Lennox high school Makes Top 50 Semi-Finalist for Vans Custom Culture Art Competition – Needs Community Vote to Make It to Top 5!

Lennox is one of the Top 50 finalists in the Vans Custom Culture art competition! Our students have been provided with four pairs of blank Vans shoes, which they have been tasked to design the four themes of Vans’ “Off the Wall” lifestyle: action sports, arts, music and local flavor. See pictures of our designs below.

The competition culminates in a final event this June where five schools will be awarded with an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to showcase their designs to a panel of celebrity judges. The top finalists will be selected through public voting starting now until May 11. Our school is currently listed along with all the other finalists at where people can go in and vote!

The winning school will receive $50,000 towards its art program and the potential of one of its designs sold in Vans retail location. The four-runner up schools will be receiving $4,000 towards their art program.

We are so excited and hoping maybe you can help us get the word out to get votes!

ANYONE CAN VOTE EVERY DAY ONE TIME UNTIL MAY 11th! Please help promote our school and funding for the arts!


After a wildly successful inagural event this past fall, EmBe is hosted its second STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Girl’s Maker Fair this past Saturday, April 22. Once again, JAM took part in this fantastic event geared towards building confidence in making, early exposure to an interdisciplinary approach, and getting girls excited about fields where women are traditionally under-represented. The fair featured booths that helped girls explore these academic areas with creativity and innovation. JAM had a blast creating junk sculptures with the girls, and weaving on our loom.
Be sure to keep your eyes open for the next Maker Day!

Photo by Maggie Flanders
Photo by Maggie Flanders
Photo by Maggie Flanders
Photo by Maggie Flanders
Photo by Wen Duan
Photo by Wen Duan

Augustana Senior Art Show

Fri Apr 28th – Sat May 20th
Eide/Dalrymple Gallery, 2001 S Grange Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57197

Graduating art students at Augustana University will present their senior show April 28 through May 20 at the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery. On exhibit will be a wide variety of works including ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, painting, drawing, digital photography and graphic design.

“Trash Collage”  13″ x 10″  by Courtney Hardie (JAM’s very own intern!)

Senior Artists:
Jada Arnott, an art and anthropology major from Sioux Falls
Noah Fisher, an art, anthropology and English major from Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Courtney Hardie, an art major with an entrepreneurship minor from Watertown, South Dakota
Tyler Johnson, a pre-professional art and K-12 education major from Luverne, Minnesota
Joseph Keating, an art and anthropology major from Sioux Falls
Samantha Levisay, an art and K-12 education major from Harrisburg, South Dakota
Ella Ng, an art major with a French minor from Hong Kong
Carl Norquist, an art and English major from Northfield, Minnesota
Evan Richards, an interdepartmental studies major with emphases in art, business and philosophy from Le Mars, Iowa
Julie Vu, an art and journalism major from Hanoi, Vietnam

The seniors will give artist talks at 7:30 p.m. at the opening awards reception on April 28, which will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Please, join us for an evening of food, conversation and a celebration of these seniors and the future of the visual arts.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by the families of Palmer Eide and Ogden Dalrymple for whom we are deeply grateful.

CFA: Storm Inlet Painting Project 2017

Storm Inlet Painting Project 2017
The City of Sioux Falls
in Partnership with the Visual Arts Commission

Purpose of Artwork:

The City of Sioux Falls’ storm drainage system is an important public utility and plays a vital role in public safety by quickly collecting water before it can accumulate and cause flooding. However, water that moves through the storm drainage system is discharged directly into the Big Sioux River with little or no treatment. To help raise awareness of the effect this has on water quality, the City of Sioux Falls partnered with local businesses, organizations, and individuals to paint murals on nine stormwater inlets downtown in 2016. The purpose of this project was to draw attention to the storm drainage system and to educate the public that stormwater is not treated. These paintings are intended to bring awareness to potential pollutants such as litter, debris, and hazardous chemicals entering the storm drainage system. This project will continue in 2017 by adding five more inlets in the downtown area to the program. To find out more about the project please visit


April 17, 2017: Project announcement

May8,2017at5p.m.: Submissiondeadline

May 16, 2017: Design selection
June 5–9, 2017: Storm inlet painting (*weather permitting)

Design Details:

The design should focus on water quality issues related to waterways or storm drains. This year’s theme is “The Big Sioux Needs You!” The design should warn against undesirable waste in the storm drain, including litter, pet waste, oil, chemicals, and yard waste. Or, the design can communicate how the storm drain leads to the Big Sioux River.

Submitted designs must be completed and in color. Submissions must include an attachment of one 8.5” x 11” illustration or photograph of the proposed artwork to keep on file. Artists may submit multiple entries. Only one entry per artist may be selected. Designs should include the entire top portion of the inlet lid. Manhole covers may also be painted. Painting the adjacent sidewalk or any area outside of the inlet lid will not be allowed. Also, painting the inside of the inlet will not be allowed.

Selected artists will be provided with paint for the designs, generously donated by Norberg Paints. Photos of the selected and completed storm drains will be posted to the City’s website ( and social media accounts. Each of the five selected artists will receive $200 compensation for their design and painting. Inlet covers will be prepped for painting by City staff with a clear prime coat. There will be an inlet reserved for youth submissions under the age of 18. If you or your organization would like to be considered for this category, please indicate this on your application submission.

Please contact the City of Sioux Falls Public Works Environmental division with any questions regarding your design.


Application Process:

Submissions should be addressed to Jessica Lantgen. They may be hand-delivered to 1017 East Chambers Street, Sioux Falls, SD; mailed to Public Works Environmental, 224 West Ninth Street, P.O. Box 7402, Sioux Falls, SD 57117-7402; or emailed to with the subject “Storm Inlet Painting Submission.” Designs must be submitted by 5 p.m. on May 8, 2017. The following information must be included for your submission to be considered:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Link to portfolio (or attach/include design[s])
  • Short statement about inspiration for design
  • Colored 8.5” x 11” illustration or photograph of artwork
  • Category: adult -or- youth (under 18 years old)

    Judging/Awards Criteria:

    The design submissions will be juried by the Sioux Falls Visual Arts Commission in partnership with the Sioux Falls Sustainability Program. Selection criteria will include, but will not be limited to, the following:

    1. 1)  Appropriateness—How is the content or obvious symbolism of the proposed piece of artwork appropriate for those who will view the art, and is it within the context of the site where it will be viewed? Is the artwork in concert with the theme?
    2. 2)  Relevance—Does the artwork seem particularly relevant to the place where it will be displayed or to the public who will view it?
    3. 3)  Site plan—Does the scale of the artwork fit appropriately within and complement and/or enhance the physical location where it will be placed?
    4. 4)  Visibility/impact—Does the proposed location offer high visibility and/or impact to the public?


    Jessica Lantgen
    City of Sioux Falls, Public Works Environmental division 1017 East Chambers Street
    Sioux Falls, SD 57104


by Emma Johnson

Friday, April 14, I had the pleasure of witnessing something that doesn’t happen too often in the art world – an exhibit comprised entirely of student work. The show, titled Elements: work from USD’s Sculpture Culture, featured artworks from both undergraduate and graduate sculpture students at the University of South Dakota. The exciting display highlighted the array of mediums and techniques that USD sculpture students are utilizing in their art making.       -Emma

Close up of Mikayla Tuttle’s “Cairn,” 2105, wood and steel

Third year sculpture student Courtney LaVallie’s piece immediately caught my attention as it seemed to be floating in the corner of the room. The work, titled “Unraveling Universe and Her Tears,” appeared as nest of wood strips tangled into an impossible egg shape. Upon closer inspection an opening in the front of the “egg” revealed a web of beaded droplets inside. LaVallie said she is most drawn to sculpture because of its versatility – “I can use any material I want, anything I can find can be made into a piece of art.” LaVallie is primarily interested in processes such as wood carving and metal casting.

Liela Ghasempor, “Rage,” 2016, Stoneware clay

In addition to wood working, the exhibit featured pieces of cast iron as well as ceramic works, such as graduate student Amy Fill’s series of porcelain cups titled, “Dynasty”. These ironically elegant forms resemble tin cans covered in soft, rusty orange and blue flowers. “Dynasty” highlights sculpture’s ability to include countless mediums and techniques in order to create a three dimensional piece. Fill works consistently with found-objects, ready-mades, and industrial materials.

Amy Fill, “Dynasty,” Wood and salt-fired, slip cast porcelain, commercial stencils

A particularly charming piece was Beckett Smith’s “Silhouette”. This one-legged stool defied gravity in the center of the gallery, while its shadow (a thin piece of wood painted black and laid out on the floor) revealed all four legs! This work not only made some great art historical references (Duchamp anyone?), but added a sense of humor and whimsy to the exhibit.

Ben Powers, “Container,” 2017, wood

The back gallery at Exposure featured USD student, Leila Ghasempor’s solo show. Ghasempor was the winner of Exposure’s Solo Show award at the annual Stilwell Juried Art Show that occurred this past January. A quick look around the room made it quite evident why Ghasempor received this award. The artist chose to display a series of striking ceramic busts that she created last summer. Each face was carefully twisted and molded into fantastic facial expressions that reveal Ghasempor’s anti-war advocacy. Although her solo show contained only ceramic works, Ghasempor utilizes a number of mediums; one of which is performance. The piece that Ghasempor performed at the opening of her solo show further emphasized the anti-war theme that runs through much of her work.

Leila Ghasempor, “Terrified,” 2016, Stoneware clay

Students such as Cody Robinson (a senior sculptor) feel that Sculpture Culture is a term used to define the sense of community that sculpture students have formed with one another. Robinson has stated that he enjoys being a part of a group that he can share his ideas with.

Dani Backer, “Blanket,” 2016, wood

The Sculpture Culture show brought to light the sensational student work that all too often remains in the studio as opposed to the gallery. While this group of student artists agree upon the importance of Sculpture Culture, LaVallie has pointed out the importance and necessity of student-led exhibits. LaVallie believes these “are important for students because it gives [them] an opportunity to see [their] work outside of the studio.” Student-led shows also allow young artists to make necessary connections with their audience and other artists working in their community.


by Hannah Wendt

With the days getting longer and the sunset guiding my footsteps, where do I go on April’s First Friday night? Downtown Sioux Falls!

Taking the hands of my 7-year-old sister and 4-year-old niece, our first destination is one of our top favorite places in Sioux Falls, the Washington Pavilion Visual Arts Center. March’s First Friday event hosted several new exhibits, so April’s was a continuation of most of the same works. However, twice visited is great for the younger, or the younger at heart, as the building continually offers a fun learning environment.

After our adventure cravings were filled by the Pavilion, we decided to walk (more like skip) across the street to the Sioux Falls Design Center. For the last while, popping into the Design Center to see what they are all about was on one of my priority lists. I led my two companions through the door, and, wowza, I’m glad the three of us stopped in during Free First Friday! They were demonstrating how to complete your own screen printing…with Easter designs on cards! We followed a helpful individual to a table set up with colored card stock, and already prepared screen printing boxes. The process of pulling a squeegee across an ink covered screen onto the paper underneath to produce something entirely new fascinated anyone inexperienced with printing. So, for my little sister and niece, it was the equivalent of finding a treasure chest in a never before discovered cave.

Eight-thirty rolled by, and signs of tiring feet, tiring eyes, and tiring minds appeared. Our First Friday trio called it a night. Moreover, it would be a challenge to contain our excitement for the fun that was set to be had the next morning. We looked forward to exploring new ways of doing origami at JAM Art and Supplies with local artist, Reina Okawa, who will be putting the origami pieces together into a full scale installation at the Washington Pavilion. Oh, what great things Sioux Falls is holding for us in the near future!


by Tana Zwart

The Sioux Falls Mayor’s Disability Awareness Commission hosted their 7th annual ARTability reception at the Museum of Visual Materials on April First Friday. Roughly 60 local artists with disabilities displayed limitless creativity in a wide range of mediums; even needlepoint and macrame. Melodies from local flautist, Vicki Kerkvliet, provided ambience while over 130 guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, and perused the large exhibition.

The transforming and therapeutic nature of art seemed to be a prevalent, collective undertone. One artist noted a drastic evolution in her paintings from when she initially started creating. The angry stark blacks and piercing reds she described of her first works compared to the prominently more colorful, abstract pieces she had displayed that night, was a testament to an internal shift that can come from finding an outlet that fits.

The exhibition was a one-night event, as opposed to previous years where the art hung in the museum for a month prior to the reception. Many of the pieces were available for purchase, with all of the funds going directly back to the artist.

It would be wonderful to see more faces of the art community at next year’s event. Keep it on your radar. I promise, you won’t want to miss it!



Bria Neff’s Earth Day Art Reception

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- We brought you multiple stories of 10-year-old Bria Neff, who helps saves endangered animals and species, which she’s still doing.

However, in honor of earth day today Bria invited kids to do some chalk drawings on the sidewalk as part of the Truffula Tree project inspired by Dr. Seuss’s book the Lorax.

Bria says the project helps empower kids to find their inner artist. She also sold some of her newest art pieces at Coffea Roasterie.

Bria says her goal is to raise 15 thousand dollars by the end of the year to help organizations that help endangered species.

She has raised ten thousand so far and she says when it comes to saving the planet and animals we all have a role to play.

“We all have a right to live on this planet and everybody is important and everybody has a role to play in the world, “says Neff.

She plans to donate the money to IFAW, Jane Goodall Institute, and the New York Wolf Conservation Center.

To donate to Bria’s cause visit her Facebook page or website.

via KSFY. To view the video and more, click here.


Earth Day 
Saturday, April 22, all weekend

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, norhing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Join many others during Earth Day weekend by coloring walks with chalk. The #TruffulaTreeProject is meant to inspire the love from the beloved story “The Lorax.”
Cover walks with colorful Truffula Trees, take pics and post to social media with #TruffulaTreeProject.


Families create art together

The Brandon Elementary School cafeteria was packed with students and families from Brandon Elementary School and Valley Springs Elementary School Thursday, March 23, for fine arts experiences as part of Fine Arts Night 2017.

Students screen-printed T-shirts, created objects out of clay, designed mini paintings or flags, watched a caricature artist at work, played African drum rhythms and more, according to a press release.

Students and parents worked together as a family, said Erin Rieff, a kindergarten through fourth-grade teacher at Brandon Elementary School and Valley Springs Elementary School.

“My favorite part of the night is seeing the parents sit down with their kids to enjoy uninterrupted creative time together,” she said. “Visual Art fires parts of the brain that we need to nurture more often. These kiddos are 21st-century learners, and they need to observe, explore, create, communicate, collaborate, lead, critically think, organize and problem solve. Art is an environment where they are nurtured to develop all of these skills. It is amazing to see parents supporting their kids at an event like this.”…

via the Argus. To view more, click here.

Visual arts alive and well at DRHS

With more than 80 students enrolled in fourth-quarter classes, the high school art room is a busy place during the school day.

This April and May will also prove to be busy months for art students as advanced students prepare for two student shows in May. On May 6, the Dell Rapids Museum – under the direction of show organizer Craig Kumerfield – has invited students to display their art work at a community show.

Part of the show is open to adult artists, who will be also displaying their work.

Altogether, it sounds like a great community event, and we look forward to showing you all what we can do. We hope that you will stop down to the museum on Saturday, May 6, and take a look at our work.

via the Argus. To view more, click here.

Sioux Falls Kindergartners Help Kids Through Artwork

A couple classes from Sonia Sotomayor Elementary School took a field trip to the Sanford Castle today.

They drew pictures that will be hung up in the Sanford Castle. There are five different outdoor themes for the pictures including, “enchanted forest”, “deep blue waters”, and “wide windy prairie.”

The artwork gives sick children something to look at and enjoy while they are staying at Sanford.

“I think that’s going to really help out with the kids who are in the hospital knowing that other kids are thinking about them and wishing them well. And then these kids knowing that they did something that’s potentially going to uplift a child in the hospital. It’s kind of a win-win,” said Jessie Park the Sanford Arts Program Coordinator.

The 10 best drawings from the five themes will be put on display in the Castle and the rest of the art will be given to the patients.

via KDLT.

for Sioux Falls Artists