All posts by Tana Zwart

Why does this advertising agency have an art gallery inside its office?

Walk into Fresh Produce’s offices in downtown Sioux Falls, and you may start out a little confused. There’s no front desk, but there are some cubicles back there. And, is this an art gallery or something?

Yes. You’re standing in Ipso Gallery. The gallery as the advertising agency’s front door is exactly the point, immediately showcasing the firm’s creativity.

“We like that it’s the first thing somebody experiences when they come in and meet us,” said Ted Heeren, co-owner of Fresh Produce. “This is what we value — it’s putting our values right in front of our space. It’s the thing we care about most.”

Ipso Gallery has become a foundational part of Fresh Produce, serving as an inspiration and laboratory for creativity.

“It’s part of our culture,” said Mike Hart, Fresh Produce’s other co-owner.

But the gallery has become much more than a spur for the imagination. It has become a fixture in the local arts community and calling card for new businesses.

“For us, in our ethic, we talk a lot about everything connecting back to ideas, and I’ve heard a lot of clients and visitors making that connection” through the gallery, Hart said. “We’re able to show them we’re creative without telling them we’re creative. So I think that’s been a really powerful message. It’s the first thing they experience when they walk in our space.”

‘A disarming gallery’

Ten years ago, Heeren and Hart moved Fresh Produce from Brandon to Sioux Falls and decided to open a space with cubicles, offices and an art gallery that spill into each other.

They decided to call it Ipso, because it was a short word and fun to say – like “bingo” or “Murdo,” said Heeren…

via The Argus. To view more, click here.

Alumni Event: AU Alumni Community Service Day

Event Details

Date: April 21, 2018

Times: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.; Registration at 8 a.m.; Kickoff Celebration at 8:30 a.m.; Service Projects from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Location: Registration and Kickoff at the AU Morrison Commons Circle Patio

RSVP to participate.

In celebration of our 100th year in Sioux Falls, alumni and their families are invited to give back to the city Augustana calls home by participating in service activities on Saturday, April 21, that benefit the local community.

Service Projects

  • AU Campus Cleanup: Time for some spring cleaning right here on campus! Volunteers will help with light yard work and help our alma mater look her very best as we celebrate her 100th year in Sioux Falls. Bring gardening/work gloves if you have them. Children ages 8 and older are invited to help with this project. (Limit 25) 
  • Boys & Girls Club of the Sioux Empire (BGCSE): Amy Sumner ’87 has requested help from volunteers with painting at one of the Boys & Girls Club facilities. The goal of BGCSE is to provide a developmentally appropriate program to enable each child to grow intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially while becoming aware of their surroundings and their abilities. Children ages 8 and older are invited to help with this project. All supplies will be provided. (Limit 10) 
  • JAM Art & Supplies: JAM was created by Jess Miller ’09 to provide information about the underground art scene, artists, and art events. JAM opened Sioux Falls’ first Creative Reuse store, a store that resells unused or like-new donated craft and art supplies. JAM is looking for help with sorting supplies, folding fabrics, and organizing closets. Children are invited to help with this project. (Limit 20) 
  • Washington Pavilion: Come, be a part of the 2018 Design Challenge! Teams of elementary through high school students will be challenged to design and create a superhero and a gadget or powers that address a specific task that would better humankind. Volunteers are needed to help with judging different elements of the competition, tallying score sheets, updating the leader board, and helping at the registration table. Children ages 13 and older are invited to help with this project. (Limit 10)

RSVP to participate.

ReStorAtion Art Auction Event

It’s time to invite your friends and family!

Dear friends, bidders and artists,

We are excited for the fifth annual Habitat art auction. It’s hard to believe it’s already been five years. And thanks to your help, we’ve raised enough to roof THREE Habitat houses in four years!

Saturday, April 21
7 pm
The District (near the Empire Mall)
Free admission

We have the most unique, creative collection yet! Americana art, doggie beds, sofa tables, potting tables, stained glass and fish to name just a few…

105 works!! ALL made with ReStore items.


2018 South Dakota State Arts Conference

SIOUX FALLS, SD (April 5, 2018) Arts South Dakota, the South Dakota Arts Council and the Sioux Falls Arts Council are excited to welcome art enthusiasts from every corner of the state to converge at the Downtown Holiday Inn City Centre in Sioux Falls, SD for the 2018 South Dakota State Arts Conference on May 4 & 5, 2018. The South Dakota State Arts Conference occurs every five years, and 2018 is the first time the conference is taking place in Sioux Falls. Organizers are pleased to offer a reduced registration fee of $125 and a reduced hotel rate of $124 until April 16, 2018. For more information on visit

The conference is the state’s biggest arts event of the year and an opportunity to celebrate South Dakota’s unique cultural heritage and vibrant arts community. Attendees will have the opportunity to share their enthusiasm for the arts and network with national and state leaders.

The conference’s three keynote speakers are top arts professionals and leaders. First, at 6 p.m. on Friday May 4, Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts will serve as the opening Keynote Speaker. Cohen will talk about building a healthier South Dakota through the arts—how we derive not just cultural benefits from the arts, but also how we benefit socially, educationally, and economically—making our communities a great place to live and work.

Next, at 8:30 a.m. on May 5 Janet Brown, Past President & CEO of Grantmakers in the Arts, will offer a welcome keynote. Brown will focus on the arts for changing times and share what a successful arts organization looks like in 2018.

Finally, at 11:30 a.m. on May 5, Jane Chu, Chairman at National Endowment for the Arts, will serve as the lunch keynote speaker. Chairman Chu will focus on the impact of the arts in South Dakota and communities across the nation.

Along with the keynote presentations, the weekend will have helpful and practical learning sessions, as well as exciting art, performances and presenters who are the best in their fields.

The weekend of the conference will also see the installation of the 2018 Sioux Falls SculptureWalk pieces, with new sculptures and artists throughout downtown Sioux Falls on the morning of Saturday, May 5.

The South Dakota State Conference is sponsored by The White Wall Sessions, Workplace I.T. Management, First Bank & Trust, Sanford Health and Jack & Linda Stengel.

For more information on the 2018 South Dakota State Arts Conference schedule and presenters, visit the Arts South Dakota website,

Arts South Dakota, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, enriches the lives of South Dakotans and their visitors, by advancing the arts through service, education and advocacy. Launched in November 2015, Arts South Dakota is a statewide arts service and advocacy organization headquartered in Sioux Falls. It brings vitality to South Dakota communities and enriches people’s lives through the promotion of the creativity and visitor industries, by nurturing cultural leadership and education, and recognizing artistic excellence. The private, nonprofit group works closely with the South Dakota Arts Council, the state and federally funded division of South Dakota Tourism.

via SFAC.

Young Sioux Falls artist recognized for work with endangered species

She is a Sioux Falls artist whose work is having a real impact worldwide and she is only in 5th grade.

Tonight at the Washington Pavilion, Bria Neff was awarded an engraved silver medallion by Prudential Insurance as at of their “Spirit of Community Awards”.
Bria paints pictures of endangered animals then sells them and gives the proceeds to groups working to save those species. To date, her work has raised $13,000. “I love to draw and paint so I thought I could do something that I love and help save endangered species.”

Another award; Bria is going to Washington D-C later this month to be recognized in the nation’s capitol. She also won $1,000.

via KSFY. To view more, click here.


by Lucy Chambers
JAM Contributing Writer

If you cannot draw, it just means you haven’t learned yet! Learning to draw is about mindset, practice, and joy. It is one of those wonderfully rewarding activities that does not discriminate by age or location. Drawing can be engaged in anywhere, by anyone. There are a few things that you need to get started.

The artistic mindset

The 2.1 million paid artists in the United States all started somewhere. Luckily, in the virtual age that we live in, we have access to online tutorials and blog posts that sole purpose is to help with some aspect of improvement. Anyone can learn to create thoughtful portraits or stunning sunsets. Many people start by accessing a comprehensive site that shows them step by step how to complete a specific task – like a clear tutorial on drawing curly hair. Then they progress on to adding color and creating a design. Following a tutorial shows you that you can achieve when you are drawing; that is the beginning step to building your artistic mindset.

Use your mind differently

One step to learning to draw is to harness the power of your mind to achieve a calm, concentrated state. A creative zone can be created by your mind, and it is what professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls ‘flow’. He states that a feeling of flow leads to a ‘loss of inner-critic’. When you use your mind to create flow when you are drawing, you can engage more fully in the creative process, and your mind often rewards you by releasing dopamine, which is a chemical that makes you feel good. Therefore, step number one to creating flow is to turn off the mobile phone – or eliminate distractions. Next, you must work on a piece of drawing that is at the right skill level for you. Aiming for something too ambitious too soon will not achieve flow and will, instead, plunge your brain into anxiety, where you may become distracted and even bored.

The creative mind needs a team

Learning to draw sounds like something that needs to be solitary. In actual fact, you may respond better if you are surrounded by like- minded people, building a sense of community and engaging in the same creative task. Drawing with your children, your grandmother and even your date can keep your spirits high, and they can sometimes celebrate success where you are slow to see it yourself. Some people have found that organizing craft or drawing parties softens their entry into the creative scene and makes the experience accessible for all.

Anyone can learn to draw. With a continually developing mindset that sets you up for success, and a community to support you, it can be a truly joyous all-encompassing activity. Why not get started today?

Lucy Chambers is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across a variety of sectors. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job, and loves the work-life balance it offers her.

5-year pursuit toward Arc of Dreams culminates

The Arc of Dreams is going to happen.

The metaphorical leap of faith Jim Clark and Paul Schiller took when they set out to make Sioux Falls a premier destination for public art will pay off this week when work starts on the massive downtown sculpture.

Created by renowned South Dakota artist Dale Lamphere, the Arc of Dreams will span 280 feet from end to end – nearly the size of football field – across the Big Sioux River in the heart of the city and is expected to be a staple of the region’s art scene for years to come.

But for Clark, Schiller and other Sioux Falls SculptureWallk volunteers and staff, the Arc of Dreams and its design represent the spirit of the city and their journey to make the arc a reality.

A 15-foot gap in the middle of the massive stainless arc represents the risk and uncertainty that must be overcome when chasing dreams, ambitions and goals…

via The Argus. To view more, click here.

Federal arts funding spared in budget bill

Once again, federal funding for the arts has been spared.

The $1.3 trillion budget signed Friday by President Donald Trump continues support for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and other agencies he sought to eliminate.

It’s the second straight year Congress restored funding in response to Trump’s calls for ending such programs as the NEH, the NEA and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The money is used for everything from scholarly research to local theater productions.

The NEH and NEA each will receive $3 million increases, to just under $153 million per agency. The CPB’s budget was kept the same, at $465 million. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is getting a $9 million increase, to $240 million.

via KSFY. To view more, click here.

Scenes From South Dakota Art Reception

Beautiful South Dakota photography. Beautiful modern folk music. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages. All for free… at a credit union?

You bet.

We’re excited to showcase Christian Begeman’s amazing South Dakota photography from 5-8 – plus live folk, Americana and jazz music with Jami Lynn from 6:30-7:30. See you there!

April 19 at 5:00 PM8:00 PM CDT
Voyage Federal Credit Union / Dawley Farm Branch