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Topic: Bemidji, MN - First City on the Mississippi  (Read 12835 times)
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Kargrrl
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« on: March 04, 2008 06:39:17 AM »

There are so many awesome entries already - and what variety! Wow!

I hail from Bemidji, Minnesota. It is known for many things including its roots in the logging industry, home of the Concordia Language Villages, giant statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox, Bemidji State University, and its location near two large American Indian reservations, Canada, and generally lake-filled wilderness. It is called "The First City on the Mississippi" for an interesting reason. The mighty Mississippi river has very humble beginnings in a little lake in a beautiful state park (Itasca). From there, the river actually flows north as the topography of the land is actually lower towards the north and it flows through the lovely Lake Bemidji. Just east of the lake is the most northern point on the Mississippi, making Bemidji the first city (latitudinally and along the river's path) on the Mississippi.

My entry is an original papercut representing the headwaters of the Mississippi, where you can walk across the river on slippery rocks, and then the general shape of the river as it flows all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Here is the entire papercut, which measures about 5 x 8.5 inches:



A close-up of the top half:



And a detailed close up of the headwaters:



The image is cut from a single piece of black cardstock using only an x-acto blade. I taped it to the window to photograph it. Smiley

I based the cut from the photo from this site:

http://www.mnhs.org/places/nationalregister/stateparks/Itas83.html

And here's a link to a page of great Bemidji and Mississippi River-related information:

http://www.visitbemidji.com/location/mississippi.html

Thanks so much for looking!
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2008 07:33:16 AM »

I'm glad to see someone from Minnesota entering this challenge! That is very pretty. Makes me want to take a little road trip up there.  Grin
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2008 07:33:16 AM »

oh wow that's gorgeous!

really, good job! i think you've inspired me to try paper-cutting now.
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2008 07:51:06 AM »

Oh, my goodness, that is beautiful!  How are you going to display it?  Will you have is framed?
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Sera unravled
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2008 07:52:36 AM »

yay for minnesotans!  That is very beautiful.  I have never been up there but I would like to someday, northern minnesota is so very pretty.
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2008 07:54:34 AM »

That's beautiful! I live in St Paul, and I hope to make it up north this summer. There are a couple of Craftster up in Bemidji, I'm glad MN is so well represented!
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2008 08:18:57 AM »

What a stunning way to represent your area! I love the silhouette presentation and the way you chose to show the whole shape of the Mississippi down to the Gulf, I would definitely put this in a floating glass frame and hang it on a brightly colored wall with a special spotlight just for this, what a great piece of art!
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instantkarma
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2008 08:41:20 AM »

Yay for Minnesotans! Your papercut is very pretty. Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2008 08:47:45 AM »

Really beautiful!
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mamafox
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2008 09:26:56 AM »

I love this!
Great job and i would love to see how you plan to display it!
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2008 10:58:49 AM »

Beautiful!
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2008 11:40:23 AM »

Kargrrl, you did a great job with your project.  I wish I had your papercutting skills! 

I spent a few of my grade school years in Bemidji and got my A.A. from BSU.  Go Beavers!  Do they still have that "craft store" in the old school south of town?  That's off the high way a bit, but if memory serves there's also an a-frame shop just off the opposite side of the highway where they sell honey, jams, jellies and moccasins.  (If that's still there too!) 

batgirl, if you head north this summer, plan to stop in Park Rapids ("Gateway to the Mississippi Headwaters at Itasca State Park" and Bemidji).  They have some funky little shops and if you stop in the right drug store (I'd tell you the name, but I can't remember it) there's an bit of an old fashioned soda counter.  If you wait 'til the fall take the Lake George road through the national forest for some beautiful foliage! 
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2008 12:55:35 PM »

wow... we should've collaborated since i'm at the end of the mississippi here in louisiana. unfortunately, our end of the mississippi isn't as beautiful as yours what with the crap that gets thrown in and flows down to us.  Cry
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2008 12:56:07 PM »

We could float down and visit you!  Cheesy
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cajunclover
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2008 01:03:39 PM »

i think by the time you go to missouri, you should consider a boat. the river down here is so bad with the amount of stuff in it, that it's actually one of the borders to our largest prison. that's why we refer to it as "the asshole mississippi". i have seen the mississippi up in the northern regions and it's so beautiful... i'd take that any day!
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2008 02:07:27 PM »

Wow, that is beautiful!
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2008 02:23:15 PM »

To make a few comments:

* First, thank you all for the lovely compliments! Big smile here!

* I do plan to mount it in a "floating" frame to accent the fact that it's a single piece of paper. I've done that with other papercuts and they look awesome.

* Yes, the "Old Schoolhouse" is still in operation selling cool crafts and it has a great frame shop. The A-frame you speak of, hollydaze, is still there too. Gift O' The Wild is as eye-catching and kitchy as ever.

* Bemidji has also opened a number of smaller galleries and coffee shops featuring local artists as well.

* cajunclover, I have seen the Mississippi in St. Louis and cannot believe that the brown, river-boat toting beast down there started as such a clear trickle up north. The river goes through quite a bit by the time it gets to you, and it's only half way down!

Thanks again, everyone! Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2008 02:58:50 PM »

What a gorgeous papercut!  Very nice work. 

Your picture of the headwaters brought back a memory.  Somewhere there is  a picture of me as a pretty young kid sitting in the middle of those very rocks.  It was so cool to tell all my friends I stood in the middle of the Mississippi River and wasn't on a boat.  Now I live in the St Louis area in the middle of the river and feel like I should join in.  Perhaps we can do some sort of length of the river/state of the river/river craft craft along.  I know where we could display it here near the end of the summer!
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2008 03:33:45 PM »

That could be a really cool project on the More Art board! *ponders*
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2008 05:11:37 PM »

very nice!  The simplicity of the design works really well. 
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« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2008 05:16:06 PM »

YAY BEMIDJI! I just moved from there a year ago, and that cutout sooo reminds me of that sweet northern goodness. I miss Bemidji so much, thank you for sharing your piece of it.
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« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2008 06:50:31 PM »

How beautiful, your cutting is so precise!  I really like how you draw the path of the Mississippi river all the way down to the coast. 

Btw, your uni's hockey team totally spanked my uni's hockey team this year.  Cry
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« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2008 06:54:34 PM »

Btw, your uni's hockey team totally spanked my uni's hockey team this year.  Cry

Sweeeeeeeeeet! Go Beavers! Wink
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« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2008 06:57:11 PM »

That's really pretty. I love this idea.
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« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2008 07:27:52 PM »

The Minnesota goodness.
I've been to the headwaters a couple times. (I've walked across the Mississippi!)
Glad to see a Minnesotan crafting such beautiful things!
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« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2008 11:07:09 PM »

LOVE IT. it is beautiful. great idea.
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« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2008 12:07:41 PM »

Hey, i have been there!

Looks great! Kudos to you for the patience on this project! Fantastic!
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« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2008 12:17:59 PM »

i spent one of the best summers ever in the concordia camp in bemidji so this brings back awesome memories!

this papercut is beautiful and brings back awesome memories- i love it!
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« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2008 12:31:10 PM »

Wow, I really really love this!
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« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2008 04:33:33 PM »

That's so pretty.
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« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2008 09:56:14 AM »

This is great!  My dad grew up in Bemidji, so our family goes back every other year or so on a day trip . . . and always takes a picture of us with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. 
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Kargrrl
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« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2008 10:15:39 AM »

This is great!  My dad grew up in Bemidji, so our family goes back every other year or so on a day trip . . . and always takes a picture of us with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. 

I think its a requisite stop. It's so neat to hear from people who know Bemidji!

*it's a small world after all* playing in my head Wink
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flyangler
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2008 02:33:30 PM »

Kudos from another Minnesotan. You betcha!
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rainylakechick
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2008 06:53:11 PM »

I love the Babe and Paul statues!

Even if my family wasn't from northern Minnesota (International Falls!), I'd still give kudos to this project.  That is GORGEOUS!!!
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« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2008 09:05:50 PM »

I love the Babe and Paul statues!

Even if my family wasn't from northern Minnesota (International Falls!), I'd still give kudos to this project.  That is GORGEOUS!!!

I-Falls! My brother used to do a bike race up there every year (To Hill and Back). Because of the paper mill, we always joked that in I-Falls you could fart and no one would know!

Sorry, I'm totally dissing your hometown. Bad me. Wink

Thank you for your nice words!
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rainylakechick
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2008 12:12:47 PM »

I love the Babe and Paul statues!

Even if my family wasn't from northern Minnesota (International Falls!), I'd still give kudos to this project.  That is GORGEOUS!!!

I-Falls! My brother used to do a bike race up there every year (To Hill and Back). Because of the paper mill, we always joked that in I-Falls you could fart and no one would know!

Sorry, I'm totally dissing your hometown. Bad me. Wink

Thank you for your nice words!

Hahaha, half the town lets one go, and they just blame the mill too.  Smiley
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jens
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2009 09:12:52 PM »

Yay! I am reading this from my apartment downtown, a block from the lake. What a beautiful piece, it makes me ready for summer...
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« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2009 07:59:32 PM »

Ahhh... summer in Bemidji. It's only eight months away. Wink
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