6 MAY, 2005

Crossings at Carnegie is a very cool place in Zumbrota, Minnesota It's an art gallery, gift shop, and they have concerts, classes, and meetings there.

See  article in Rochester Women: Marie Marvin Creates Community at Crossings

The reason Crossings is "at Carnegie" is because it is in what was once the Zumbrota Library, one of the 2,509 libraries Andrew Carnegie constructed between 1881 and 1917, mostly in America, the British Isles and Canada. It was built in 1906, and has the distinction of being the smallest Carnegie Library in the state.

We went in the evening to see folksinger Claudia Schmidt perform. Crossings is a very intimate setting with a small stage and folding chair seating. No mics necessary! Claudia is a songwriter, singer, guitar player, mountain dulcimer player, and poet. During concerts, Biscuit the dog wanders amongst the audience gathering pats—a master at working the crowd!

The stage is set...

Still early on in the concert, you can see that it's still light outside. Claudia is casting her personal, vocal, and 12-string energy over the audience.

Sitting with her mountain dulcimer on her lap, Claudia exclaims "Look ma, no hands!"

Intermission time. We were seated in the front off to the left side. This guy was peering over my shoulder the whole time so I decided to introduce myself.

This very cool fellow up in balcony seating was trying to explain the the what Claudia's lyrics really meant to him. They were deep, very deep...

He tried to describe how elusive the meaning was by likening the lyrics to slippery fish—very hard to grasp and hold onto. I think I convinced him to lighten up and not try so hard. The meaning will come to him.

Watch out for flying sharks! Man, I didn't expect this to be a dangerous place!

I wandered down into the basement looking for the restroom. There was a beautiful Japanese lantern with cosmic decoration. What some colorful paper, wooden sticks, and ingenuity can do for a plain old light bulb!

Once I start to wander in a strange place I can't stop, especially if I have my camera. Here in a back room there was a ceramics workshop, complete with several wheels and a kiln. I assume that the equipment is used for classes.

These were actually made here? Wow!

Near the kiln was an adjustable stool. I admired it for its simple wooden construction

A ceramic figure was tucked back in the shadows on a shelf. A kneeling, singing woman forming the shape of a sphere in front of her. Perhaps this is some Tai Chi movement? Or does this symbolize her womb? Is she a Madonna figure? Now the meanings get deep and slip between my fingers!

Whatever we do, we must clean up afterwards!

Wow, I got so lost in the basement I almost missed the second half of the concert! Claudia finally decided to use her hands on the dulcimer with very beautiful results.

I must say that Claudia had some mighty interesting shoes. If you weren't looking at her face while she was singing, or her hands while she was playing instruments, you were definitely watching her shoes as she stepped!