Creating Art with Nature

Hey, adults!  Discover the art of nature printmaking, a process in which an object (leaf or flower, for instance) is pressed into a plane surface to make a direct printing surface or matrix.  Learn how to transfer the beauty found in nature into art with a nature printmaking workshop for adults at the North Branch Area Library.

Minnesota artist and contemporary printmaker Michael Weatherly will be leading the program, scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 15. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. Sign up at the library or call 651-674-8443 and ask for the North Branch Area Library.  Presented by the East Central Regional Library, this project is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Musical Afternoon at Parmly Lifepoints

The tenor voice of David Kozisek and pianist Debra McTaggert will be echoing through the halls at Parmly Lifepoints, 28210 Old Towne Road in Chisago City on Tuesday, May 30 at 2:00 pm.  They will explore the musical and dramatic depths of Schubert’s songs and other popular tunes we all love.  The event is free and open to the public and funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Folk Dance Series Continues with Finn Hall

East Central Regional Library in partnership with the Pine County Historical  Society in Askov welcome people of all generations and dance levels to check out a series of folk dance instruction and live performance at the Pine County Historical Society in Askov.

On Saturday, April 1 at 1 p.m. join us for the second event in the series as an award-winning group from Minneapolis called Finn Hall entertains and educates us.  These musicians recreate the feel and sounds of the historic Finnish-American dance halls for local dancers offering waltz, polka, schottische, mazurka, tango, humppa and other dances.

The folk dance series will continue with the Norwegian sounds of De glada on Saturday, May 6 at 1 p.m., followed by an Octoberfest event later in the fall.

No registration is necessary for the event, which are free and open to the public. The dance workshops are geared for ages 14 and up, and singles and couples are welcome. This project was funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.



Framed Art Collection on Display at Hinckley Public Library

Be sure to stop by the Hinckley Public Library to view the framed art collection currently on display!

The collection will especially be of interest to local history buffs, as the art was displayed at stores in Hinckley in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Those nostalgic for a time past might be interested in reminiscing about the Up Town Sanitary Shop, Wicker’s Department Store, Hunt’s Variety Store, and more.  There are 10 pieces total in the collection, including a historical aerial photograph of downtown Hinckley.

The artwork was donated to the City of Hinckley who have placed the collection in the library for viewing.




During his lifetime, The Great Gatsby brought F. Scott Fitzgerald only $8397.00 in royalties. Today the book is a staple in high school and university English classrooms and is widely regarded as one of the greatest 20th century American novels. On June 10, 2009, a first edition copy sold for $180,000.00 at Bonham’s in New York.

Scott, as he was called, was born on September 24, 1896, at 481 Laurel Avenue in St. Paul.  This Side of Paradise, his first novel,  was published to wide acclaim in March 1920.  The Beautiful and Damned followed in 1922, The Great Gatsby in 1925, and Tender is the Night in 1934. During the early 1930s, he was one of the highest-paid writers in America, earning $4000.00 per story from The Saturday Evening Post.

East Central Regional Library owns many of Fitzgerald’s works in various formats.  With Baz Luhrmann’s dazzling, ambitious, over-the-top adaptation of The Great Gatsby currently in theatres, there is a renewed interest in Fitzgerald, the Roaring Twenties, and the Jazz Age.  Check out the following, available through any ECRL branch library:

“Beautiful Fools” by R. Clifton Spargo
“Call Me Zelda” by Erika Robuck
“Gatsby’s Girl” by Caroline Preston
“The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain
“The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway
“Tales of the Jazz Age” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Z:  A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Ann Fowler    


“A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway
“Everybody Was So Young” by Amanda Vaill
“Sometimes Madness is Wisdom” by Kendall Taylor
“Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Anything Goes” by Lucy Moore
“Fool for Love:  F. Scott Fitzgerald” by Scott Donaldson  
“Midnight in Paris” starring Owen Wilson
“The Moderns” starring Keith Carradine
“The Great Gatsby” starring Robert Redford
“The Sun Also Rises” starring Ava Gardner
“Chicago” starring Renee Zellweger
“Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” starring Essie Davis
If you haven’t read F. Scott Fitzgerald since high school, it may be time to revisit Nick Carroway, Daisy Buchanan, and Jay Gatsby. And perhaps ponder again the closing words of Fitzgerald’s most famous novel, which seem to whisper of the Jazz Age and the “Lost Generation” —–
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”
Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian