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March 7, 2005 // UPDATED 1:52 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Polar expressions

Why did the Norwegian adventurer cross the Arctic? Just to get to the other side (bad joke). But it rings true. Borge Ousland's adventures are about discovering the unknown turf on the other side.

Ousland crossed the North and South Poles because he's a risk-taker and a pioneer. To endure an 82-day hike across the North Pole, Ousland explained that he had to live like an animal. He learned to grunt at the sun and sniff the wind before setting off for his next stop. Although he was accustomed to solitary travels - consider his solo ski expeditions across Greenland, and from Siberia to the North Pole, from the Weddell Sea to the South Pole, as well as one through Antarctica - his latest adventure was especially testing.

His water supply nearly reached zero, he injured himself and had to swim across icy streams as he eluded wolves, bears and pressure ridges.

Get a taste for this "National Geographic" speaker's cold and unfathomable expeditions through his personal stories, accompanied by slides and video.

Th Mar. 10, 7:30 p.m., State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave. S., $27-$37. (651) 989-5151, www.NationalGeographic.com/nglive/minneapolis

Graphic painters

Finally, these graphic designers get to be themselves, unrestricted on the canvas. At least for now, they don't have to follow anybody's instructions. They can even be messy if they want to be; with their liberty, these designers find their Zen.

For Janet Leadholm, who hasn't picked up a brush in two decades, it was miniature landscapes that unleashed her creative juices. Jennifer Nelson planted and painted peaceful gardens with sweeping brushstrokes, while Ben Olson found a muse in his relationship with his girlfriend, with countless layers of washed-out paint. Kate Pabst incorporated Spam into her collages, Eddie Hamilton conjured blurred abstractions and Mike Sweere swooped over seemingly endless landscapes comprised of tranquil patterns.

W-Sa Thru Mar. 12, W, F-Sa noon- 5p.m., Th noon-7 p.m., Outsiders and Others, 1010 Park Ave. S., Free. 338-3435. www.outsidersandothers.org.