can connect the TV through just one wire, making it look seamless.

    There’s a lot more to say about The Frame TV, it’s a unique product that elevates the space it sits in, and with up to $1,000 off from Best Buy, it’s even cheaper to get your hands on. That said, be sure to check out some other Black Friday TV deals while you’re at it.

    Editors’ recommendations

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