Saturday Night at the Gray Dog

Gray Dog Deli is very fortunate to showcase the exceptionally talented singer/songwriter Katie Burns this Saturday night. Her music is darkly angelic: sweeping, benevolent guitar arrangements juxtaposed with a gorgeous, slightly chilling voice reminiscent of Joana Newsom, and sober, first-rate lyrics.

Katie has recorded two albums, and will record a new album this summer at Conner Oberst’s (of Bright Eyes) studio in Omaha, Nebraska. Katie will be joined by cellist Eric Miller of Madison, a long time collaborator. The show starts at 8:30 at Gray Dog Deli, 215 High Street, Mineral Point, which will be serving food till 8:00pm, and beer and wine all night. There is no cover. See you there!!

- Contributed by Shannon Williams

Click here to check out Katie’s music video “Hanging on a Pocket” – filmed right here in Mineral Point and visit her website:  The photo below shows Katie at her CD release party held at Brewery Pottery.


Posted in Entertainment | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

We Just Got A Little More British

Meet Jane Wilcoxson, the new gallery owner on the corner of Fountain and Commerce Streets (formerly Story Pottery).


We caught up with Jane last night as she was busy getting the gallery ready for today’s opening. She was nice enough to show us around and let us take a few photos.

Her bright oil pastels, mostly animals, are perfect for Mineral Point.


For more about Jane’s art, click here to visit to her webpage, check out her blog, and like her on Facebook.

Jane was raised in the small rural village of Endon in Staffordshire Moorelands and was born near Cornwall in a town called Chipping Sodbury. She went on to earn a fine arts degree and a postgraduate certificate in arts education.

photoShe was drawn to Mineral Point because she missed her British roots. (Further proof that the BBC was right when it named Mineral Point one of the 10 Most British Towns in the US.)

For the next two years, Jane and her geologist husband Keith will divide their time between Mineral Point and their home outside Chicago. When their youngest son graduates from high school, they plan to move up here and build a hobbit house on property they purchased just outside town.

Stop by and give Jane a big welcome to Mineral Point!

- Contributed by the Hays

Posted in Art, People | Tagged | 1 Comment

New Addition to High Street — DeeConstruct

530447_479134502129005_972248578_nThis weekend, stop by and say hello to the new owners of 214 High Street — Dee and Joel Hooks.  They plan to do a little remodeling before they officially open in 2015, but for the next three days you’re invited to preview Dee’s colorful creations and her business “DeeConstruct, Recycled Fun.”

On her Facebook page, Dee tells this story, “One day, as my father’s friend was about to throw a lamp in the trash, my father took it from him, saying, ‘I’ll give it to Dee.’  When his friend asked, ‘why would she want this ugly old thing?,’ my father replied, ‘because Dee sees the beauty in everything. I think that is the greatest compliment that I have ever received.”

Dee’s mission is to educate people about recycling & create beauty from waste.  Take a look at some of Dee’s stuff -

photo-86photo-85photo-87photo-90photo-91photo-89And while you’re there, be sure to say hi to NZO (pronounced Enzo) the Hooks’ cat who seems to be ready for Halloween.


Welcome to High Street Dee, Joel and NZO!

- Contributed by the Hays

Posted in Art, People, Shopping | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Not Your Average Garage Sale

One of the best aspects of the Fall Art Tour is the chance to get a glimpse into the homes and studios of area artists.  It’s a chance to see places you did not know existed, and that you normally cannot visit.

Last year we featured the Flanary/Peterson homestead (Living Art), which is #35 on this year’s tour.

This year, we enter the hidden gallery/work space of Bruce Fortney (#43). You may have seen Bruce’s large oil paintings at either Brewery Pottery, or the cow at High Street Sweets, or the numerous landscapes and cows at Tequila Point.


This weekend — and this weekend only (until next year) — you can visit Bruce’s home.

On a normal day, it would be easy to drive right past Bruce Fortney’s house at 512 Decatur Street, in Mineral Point.


But step into the garage and it’s a whole different ballgame.



Not only does his garage serve as a showcase for his oil paintings, but he has on display some of the chairs he constructed out of yardsticks.


On his back porch, you can learn how Bruce creates his canvases and see a demonstration of how Bruce starts with an outline of a photo before using his “wet into wet” method of painting.


Whatever you do, do not leave until you visit Bruce’s basement.

photo-69First, you will encounter one of Bruce’s popular cows among the many landscapes.

photo-67Then turn to the right and see the first piece of a large commission he is working on for the new UW Hospital American Center.



It is slated to be installed in June 2015 and is called “Sustainable Past.” The painting is based on a photo of Bruce’s great grandfather who was a Montana farmer until the dust bowl hit. The photo is in a frame upstairs in the house.


Bruce tells the story of his farmer/grandfather telling him “you only need five things” in life.  In the grandfather’s case, those things were corn, beans, cows, chickens, and pigs.  Bruce translated the advice to fit his own life by maintaining numerous income streams over the years — dealing antiques, working at Walgreens and various other jobs.  The one constant was his passion — painting.

It wasn’t until two years ago that Bruce was able to do what he loves full-time. As soon as his social security kicked in, Bruce moved from Daleyville, Wisconsin, bought a house in Mineral Point, and became a full-time artist.

Bruce could not be happier living in Mineral Point. He can walk everywhere, he has a nice view of the Water Tower, and he has a basement large enough for his giant canvases. He even converted the master bedroom into a studio for smaller pieces.


Over the next three days, make some time to check out stop #43 of the Fall Art Tour and visit with Bruce Fortney.

- Contributed by the Hays

Posted in Art | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Just Another Day

Some 93 year olds might stay home and take it easy on their birthday. Not Don Hawkins. For him, today was just like any other day…

He began his morning as you might expect — checking his Facebook. In addition to the usual “likes” and “shares,” he had lots of birthday wishes from family, friends, and members of the Kiwanis.

Then, he headed off to the elementary school for an appointment. Of course he walked there, even though it’s about a mile from his house.

He was expecting to talk with the third graders about the oak savanna, but they had other plans. They surprised him with a cake, candles, a rousing rendition of happy birthday, and teacher Deb Molle presented him with a card signed by each student.


It was a brief party, because Don had a meeting with the school superintendent and others about how to more fully integrate the oak savannas into the school curriculum.


On the way back home, Don stopped off to see his friends at Sandstone Nursery, where he buys native plants for his many projects. The Sandstone crew surprised Don with birthday wishes on their sign. We couldn’t agree more with the sentiment.


So for Don it was just another day — in a very full life. Happy Birthday Mr. Hawkins!

- Contributed by Don Hay

Posted in People | Tagged | 3 Comments