At The Phipps Center for the Arts

“The Savannah Sipping Society” features actors Darcy McDowell of Stillwater, Jennifer Allton of New Richmond, Megan Rowe of Minneapolis and Mary Beth Arthaud of New Richmond. (Submitted photo)

Director comments on ‘The Savannah Sipping Society’

“The Savannah Sipping Society,” a comedy by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten, will be performed Sept. 15 through Oct. 1, on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sundays at 2:30 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts is Hudson, Wis.

Director Marcie Berg explains that “Savannah” is the story of four very different middle age Southern women who find themselves alone at this stage in their lives. “It is a story about their journey to become friends, but it is not just about friendship. They all had the rug pulled out from underneath them and they need to find new meaning in life.”

Jennifer Allton of New Richmond, plays Randa, a perfectionist and overachiever. Dot, portrayed by Megan Rowe of Minneapolis, is a new widow. Darcy McDowell of Stillwater is cast as the scandalous MarlaFaye, reeling from a recent divorce. Jinx, played by Mary Beth Arthaud of New Richmond, has her own issues to address, even though she tries to mentor the others. The director speaks highly of this cast, “They are incredibly fun and work very hard. We laugh so much and have so much fun at rehearsals.”

Berg comments, “It’s hilarious and heartwarming. You will laugh and you will cry. It is a universal story that can relate to anyone who needs to find a new life for themselves.”

Tickets are $26 for adults and $19 for students of all ages, with a $2 discount for seniors on the Sunday matinees. Discounts are available by purchasing season tickets. Reservations may be made by contacting The Phipps ticket office at 715-386-8409 or online at

Champagne brunch cruise and theater packages are available for the Sunday matinees. Reservations may be made by contacting Afton-Hudson Cruise Lines at 651.436.8883 or online at

Photography class at The Phipps

A Beginning Digital Photography class, for ages 14 through adult, will be offered on Tuesdays, October 3-24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wis.

This four-week class provides a basic understanding of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, and their roles in creating a balanced exposure. The class also will cover depth of field and its use in the composition of a photograph. The goal of this class is to teach students to begin seeing their environment in such a way that will yield photographs with good composition suitable for framing.

Instructor Bob Lyksett holds a bachelor’s degree in photography and has worked as a news photographer for the ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City. He has been a photography instructor for the Park City School District in Utah, and enjoys photographing sports of all kinds along with anything to do with the outdoors. To see Lyksett’s work, go to

The fee for this class is $99. For more information or to register, go to, call 715-386-2305, or stop by the center.

Surface Decoration Workshop with Ceramic Artist Glynnis Lessing

A Surface Decoration Workshop: Make a Faux Bois Plate, offered by Glynnis Lessing of Northfield, Minn., will be held Saturday, Oct. 14, 1-3 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wis.

Lessing will begin this workshop with a presentation about her work and demonstration of the techniques she uses to make a slab covered with slip and “stretch” the image to create a faux bois (fake wood grain) texture. Each participant will then make his/her own slab and cut it into a plate shape. These will be bisque-fired and clear-glazed by Phipps ceramics staff, and ready to be picked up two weeks later.

Lessing became interested in clay at age 9 when she learned to throw from a Japanese potter at Carleton College. This began a lifelong love of ceramics. She made pots in high school, working for a potter, and at the University of Minnesota to earn her B.F.A. Lessing moved to Chicago to work and raise a family, and began working and teaching at Lillstreet Art Center. In 2008, she started participating in shows and art fairs on a full-time basis. She eventually moved back to Minnesota in 2012 to teach at the Northern Clay Center. Lessing’s studio is in her grandfather’s old milking parlor on the ancestral farm where she now lives with her family, surrounded by their small flock of chickens, the trees her grandfather planted, and the fertile earth.

An exhibition of Lessing’s work will be on view in the Atrium Gallery Sept. 15 through Oct. 22. Meet the artist at a free public reception on Friday, September 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The fee for this workshop is $44, including all materials and supplies. For more information or to register, go to, call 715-386-2305, or stop by the center.

Private flute, piano lessons

Private flute and piano instruction for ages five through adults is available on Fridays at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson.

Sue Christian, a K-12 music education graduate of Luther College, has taught privately since she was 16. One of her favorite teaching opportunities is that of the Hudson Middle School Band Camp, at which she works with budding young flutists.

A member of the Wisconsin Music Teachers’ Association, she is involved locally with the St. Croix Music Teachers Association, offering piano performance opportunities to students of all ages. Also a member of the Upper Midwest Flute Association, Christian has tutored students who have won competitions in both organizations. One of her former flute students, as a sophomore in high school, earned the prestigious opportunity to perform in the top 12 for a national competition to solo with the Air Force Band. This student went on to pursue a career in flute performance at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Christian also has extensive experience in accompanying soloists and ensembles as a collaborating pianist in college-level recitals as well as festivals in area schools. In addition, she accompanied The Phipps Festival Chorus and The Phipps Oratorio Society for numerous years.

If interested in a free trial lesson in either flute, piano, or both, contact The Phipps at 715-386-2305.

Members’ Spotlight closes Sept. 10

The Members’ Spotlight exhibition will be on view through September 10 in The Galleries of The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wis. This show features 189 original works of art by 111 participating artists. A broad range of media is represented, including painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, pottery, fashion design, wearable art, jewelry, stained glass, and more.

Together, members of The Phipps are a creative network joined by the belief in the center’s mission to “celebrate the creative spirit.” All members were encouraged to share their unique creative talents in the 2017 Members’ Spotlight and connect with other members who have similar creative inclinations.

The Galleries are free and open to the public. Galleries hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday, 12 noon to 4:30 p.m., as well as one hour before and through intermission of all performances in The Phipps theaters. The center will be closed September 2-4 in observance of Labor Day.

The Phipps is located 15 miles east of St. Paul. Take Hudson Exit 1 off I-94, Hwy 35 North, and turn west on Locust Street.