The Volunteer Spotlight is a new series here on the JAM blog and I am a new blogger, so it’s a perfect match. You may be asking yourself what is the Volunteer Spotlight? Well, let me tell you. Each month we will pick one of the wonderful volunteers here at JAM and ask them many different questions about volunteering, their lives and any projects they’re excited about and want to share with us.
Ideally, I want to sit down face-to-face with my interviewee over a hot cup of tea, unfortunately for my first interview that wasn’t exactly how it went. Our busy schedules kept us apart, but email brought us together. Say hello to the wonderful artist and poet, Sara Bainter, whom I have the pleasure of volunteering with at JAM.
Here it goes…
Shanda: How long have you been a volunteer at JAM? And why did you get involved?
Sara: I officially started volunteering January 2017? I started getting involved because I knew it would be a great place to volunteer and give back to a community that I felt like had already given so much to me artistically and otherwise since I moved here in March 2016.
What is the best part for you about volunteering at JAM?
The best part is getting to see all of the people who are shocked at the low price of their craft or art supplies, and are going home to create! I also love watching people’s reactions as they leave Exposure Gallery. It’s just a great feeling to experience it first hand.
What do you do at JAM?
I goof off or doodle a huge percentage of the time, and sometimes I put donations out like I’m supposed to. I like to help with Weird Art Wednesdays when I can. I love watching people of all ages come in and use art supplies for free for two hours while we work on creating projects together!
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering at JAM?
You will be so appreciated and needed! Please help. (laughs out loud)
What is your art background?
I feel like that’s a very long story that maybe I should write. But it starts with me being very bored, isolated and lonely in Winner, South Dakota.
What project are you currently working on that you are really excited about?
Right now I’m in the middle of moving and turning my bedroom into an art installation to facilitate more dreaming and imagining.
You have a book coming out soon, tell us a little about that.
Campfire Poetry is the paraphrased journey of heartbreak, devastation and hope, which I illustrated with various mixed media. There is a guest illustration by Christopher Reistroffer! My intention is to give creative control of the lyrics to many different bands and see what comes out of those ideas and performances!
You have beautiful illustration in your book. What came first to you, the paintings or the words?
Thank you! The words definitely came first. It seems like suddenly poetry bled from every pore and I didn’t know when it would stop.
What emotions will be triggered while reading your book?
I’m hoping some people will feel empathy. Maybe others will feel like they are not the only ones with these experiences. I want hope to be a big part of the Campfire Poetry experience.
What was the most challenging part of writing this book? And what was the most rewarding part?
The challenging part of writing is in experiencing conflict worthy of inspiring others. I don’t think I have to talk specifically about what I went through, but I do have to talk about falling down and getting back up in the unique way that I did. I felt like I had no other choice than to write this book, and once it started coming together, I felt a deep responsibility to share it with others in hopes that it will help them.
How does it feel to finally have it done and in your hands?
I really only have had access to the only copy of the proof, and even though I had to change and fix a lot of things, it woke me up and I felt an even deeper responsibility to get the book into the hands of the right people.
Where and when can we buy your book?
The official book launch is October 30th. It will be available on Amazon.com. Just search Campfire Poetry or Sara Bainter… or stop me in the street and demand a copy because I will have some on me when they come out!
If you would like to volunteer at JAM our next hour-long training session will be Monday October 30th from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Must be 18 years old to volunteer alone, but under 18 can volunteer with a parent! You can find more info here.
It is a loaded October First Friday! With Downtown Sioux Falls hosting the annual Art and Wine Walk, there are a lot of places to be, and a lot of art to see. Here’s a list of what’s going down, Wine Walk and otherwise!
First Friday Art & Wine Walk! A wide variety of artists and wine samples await, as you visit locations on both sides of the river in Downtown Sioux Falls from 5:00 – 9:00pm. Viewing the art and meeting artists is FREE, and for just $20, you’ll get a wristband to enjoy one sample of wine at each location. You can also purchase wine by the glass for $5. Wristbands can be purchased at any participating location on October 6, 2017, from 5:00 – 9:00pm.
2017 WINE WALK Participating Locations and Artists:
8th & RR Center:401 East 8th Street #200A(Two artists) Red Door Creations – Painter
Dylan Jacobson – Cartoonist Wine options: Cupcake Riesling or 19 Crimes Banished Red Blend
A League of Your Own:229 South Phillips Avenue Nathan Rueckert – Recycled Baseball Art Wine Options: Luccio Peach Moscato or Cocobon Dark Red
Atoley Salon:317 South Phillips Avenue Rebekah Scott –Handmade Purses/Accessories Wine Options: Anna Pesä Synphony or Phat Hogg Red
Atoley Spa:317 South Phillips Avenue Chelsea Munson – Makeup Artistry Wine Options: Chloe Rose or Carnivor Zinfandel
Bead Co./Acorn19:319 South Phillips Avenue
York & ME – Jewelry Art Wine Options: 19 Crimes Hard Chard or 19 Crimes Banished Red Blend
CH Patisserie:309 South Phillips Avenue #1
Merecedes Nelson – Photographer Wine Options: Benziger Chardonnay or Finca Las Moras Malbec
Chelsea’s Boutique:220 South Phillips Avenue
Elisabeth Hunstad – Singer/Songwriter Wine Options: Slow Press Sauvignon Blanc or Concannon Petite Sirah
City Hall – Mayor’s Office:224 West 9th Street – Artist Only Location
Various Artists – Pictured: Adam Petersen Artist Only Location
Coffea Roasterie: 200 South Phillips Avenue
Amy Jarding – Weaver Wine Options: Alma Mora Sauvignon Blanc or William Hill Cabernet
Conversation Piece:301 South Minnesota Avenue
Create Yourself a Make-&-Take Mug Wine Options: Risata Moscato d’Asti or Storypoint Pinot Noir
Great Outdoor Store: 201 East 10th Street
Reina Okawa – Mixed Media Wine Options: Mirassou Pinot Grigio or William Hill Cabernet
Home Porch Gifts: 217 South Phillips Avenue
Elaine Fritz – Stamp & Papercraft Wine Options: Concannon Founders Chardonnay or Cupcake Petite Sirah
J.H. & Sons:216 South Phillips Avenue
Kirby Schultz – Painter Wine Options: Benziger Chardonnay or Insurrection Cabernet
JLG Architects:232 South Main Avenue
Dustin Sinner – Painter Wine Options: Cupcake Riesling or Finca Las Moras Malbec
Lot 2029:207 South Phillips Avenue
Art Diaz & Abby Hatch – Musicians Wine Options: Risata Moscato d’Asti or Leese Fitch Merlot
Luca’s Boutique: 401 East 8th Street #122
Rodger Ellingson – Painter Wine Options: Luccio Peach Moscato or Carnivor Zinfandel
NV Studio:106 West 11th Street
Connie Herring – Sculptor/Jewelry Art Artist Only Location
Plum’s Cooking Co.:401 East 8th Street #107
Linda Napolitano – Cookie Artist/Baker Wine Options: Alma Mora Sauvignon Blanc or William Hill Cabernet
Prairie Berry East Bank:322 East 8th Street
Mary Payton – Painter Wine Options: Anna Pesä Meritage 2014 or Red Ass Rhubarb
Rehfeld’s Art and Framing: 210 South Phillips Avenue
Kelly Dudgeon Tadlock – Painter Wine Options: Concannon Founders Chardonnay or Cocobon Dark Red
Rug & Relic:401 East 8th Street #114
Jamie Jacobson – Painter Wine Options: Slow Press Sauvignon Blanc Crisp or Luccio Peach Moscato
Say Anything Jewelry: 225 South Phillips Avenue
Michael Swenson – Wood Working Wine Options: Alma Mora Sauvignon Blanc or Dark Horse Red Blend
Simply Perfect: 401 East 8th Street #108
Mercedes Maltese – Pottery and Henna Wine Options: Chloe Rose or Leese Fitch Merlot
Sioux Falls Design Center: 108 West 11th Street
Paul Boerboom – Painter Wine Options: Risata Moscato d’Asti or Concannon Petite Sirah
State Theatre:316 South Phillips Avenue
Jim Sturdevant – Painter Wine Options: Mirassou Pinot Grigio or Leese Fitch Merlot
Sticks and Steel: 401 East 8th Street #118
Artist TBD Monday, October 2nd Wine Options: 19 Crimes Hard Chard or Finca Las Moras Malbec
Unglued:218 South Phillips Avenue
Cambium Wood Art Wine Options: Chloe Rose or Dark Horse Red Blend
Urban Archaeology: 126 South Phillips Avenue
Elizabeth Munger – Printmaker/Custom Letterpress Wine Options: Anna Pesä Synphony or Phat Hogg Red
Young and Richard’s:222 South Phillips Avenue
Ne’Qwa Ornaments – Glass Ornaments Wine Options: Cupcake Riesling or Storypoint Pinot Noir
ALSO BE SURE TO CHECK OUT:
Third Eye at Vishnu
7 to 11 p.m.
A juried skateboard art show. Twenty artists show their deck work along side a piece of their own art and will be judged best in show.
FREE FIRST FRIDAY
Washington Pavilion VAC
5 to 8 p.m.
6 p.m. Gallery Talks for the “South Dakota Governor’s 7th Biennial Art Exhibition” in the Everist Gallery.
6 to 9 p.m.
We’re back on First Friday this month with new work from painter/illustrator Sharon Wegner-Larsen and illustrator/graphic designer Molly O’Connor.
2ND ANNUAL PARKLET DESIGN COMPETITION Sioux Falls Design Center 12 to 7 p.m.
“What do you get when you take six parking spaces along 11th street and turn them over to students from SDSU’s School of Design?” “The 2nd Annual Parklet Design Competition!” Come explore unique roadside installations and rethink how you view parking downtown. Play and public voting 12:00 – 7:00 pm. Awards at 7:15 pm
The 30th annual Northern Plains Indian Art Market (NPIAM) continues its tradition of celebrating world-class American Indian art in a three-day event, September 22-24, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The event showcases over 30 professional artists and features local artists such as: Kevin Brave Heart, Don Montileaux, Jim Yellow Hawk, Dwayne Wilcox, Jennifer White, Lynn Burnette, and Richard Red Owl.
NPIAM is an international gathering of American Indian artists—those who work in contemporary fine arts and those who create art using traditional materials, methods and styles. The show has become a national staple in showcasing American Indian art of the Northern Plains and artists have gained recognition through national publications and exhibits.
The event begins with an Art Reception and Juried Art Show at the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Friday, September 22, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Artist Reception and Juried Art Show admission: $25.00 per person. The Juried Art show allows entries to compete for prestigious awards including: Best of Show—$1,500; Best of Fine Arts—$1,000; and Best of Tribal Arts—$1,000. Judging for the 2017 NPIAM Juried Show will take place Friday, September 22. Awards totaling more than $13,000 are also given in 18 art and medium divisions.
Jurors are selected from a national pool of American Indian art experts, scholars, and respected working artists. This year NPIAM welcomes Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Assistant Curator of Native American Art from Minneapolis Institute of Art; Angela Swedberg, Contemporary Artist and Certified Indian Artisan; Alexander Brier Marr, PhD Candidate in Visual and Cultural Studies from University of Rochester; and Jeffrey L. Viken, Chair, The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge Reservation.
Juror’s forums are also being scheduled as part of the NPIAM’s mission to educate art enthusiasts about American Indian Art and its significance to Indian Culture. Forums are free and open to the public.
The event continues for Art Market days, September 23-24, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Market days allow participating artist to sell their work directly to art collectors, enthusiasts and local art buyers. The market is open Saturday, September 23, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, September 24, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Art Market Admission is $5.00 daily or $7.00 for a 2-day pass, children under 12 are free.
About NPIAM The Northern Plains Indian Art Market (NPIAM) was established in 1988 by American Indian Services, Inc., of Sioux Falls, SD, as the Northern Plains Tribal Arts Show (NPTA). To be eligible to enter the NPIAM a Native American artist must be an enrolled member of 1 of 33 tribes in the United States and Canada the show recognizes as “Northern Plains.” American Indian Services produced the juried art show and market from 1988 to 2003. Since 2004, Sinte Gleska University of Rosebud, South Dakota, has been the producing organization. In the 30 years of its existence–one of the longest running Indian art shows in the country–over 800 artists from 7 Northern Plains states and two Canadian provinces have exhibited at NPTA/NPIAM. For more information, visit npiam.org or call Sinte Gleska University at 605-856-8100.
September’s First Friday was filled with new experiences and new friendships. I challenged myself this month by doing as many different and exciting things as I could. Having my artwork present in two separate group art shows, while simultaneously displaying quality, was a big part of that challenge.
My First Friday morning began with appearing on KELOLAND News to chat about the 5th Annual Tallgrass Recovery Art Show at Exposure Gallery, along with artists Betsy Ashworth and Joan Zephier. Personally, this wasn’t a first time being interviewed about my artwork, but it was a first having it air on television. As nerve-wracking as it was to piece together what I’d say to KELO, it was all worth it. Being able to have the chance to speak about a powerfully impacting exhibition is well worth any amount of nerves. I’m so thankful for Joan and everyone involved with the show.
The most surprising thing was the intense amount of people that showed up just for this healing event. I’m, at times, the type of person that would rather stay home and resist any chance to interact with people. Then there are special times that I’m able to move into a healthier mood that pushes me to meet folks and reach out. The reception was an incredibly eventful first.
A fun, interactive aspect to the exhibit is the People’s Choice Award. Attendees were asked to cast their vote before they left. With the pieces being displayed the entire month of September, I hope you have a chance to stop by to look around.
I enjoy seeing written, story-like pieces beside a visual artwork. It’s even more powerful when the viewer gets a written accompaniment to help lead their thinking, and walk them down a path of interpretation. I like to look for little body cues as viewers take in my work, as well. When someone is reading what I’ve placed before them, and they realize how it fits with everything else they’re seeing, that’s one of my favorite moments. It’s almost like an electric connection is sparked inside their eyes. Witnessing people light up with a specific passion for any artwork is a treat.
At 7:00 p.m. I had to hop, skip, and jump over to Vishnu Bunny Tattoo for the other group show I took part in this month. This show served as an introduction to local artists that the community may not have known about otherwise.
Both Exposure and Third Eye Gallery at Vishnu are constantly brainstorming new topics and themes for artists to submit and present on. Keep your eyes peeled for calls for art. A great resource is our very own Call For Art page on JAM’s website!
I’m not a fan of bland artist statements. I like to give information in a more engaging and fun way. The “theme” of my work displayed at Vishnu is similar to a timeline with missing chunks. So, I decided to make my statement more of a funky story to follow along with. I noticed that during the night, I had to point this fact out to folks. Most of whom I chatted with had never heard of an artist statement that didn’t just state the obvious facts.
For those of you reading who are wondering how to get your work into galleries, just keep going. Connect. Keep pushing. Keep meeting people. Keep working on your art. Keep taking in constructive criticism. Keep positive. What more is there to say? www.patreon.com/HannahWendt
with keynote by Dale Lamphere
AIA South Dakota
Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (CDT)
Sioux Falls, SD TICKETS HERE
Renowned sculptor and South Dakota artist laureate Dale Lamphere will give a free, public presentation as part of a celebration of art, architecture and community on Thursday, Sept. 14 in Sioux Falls.
An Evening of Art, Architecture and Community is sponsored by Architecture Incorporated and presented by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) South Dakota and the Great Plains chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel on 3200 W. Maple St., with tickets available to the public at no charge.
AIA South Dakota will also recognize SDSU alumnus and business leader Jerry Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines for his unparalleled support of the SDSU Department of Architecture.
Lamphere sculpted the breathtaking Dignity Statue that perches atop a bluff overlooking the Missouri River in Chamberlain and has been further immortalized in specialty state license plates. Lamphere has also been commissioned to build the Arc of Dreams, a massive stainless steel sculpture that will span the Big Sioux River in downtown Sioux Falls.
Lamphere will give a solo keynote presentation and take questions from the audience. An Evening of Art, Architecture and Community will also feature a brief panel on how art and architecture intermingle to shape community that will include:
Panelist: Dan Pitera, FAIA, executive director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center and recipient of the coveted Whitney Young Award. Panelist: Tanya Olson, ASLA, PLA, principal/owner at Tallgrass Landscape Architecture in Custer.
Panelist: Tim Barry, artist and managing partner of Hot Shops Art Center in Omaha. Panelist: Kristine Bjerke, AIA, principal architect of Architecture Incorporated in Rapid City Panelist: Dale Lamphere, South Dakota artist laureate, sculptor, owner of Lamphere Studio near Sturgis and founding board member of Arts South Dakota. Moderator: Patri Acevedo, AIA, CPHC, vice president/present-elect of AIA South Dakota and market leader with JLG Architects in Rapid City.
The West Des Moines Public Arts Advisory Commission and Parks and Recreation Department invite regional artists (Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Dakota) to submit an Artwork Application to participate in the 6th annual Art on the Campus public art exhibit.
Art on the Campus is a temporary outdoor exhibit, displayed on the West Des Moines City/School Campus from April to November each year.
Selected artists are paid a $2,000 stipend for the use of their artwork.
A selection panel will choose up to 13 original works of art for installation.
A People’s Choice vote will be taken throughout the duration of the exhibit. When the exhibit is complete, the People’s Choice artwork will be named and shared with the public, and the People’s Choice winner will receive a $500 award.
A People’s Choice vote will be taken throughout the duration of the exhibit.
When the exhibit is complete, the People’s Choice artwork will be named and shared with the public, and the People’s Choice winner will receive a $500 award.
Find all of the details and online application HERE.
Join the Mercy Child Advocacy Center in their search for artwork to display in the new center!
We are looking to fill our new space with artwork for, and created by, the Siouxland community. We welcome you to submit your artwork and application for consideration to be a part of the permanent collection displayed at the Mercy Child Advocacy Center.
All displayed artwork will showcase the artist’s name and title of work.
Once all the pieces have been selected, we will be hosting a reception featuring the new permanent artwork collection at the Mercy Child Advocacy Center for all accepted artists.
To learn more about the CAC click here.
Send work to Alison.Boughn@mercyhealth.com by 12PM on October 25th for consideration.
Meeting Angela was a wonderful experience! I not only enjoyed insight into her work, but made a new friend. I was surprised to discover several pieces of artwork around Sioux Falls, that have left a significant mark on me, are hers. I was delighted to have the chance to chat more in-depth about those subjects with the artist herself.
Before any questions were asked, Angela jumped right into talking about her work.
In 2012, I had a solo exhibition. My work was right outside that really long gallery–that A Gallery–I got to have that gallery during the “Beauty and The Beast show.” I did kind of a reboot of the piece that was on the wall. It was all these little bags of clear perfect water, and they were kind of jewel-like. It was suppose to be like a power plant, that could conduct energy from one end of the wall to the other. The wall was close to 30 feet long. So, I sent all of the energy down to one end and then it gathered with the copper wires connecting all of those. It gathered in a mirror, and I had crocheted some copper wire and put a bunch of stuff around that mirror so that the energy would gather around these little wires and come into that. We set up the lights so that the round mirror would reflect the spot of light down onto the floor. It was hung at a height where most people could see themselves in it, but they could also see other parts of the show around them.
I really liked that idea, but when the opportunity for the “Women at Work” show came up, I’m like ‘you know, I think it should be an installation piece instead of, you know, just an object.’ And so, I put that one up. I put India ink into some of the water bags. So there are some that are clear and beautiful and the light doesn’t really refract, but it’s bent to shine spots on the wall from when the lights hit it. Some of them got a tint, and some of them didn’t. Some of them got a lot of ink so that they were just super black. All of the black is up here on the top of the installation, so some of the lighter stuff is down below, and there’s a spot over here that’s the bright clear water. It’s about water quality and us needing to save that resource and pipelines, and fracking and the fail rate.
You’re probably familiar with the feathers and branches in the Washington Pavilion Visual Arts Center. So, that’s one of mine that’s in a collection now. As part of a collaboration with Post Pilgrim and the Sioux Falls Design Center, Jennifer White and I did a Final Friday with the chalkboards. As far as I know, the chalkboards are still up. That night there were people leaning up against the wall, and as soon as they walked away I would be over there with the chalk fixing it. I guess I’m just a little bit of a freak that way.
A few steps down the street from the Sioux Falls Design Center is the Shriver’s window. You don’t have to go inside the building to see it, it’s just the corner display window at 11th and Phillips. I’ve got that 18 foot raw canvas laying on the floor. I had that thing along with me from when I went on the camping trip that produced the “sold” pictures on the boards. It was a site in the South Jenny Lake in the shadow of the national park. I rolled the canvas out on my camp site, and I brought a little bit of tobacco. I had worked with tobacco before as a staining drying material, so that ended up being the brown color. I made some bison on the canvas. Then I needed charcoal, so I kind of fished some stuff out of my camp fire. Along with that installation, I had made these tripods out of branches. They were meant to hold the canvas up. When I went to install the thing, I had some engineering issues and it didn’t work. Now, they are kind of a backdrop, or forest to that installation. So you walk up to the window, and you look down to see the piece.
I did a Final Friday that was in conjunction with the PechaKucha. You get 20 images and you get 20 seconds per image. You are presenting whatever ideas, artwork, whatever it is that you do and that you’re passionate about. You share that, and then it goes up on a website. I haven’t had the guts to go listen to mine. I was so busy with Jennifer getting the “Love or Money” show together that I didn’t spend a lot of time preparing the PechaKucha. Anyway, it’s out there on the Net for everybody to see!
MAST (Madison Area Stands Together) is a local group that formed after the presidential election last year. There was a lot of concern about the travel bans, and the Visa issues. I work at Dakota State University, and we’ve got a lot of international students and faculty members, too, who are from all over the world, and they’re suddenly not able to move about and come and do their jobs. Everything was all kind of scary. So, we held a candle light vigil for them, just to let them know that we care and are concerned, too. This group developed out of that sense of helplessness. It recently came up that they need to have a logo. So, I don’t know if this [see below] is going to be their final design, but I proposed it and people seem to be fairly excited about it. It was important that there was this sturdy something. I wanted that awareness with the eyes and everything. Then also, the horns are not being used, but they could be, you know. It’s like this defensible possibility. And black and white is pretty powerful.
You just answered several of my questions there before I could even get to them. I like it–this should be a great time! Are you from Madison?
I’m from southwestern Minnesota. I got out of there as quickly as I possibly could. I went to college in central Minnesota, and then I went to the Twin Cities, and kind of bounced all over the place there. I was a little too distracted, so I went back to UMM–University of Minnesota, Morris–to finish college and I floundered around for another number of years, then I went to graduate school in Lincoln, Nebraska. After that I moved to Vancouver, Washington for 7 or 8 years, and then I moved to South Dakota.
So, was your degree centered around your artwork?
Yes, my masters degree is in sculpture. My undergraduate work was a duel emphasis in sculpture and printmaking. I tried to continue with printmaking in graduate school, but it didn’t work out very well. I had a studio that I loved, but it was in this dumpy old building that they were going to tear down. But it was a good quarter mile from the print studios, so that was kind of tough to get stuff back and forth, and I didn’t have any storage space in the print area. I mean, for graduate students, you just kind of carve out your space. You know, it’s all self directed, and I was busy enough with sculpture.
So then, how long have you been in South Dakota?
2009. So, it’s close to eight and a half years. I’ve been at Dakota State University for eight years, and I started out there with one 3-D Design class, but that wasn’t enough to pay my rent. So, I taught ESL for one semester.
Cool! You’ve been here for a while then. You have your artwork and teach, too?
Yes. I am employed full-time as a lecturer of art at Dakota State University in the digital and arts design department. During the summers, I haven’t done it for a couple of years, but this year I’m working as a part-time naturalist at Lake Herman State Park in Walkers Point Recreational Area. It’s kinda cool. I get the opportunity to come into contact with lots of different kinds of people. You know, especially with the DSU stuff with students, and faculty, and community. I always try to get my students to focus on something that’s outside of the classroom. It’s not just about earning a grade; I mean it’s important stuff, this visual communication. We’ve got so much screen time and everything. I make them do everything analog. They have to cut paper, they have to tear things and make collages.
I’m not too great with technology, so that style is perfect for how my mind works.
Well, I kind of call myself a dinosaur. I have sort of actively resisted–I mean I do the things I’m supposed to do for my job. I just think [technology] is another medium you can work in. Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign; these are digital tools you can use, but you still need to have those basic design skills to make something descent. The MAST design that I made is cut paper. I started with drawing it on paper, and then cutting it out with an exact-o knife. Then I printed out the text that I wanted to have on there. I’m perfectly happy with designing the font, or the typeface, I should say. You have to have a sense of composition. You have to be able to make things communicate what they need to communicate. The digital image manipulation is not the end all of design skills. Yeah, I’m a dinosaur.
You’ve already mentioned different inspirations that you have, do you have more that influence you?
I think it’s vitally important that people connect with nature, and that has been so lacking. It’s like there’s this spiritual deficit, I think; maybe even like a sink hole. We get enough racing around, driving around looking at screens, typing things, you know. If you’re taking notes on a computer, you’re not making the same neural connections you would if you are writing with a pencil on paper, or drawing. You know, you have to have this physical connection with the stuff that you’re learning. It’s not as effective to just type things, and look at it on a screen. So, yes, there’s all this technology that we deal with, it is wonderful. There are things that give lots more efficiency, but do we really keep moving at that pace? It’s making everybody sick. Everybody’s not getting enough movement, enough exercise. It drives me crazy, and I’m in the middle of it, too. When I make something, installation work especially, when I make work I’m really careful about the path of the energy, and the path of the people in that energy. I work my ass off when I have the opportunity to put something up. Humility also has a place here. I’m always unsure about it, but I work as good as I can so that I can offer it as a gift to the people that go and see it. When I say I’ve got this show up and I want you to go see it, that’s like me with a little gift with a bow on it offering this experience, because I want to give that. I think it will do something, it will help somebody, or make them feel a certain way, or give them a moment of peace, or something like that. So, that’s my gift. I realize a lot of times when I’m saying, ‘go see the show’, and doing all that self promotion, it’s not self promotion to make a career for me. It’s that there’s a gift that I want to offer that’s not going to get unwrapped if you don’t go and see it.
Yeah, I like that point…where it’s just two-dimensional, and people just looking at something. I think sometimes people need that three-dimensional installation that’s actually intruding into their space. It’s very important, I agree.
So, it’s more experiential than something you would just look at. I think installation, and sculpture–three-dimensional stuff–has an easier inlet. There’s a lot of paintings out there, but there’s probably not a lot of paintings that will really pull you in and offer you the kind of physical, or emotional, experience that an environment can. That said, I’m not trying to make judgments on things that I don’t respond to.
Now, how can people contact you? Do you have a website?
Facebook is just fine. My profile picture is me kissing a fake bison. I do have a blog site. I call it an images only blog site, but I haven’t done a really good job of keeping up with stuff on that. So, most of the stuff is older. That is a place where they could go and see things.
Can you describe your work, art and everything else, along with who you are in three words, or I should say, in three “sections”?
Art, nature, joy. Those are the things that I seek, and seek to share. I want to add something for people who are stopping themselves because “I can’t draw, I can’t do this, or I can’t do that.” It’s really, really, really important for your heart and soul to just make stuff, and experience stuff. You know, get away from your computer for a little while, and connect with people and connect with nature. Really, really, really important. That’ll make us happier, and it’ll make the world a better place…make it easier to live in.
WASHINGTON PAVILION VISUAL ARTS CENTER EXHIBIT PROPOSALS
The Visual Arts Center welcomes proposals for exhibitions of artwork from all historical periods, media and genres of visual art. Proposals may be submitted by artists, curators, collectors or agents of exhibitions.
Proposals for exhibitions at the Visual Arts Center are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year.
The Exhibition Committee meets on the third Wednesday of every other month to review proposals. The exhibition schedule is booked 1-3 years in advance.
Exhibitions are selected based upon the quality of the work in the proposal, the strength of the exhibition concept, the compatibility of the proposed exhibition with the existing exhibition calendar and the relevance of the proposal to the mission of the Visual Arts Center.
To apply, click here.
For five years Reina Okawa’s cranes have greeted visitors at the north entrance of the Washington Pavilion. But this fall, the exhibit comes down. This Tuesday, August 29, the Pavilion offers a last gathering to appreciate the cranes that have become a fixture in the Sioux Falls community. The cranes have been at the Pavilion so long that Meagan Dion, the lead curator for the Visual Arts Center, clarified that the exhibit was always a temporary one. “It wasn’t ever intended to become a permanent installation,” she said. “But we wanted to give people as much time to appreciate [the cranes] as possible.”
Since they were installed in 2012, the cranes have become a Sioux Falls community favorite. The send-off event on August 29, “Release the Cranes! A Farewell Party”, celebrates the partnership between Reina Okawa and the Pavilion and gives the community a chance to say goodbye to the exhibit. Okawa will be at the event, though the actual removal of the cranes will not happen until later. The 30-foot-long strings of “You, Me and the Cranes” hold thousands of origami cranes, a limited number of which will be given away early at the party.
The farewell party intends to alert everyone that the cranes are going away, and ensure that the community has a chance to say goodbye. “We just want to make sure people can enjoy them one last time,” said Dion.
Some of Okawa’s other origami work is on display in the “Above the Fold” exhibit in the Visual Arts Center Gallery until September 16, 2017. The Visual Arts Center will be closed during the farewell party, but the cranes and her work in the gallery can be viewed any time the building is open until the end of the exhibition. Please join us in saying goodbye to the cranes from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 29. If you’ve only seen the large cranes towards the bottom of the strings, try going to the fourth floor to see the smaller more colorful ones! You can RSVP on Facebook to the “Release the Cranes! A Farewell Party”.