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Duluth Artscene

Renegade Comedy Theatre announced its fourth annual Groucho awards on Jan. 21 at the Holiday Inn in downtown Duluth. The Grouchos are awarded every year to recognize excellence during Renegade's previous theatrical season. Jim Young won Best Actor for his portrayal of a hit man who falls in love in Bruce Graham's dark comedy, "Desperate Affection," and Cheryl Menzel, who played a scatterbrained actress and object of his desire, won Best Actress. "The Complete History of America (abridged)," a fast-paced comic retelling of this country's history, took home the Best Director award for Merry Renn Vaughan. It was also recognized as Show of the Year.

The Groucho for Best Supporting Actor was presented to Dan Averitt for his performance in the ensemble comedy "Line," while Best Supporting Actress was awarded to Priscilla Manisto for her work in "Line." This is the third year in a row Manisto has won the award.

Best Male Performance in a Comedy Revue went to Dave Orman for his work as a towel-clad Lawrence Welk in "The First Sorel." Carrie Mohn also won for her work in "The First Sorel," taking home the Best Female Performance in a Comedy Revue. Best Male Performance in Children's Theatre was presented to Paul Jirovetz for the holiday show "No Hole Holiday," while Angie Petree won Best Female Performance in Children's Theatre for the same show.

The prestigious Jeno Paulucci Award went to Dave Orman for providing outstanding service and dedication to Renegade in the past year. Past Jeno Award winners include Priscilla Manisto, for overseeing the creation of Renegade Children's Theatre, and Brian Matuszak, for co-founding Renegade Comedy Theatre.

Other Groucho winners included Sheila Abrahamsson, Sharon Obst, Brandon Leno, Michelle Strand and Brian Matuszak, for his work in creating a cohesive and effective cast of actors in this past July's Renegade Summer Comedy Revue.

Local artist Bill Gronseth has brought in a variety of lilac, pine, birch and maple rustic wood turned vases to the Blue Lake Gallery in Canal Park. Arrowhead Art Club member Lloyd Backus has brought in three new original landscape watercolors to the gallery, and watercolor artist Keith Thompson has brought in a new original painting of Pigeon River Falls.

Sivertson's Gallery received three original works by Liz Sivertson, including a triptych, "If I Had Known You Were Coming, I'd Have Baked a Cake." An original print of the triptych is also in the gallery. A brand-new watercolor by Eden Prairie artist Karen Knudson, "A Big Splash," and three new watercolors by Wendy Rouse, "Brown Eggs," a still life, "Fertility" and "Blue Bottles and Bird," are also at the gallery. Jeannine Carlson, a wool felt artist from Rochester, has also brought in a new felted black bear and a polar bear and cub.

Ken and Pat Larson have a series of sculptural and covered containers as well as some wall pieces at Lizzard's Gallery. The artists work with raku pottery, and a lot of it is decorated with horse hair. Lizzard's is also featuring a display of Ann Labovitz's paintings, including "Passion," and a number of oils painted by Stephen Lubovich, who is part of a new painting movement called "The New Masters."

The Art Dock still has copies of the CD "Personal Ad" featuring poetry by Ellie Schoenfeld and music by the late Lew Orsini, who died earlier this month. Schoenfeld's book of poetry, "Screaming Red Gladiolus," is also sold there.

"Northern Lights," a watercolor by Sue Pavlatos, will be on exhibit in the Art Options window in the skywalk.

Art Options Gallery is looking for entries for the American Minnesota Society for Mining and Metallurgy art show that will be at the DECC April 10-11. Historical artwork that has a mining theme will be accepted. Applications will be available at the Art Options Gallery, 132 E. Superior St., on Feb. 2. Deadline for submissions is April 6. For more information, call 727-8723.

Cheryl Husby, Pat Joyelle, Charlane Buescher Vik, Earl Austin, Alan Adams and Betty Ramsland were elected to the Duluth Art Institute Board of Directors at its annual meeting last week. Other members of the board include Tony Keane, president; Melanie Ford, vice president; Catherine Koemptgen, secretary; Karleen Tjepkema, treasurer; Joel Cooper, Elizabeth Ekberg Helmer, Joan Hedin, Rick Kollath, Robin Marsh, Susan McKinney, Linda Powless and Wendy Savage.

If you have an item to submit to Duluth Artscene, contact Joan Farnam, arts and entertainment editor, at 723-1207 or send e-mail to