November 7-First Friday Review

Seven o’clock on Friday night rolled around, the winds picked up, preparing us for First Fridays to come. Here are the places I got to enjoy art and artists on the first wintery First Friday of the season.

Coffea Espresso Bar and Roasterie

FFNov7_JessJohnson1The first stop this fabulous First Friday in downtown Sioux Falls was at Coffea Roasterie to see our very own Jess Miller-Johnson’s art reception. Her show, FRESH HOLDS, included Continue reading November 7-First Friday Review

An Ear to the Ground

[T Wei – Untitled]

New book released for all you illustrators out there from PictoplasmaCharacter Portraits is a collection of works by a giant group of artists and illustrators. Here is  great byline for the book created by its inceptors: “In our postdigital culture, fantasy and imagination take a back seat to the photographic spectacle. As a visual antidote to the current craze for saccharine pet pictures and selfies ad nauseam, international illustrators, graphic designers and artists confront us with a stunning new generation of imaginary character portraits that hold us in the grip of their gaze.” Continue reading An Ear to the Ground

Art and Electioneering: A Short History of Campaign Posters

In the United States, art and politics have long been uneasy bedfellows. This has largely been true since  the onset of the Cold War, which effectively silenced many artists who had been weaned on the radical, leftist ideologies that had prevailed among the American avant-garde during the Twenties and Thirties.

Today, the trend has reversed itself somewhat.  On the whole, however, art remains more an instrument of personal expression (or simply “art for art’s sake”) than a means for making big political statements.

But even if artists try to stay away from politics, politics is by no means devoid of art. One can see this every election year, when Americans are inundated with paraphernalia from various political campaigns: posters, flyers, buttons bumper stickers, etc. Among these, posters tend to be the most interesting and the most likely to yield iconic cultural images.

So, in honor of election day 2014, let’s take look back at the history of the too-often neglected art of the campaign poster.

The first American president to use campaign posters to great effect was John Quincy Adams, who won the hotly contested election of 1824. They began to take on more interesting forms, however, during the presidential election of 1840, which saw the coming out party of Whig Party candidate and Indian Wars veteran William Henry Harrison.

Running under the slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”, Harrison styled himself as a bona fide Continue reading Art and Electioneering: A Short History of Campaign Posters

Around and About – Up In Smoke Pottery

For Chad Dykstra, pottery began as just a hobby. He was introduced to the art by his father-in-law and started throwing back in 1992. It wasn’t until gentle prodding from his wife to start selling his creations in 2008 that he decided to turn his hobby into a way of life and the business now known as Up In Smoke Pottery.

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Chad and his wife Kiesha work together on the pieces. He usually throws all of the pieces and his wife does the finishing and glazing. They do a few different types of pottery; Pit fire, foil saggar, paper saggar, obvara, and blackware are each beautiful in their own ways. Plus, these pieces really travel well. Up In Smoke Pottery has sold pieces all over the United States and Canada. They’ve also won Continue reading Around and About – Up In Smoke Pottery

Kimble Bromley’s Art of Hypnosis

Picasso famously said that “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Kimble Bromley believes he has found one potential solution: hypnosis.

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Last Saturday, Bromley, whose series Moby Dick is currently on display at the Washington Pavilion, conducted a hypnosis workshop intended to unleash the inner child-artist of all those in attendance, including this writer.

Each participant was asked to Continue reading Kimble Bromley’s Art of Hypnosis

Celebrate Halloween: Francisco Goya and Cindy Sherman Style

Halloween is once again upon us, and, while art is not usually thought of as a great source thrills and chills, there have been plenty artists whose work channels the spirit of the holiday.

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One is the Spanish painter and print-maker Francisco Goya, who emerged as part of the early 19th century Romantic movement. Like his contemporary Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) Goya proved Continue reading Celebrate Halloween: Francisco Goya and Cindy Sherman Style

An Ear to the Ground #15

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[Iv Solyaev – Untitled]

Gulu Real Art Studio: Found Photograph book by Martina Bacigalupo Continue reading An Ear to the Ground #15

Around and About – Photographing Artwork

Are you discouraged from entering your work into exhibitions and ignore calls for artists because you don’t have quality images of your work? Are you thinking about getting prints of your painting? Do you need a website, but lack ambition because you lack outstanding photographs?camera-artist-taking-photograph-sioux-fallsIt can be an expensive process to have someone else do this for you. I work in a printshop where I’ve photographed and scanned art. In order to get the best looking photo of your work, take the class at Exposure Gallery & Studios and learn from a professional!

This Sunday afternoon from Continue reading Around and About – Photographing Artwork

LAURA JEWELL – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

LAURA-JEWELL-FEATUREDWhat does home mean? Is it where you were raised? Where you are now? Even if you’ve never left, there is that special gut feeling that just tells you… you are here. You are home. The sanctity of that word blankets many attachments to the notion. That creaky second stair on your family’s porch, the soft nape of your mother’s neck, the warm smell of the wood burning tool you were given as a child. Anything can be home, if it is home to you. Laura Jewell recognizes the importance of knowing your home, and understanding your roots.

 Laura is the kind of person that makes you want to close your eyes and smile. She has a captivating, almost magical quality to her that is effortlessly translated into her artwork. Her most recent series, Rural Superstitions and Astrology, focuses on different lessons she has taken from Old Farmer’s Almanacs. In approaching these lessons, Jewell has had the opportunity to reconnect to her roots as a country girl from rural Kansas, and find re-purpose in the activities of her youth. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to hear her words, and am happy to share them with you. Please read on, and reflect on the lessons that you’ve learned, and the home that you hold dear.  -Amy

What is the path that has led you to where you are today?

I’ve been interested in art since I can remember. I grew up in the country, in Kansas, and my first art set was a wood burning tool, which I thought was the coolest. I did 4H and did the arts and crafts, did that in high school. Then when I went to college I tried some different things, like Agriculture Business. I just wasn’t into the math part of things, so I started taking art classes and went from there. I moved up here and finished school at USD,  and just kept going I guess.

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Were you attending school in Kansas before USD? What was your major?

Yes, I have a BFA in printmaking.

Did you have mentors, or anyone that helped you through the schooling process?

I had a lot of really fantastic professors. I took a couple of classes from Continue reading LAURA JEWELL – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

An Ear to the Ground #14

[Carsten HollerUpside Down Mushroom Room]

Giving Kids LSD Since 1980: Carsten Holler’s Shroom Room

Carsten Holler is back with another life reversing installation at the Gagosian Gallery booth at Frieze in London. I wish I could attend this one. I am always attracted to large exhibits that separate viewers from reality.

Ant Man Strength:  Shanghai’s Migrant Workers

“Shanghai’s migrant workers are the foundation of Continue reading An Ear to the Ground #14

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