Category Archives: Around and About

Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami

(June 24-September 16, 2017)
Everest Gallery of the Washington Pavilion

It seems to me that the Washington Pavilion often appears as just a landmark to Sioux Falls inhabitants, and not much else. Contrary to this perception, however, the Pavilion is always changing; providing new sights, activities, and learning experiences. Recently, the Pavilion’s Visual Arts Center staff transformed their largest gallery (the Everest Gallery) to accommodate an exhibition that travels internationally. The show, Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami, has been traveling since 2015, and features unique works of origami from artists around the world.

***********************

With my first step into the gallery, I was immediately aware that I would not be peering at any paper cranes that day. Instead, I was greeted by whimsical, inflated creatures that dangled from the ceiling, and fantastic forms encased in blown glass bubbles that surely could not be made of paper. The Pavilion’s assistant curator, Sarah Odens, was right when she stated that this “is origami like most of us have never seen before.” The works vary from large-scale installations, to optical illusions that hang flat on the wall. A massive, seven-foot-tall piece by Jiangmei Wu, is waiting in the back of the gallery to take your breath away!

While exploring the show, I also took some time to watch the PBS film that is screening in gallery. To my surprise, the artists interviewed within the film are many of the same artists featured within this show. I’m glad I took a few minutes to listen, as it outlined how these artists are at the forefront of the origami realm, but are also wildly intelligent engineers, architects, and mathematicians. They are not only changing the way we think about origami, but also how the science of folding can be applied to real world problems! I learned that origami artists like Robert Lang and Erik and Martin Demaine have used paper folding to solve issues surrounding air bag folding, expandable space telescopes, and human proteins that fold to fight disease!

I highly recommend making a stop at the Pavilion to see this show. As Odens mentioned, “pictures do not do this work justice… to see all these folds up close and in person is an experience.” Allow yourself to be amazed by these pieces! Make “connections to the origami [you] learned when [you] were young… and then see what paper can do and what origami artists, with science and mathematics, can achieve.”

This international show will be on display in the Everest Gallery of the Washington Pavilion until September 16, 2017. And don’t forget about Free First Fridays! On August 4th, not only will entrance to the Visual Arts Center be free, Robert Lang (one of the many artists and engineers featured in this show) will be speaking about his work, his education, and how he uses origami to solve real-world issues. Don’t miss out! Lang is speaking at 7 p.m. in the Belbas Theater of the Pavilion.

SIOUX FALLS PRIDE FESTIVAL

On Saturday, June 17, Sioux Falls held their Pride Festival at Terrace Park. Many people ventured out in the spurts of rain to enjoy being amongst the fun. There was a sense of unity and belonging for those in the LGBT+ community; it was such a beautiful feeling. Seeing the various flags representing different groups from the community was grand. There was your classic rainbow flag, but flags such as the bisexual flag and transgender flag were present. Many people sported their flags; whether they were using them as capes, painting them on their faces, or wearing clothes with their flag’s colors.

There was a variety of booths at the festival. Many booths offered information on topics such as LGBT+ rights, STDs, suicide, and many more. Many booths offered items for free, items like rainbow bracelets, rainbow sweatbands, pamphlets, pens, highlighters, chapsticks, and condoms. There was a booth for kids that allowed for crafts to be made, and another that had paper and paints for painting your own flag. Another attraction for the children was a bounce house, which sat near the crafts area. Flags, cups, stickers, pins, clothes, and jewelry designed with LGBT+ flags were also being sold at the event. If you were like me and had no cool rainbow gear, then this was the place to stock up on tons of it.

Down over at the stage, food and drinks were being sold. On the stage was a rainbow banner which read “#SUFUPRIDE”. Speakers stood on stage and spoke, performers played music, and drag shows were held. There also was an American Sign Language interpreter present. The drag shows were an exciting experience full of music and talented drag queens, and a drag king, showing off their talented dance moves and lip syncing skills. A performer dressed as Hulk Hogan even joined the stage for a bit. Overall, it was a fantastic time. An important thing I learned from the drag show was to tip the queens and kings. They deserve that money for all their amazing talent.

This was my first Pride, and it was an amazing experience. The feeling of happiness that I felt was extreme. I felt like a dog in a dinosaur skeleton exhibit. There was so much to see, learn, and buy. It also felt so open, like I could be true to myself. The area of the park that the event was held was packed. Many people from different generations were there: elders, adults, children, and babies. The amount of dogs there was astounding, as well. It was an event for families, friends, for everyone in the LGBT+ people, and their supporters. Definitely a unifying experience for LGBT+ community of Sioux Falls.

I highly recommend that all LGBT+ people, their families, friends, and supporters around the Sioux Falls area should venture down to Pride next year. It is an experience you will never forget. It is an event full of fun, love, and acceptance; an event to be who you are.

The Center for Equality/Sioux Falls Pride website: Here
Sioux Falls Pride Facebook page: Here

Beware the Locals – Coming soon!

Does Sioux Falls really have interesting things that happen within the city? You bet ya’! Filmmaker Dempsey Tapley has taken on the challenge of capturing these interesting things and people in the form of film–Beware the Locals. As time ticks faster, and as we approach another lovely Sioux Falls summer, I am genuinely excited to see all of the collaborative work come together. ~Hannah Continue reading Beware the Locals – Coming soon!

VAC GALLERY TALKS TOMORROW NIGHT

Carl Grupp will be speaking at 6:30 about his current exhibition with his own artwork, featured alongside pieces from his personal collection. Carl’s show is especially exciting for printmakers in our area; boasting a display of famous prints from Hokusai, Whistler, Goya, but also features local artists like Julie Punt, Mary Selvig, Martin Wanserski, and Lloyd Menard.

Also speaking, Brian Frink at 6 p.m. His show features colorful, strangely shaped paintings he calls “Magical landscapes” that reference the landscape of his surroundings in Mankato, MN. The paintings hang unconventionally from floor to ceiling in strange configurations. Frink is also the chairman of the Dept. of Art at the University of MN – Mankato, and owns the Blue Earth County Poor Farm, which acts as his studio and gathering place for creatives.

It is Free First Friday at the Visual Arts Center from 5 to 8.

Five Reasons You Should Buy Local Art

If you are not buying art, you should be. Art can be exciting, inciting, and stimulating, plain and simple. But, if you are looking for more specific reasons, here are 5 great ones, starting off with a perfect one for this time of year.

1. Art can be a meaningful gift
The gift of art can be very meaningful and timeless. You’ll be giving the recipient something they can appreciate for years instead of something that they might throw in a drawer or on a closet shelf. Art is the gift that keeps on giving. A piece of art is something that they can look at, interpret, re-interpret, and enjoy for a lifetime. Plus, it makes you look good. Taking the time to pick a piece unique to the person on your list shows thoughtfulness. Never be accused of having a Continue reading Five Reasons You Should Buy Local Art

Frogman’s Print Workshop 2015

I used to call myself a painter. Joan Mitchell and Willem de Kooning books still stand proud on my studio bookshelf. Then, four years ago, at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT, I took my first printmaking class from Gesine Janzen. Ever since, the coat of dust on my paintbrushes has grown thicker as I have expanded my collection of brayers and carving tools. I was attracted to printmaking as a medium because of its ability to replicate imagery; to be able repeat an image, but to retain unique charms in each individual print. Through relief printing, I found a rhythmic sort of therapy in the carving techniques. However, it was the immense sense of community that comes with being a printmaker that caused me to fall in love with the medium.

With my passions aligned as they are, learning that one of the most renowned print intensive workshops in the world was located a mere forty-five minutes from my hometown of Sioux Falls, SD seemed like a scene out of my best daydream. Now, after having experienced Frogman’s Print Workshop for the first time last week, I am now of the opinion that being so nearby at all times of the year caused me to do Frogman’s all wrong.

IMG_3953Frogman’s Print Workshop happens every year during the first two weeks of July at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD. Well over a hundred printmakers come from around the world to learn new techniques, share their own processes and work, and to create new relationships with kindred souls who share their passion for print. The 2015 workshop was the 34th year of Frogman’s. There are two week-long sessions filled with multiple Continue reading Frogman’s Print Workshop 2015

Mr. Caraway and Mr. Carlson Go to Vishnu Bunny

Every artist has their peculiar obsessions. Some keep them hidden, preferring to let them lurk at the margins of their work. Others, like Kevin Caraway and Solomon Carson, place them front and center and render them in big, bold, strokes.

Thus, it is only fitting that Caraway and Carson will be exhibiting together this Friday at Vishnu Bunny, as part of the monthly First Fridays series. With a title like 1 + 1 =!?, one must be intrigued. Continue reading Mr. Caraway and Mr. Carlson Go to Vishnu Bunny

The Art of Doing: Oliver Herring’s Task Parties.

Most of us think of artists as rather solitary figures, toiling away in front of a blank canvas or untouched piece of marble in a desperate attempt to express themselves.

There are, of course, some who still fit this description.  More and more, however, the most interesting and dynamic art is breaking down the traditional barriers between an artist and their audience, allowing everyone to take part in the creative process.

Take Oliver Herring.  One of the great experimental artists of his generation, he has effectively embraced the idea of giving total strangers control over his work

And on more than one occasion, this has resulted in him literally embracing total strangers. Continue reading The Art of Doing: Oliver Herring’s Task Parties.

Sketching Around and About Sioux Falls

“Meet. Create. Repeat.”  This is the motto for the Sioux Falls Sketch Squad founded by Solomon Carlson.

sketch_squad_sioux_falls_artistsThe Sioux Falls Sketch Squad was an idea that he had been toying with for years, but decided now was the time to launch it. Like many ideas, the idea came from a need. Continue reading Sketching Around and About Sioux Falls