Category Archives: First Friday Reviews

FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW: DECEMBER

This First Friday had some special gallery events at Rehfeld’s, the Washington Pavilion, and Eastbank. Rehfeld’s and Eastbank each hosted a show that focused on smaller size with a variety of artist participants. If you’re looking for a smaller piece of art, this is the time to go get it! The Pavilion had two newer exhibits, plus the “South Dakota Governor’s 7th Biennial Art Exhibition.” These places are all showing a great variety of art this month, and each location has a wide array of different styles, materials, and conceptual art.

Drawn to the Darkroom

Heidi Draley McFall        Visual Arts Center Jerstad Gallery (2nd Floor)

Opened October 21, Drawn to the Darkroom features photorealistic portraits of people in the throes of emotion. Starting with 35mm film, Draley McFall’s images start as photos, but are recreated as portraits with added layers of texture, a kind of homage to the imperfections of darkroom developing. All of the images on display are black and white, but striking.

A line on the artist’s statement for the gallery

The Tiramisu Diaries

Connie Herring                     Visual Arts Center Shultz Gallery (3rd Floor)

Guest artist Connie Herring is back at the Visual Arts Center showcasing a project 20 years in the making. The Tiramisu Diaries, in her words, is a project about friendship, eating together, and companionship. This is her fifth or sixth installation of the project, most of which were on a much larger scale. Connie makes her own paper, does the binding, and dyes the ribbons in coffee. The result is an almost tangible (but please don’t touch!) texture that leaps off the installation and into the minds of passerby. A photo collage of various places Herring and friends have eaten tiramisu accompanies the installation, and brings life to the stories she has to go with the project.

Connie talks to some visitors about her work.

South Dakota Governor’s 7th Biennial Art Exhibition

Various Artists                    Visual Arts Center Everist Gallery (3rd Floor)

The Governor’s Biennial features an array of sculpture and canvas work with an impressive use of colors and subject matter. The whole gallery was filled with these pieces of art, and offered some surprises around the corners.

8×8

Various Artists                     Rehfeld’s Art and Framing (10th and Phillips)

8×8 is exactly what it sounds like, a showcase of art 8 inches by 8 inches wide. Various artists, 8 to be exact, created small-scale paintings and mixed media on canvas to sell for $88. The wall that displayed these pieces already had several stickers marking sold paintings by the time I got there at 6:45. The other art around the room was by the same artists participating in 8×8 and perhaps a few others.

The “8×8” wall
Edges of the 8x8s, some canvas, some wood, some other media
A particularly creative 8×8

Postcard Art

Various Artists                                 Eastbank Art Gallery (8th and Railroad)

Eastbank’s size-driven show featured art approximately the size of a postcard from around 20 artists. Larger art was on display as well, but the postcards were the feature of the night. Artists were milling about and talking to patrons as they browsed through the carts. There was a little something for everyone in this show, ranging from wildlife portraits to caricaturish fantasy.  

ANOTHER SHOW WORTH NOTING:

The Naughty List                          Third Eye Gallery at Vishnu

Art made for giving! 20+ artists, pieces $100 or less. All art is buy and go. Take what you want off the wall and give the gift of local art. The show and opportunity to purchase runs all month. There are paintings, jewerlry, sculpture, photography and more more more.

FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW: NOVEMBER

This month I stopped by shows at Eastbank, Rug & Relic, and the Washington Pavilion. No new shows at the Pavilion this month, but all of the great activities for kids still happened. There were so many artists talking about their work at Eastbank, I spent most of my time there. The variety of work made fewer stops on my route doable, but I highly recommend stopping by some other locations as well. The Museum of Visual Materials and Rehfeld’s were two stops I had on my list. See more art shows on the Sioux Falls Arts Council webpage.            -Rachel

RUG & RELIC

This First Friday, Rug & Relic hosted a one-night-only feature show of over 150 pieces from Chris Vance. Vance’s work plays on familiar cartoon-like styles and bright colors to bring his work to life. Pieces like “Peanut Butter” take a more abstract turn, but use the same colors and curvy lines as his other styles. Other work on display at Rug & Relic included light sculptures from Steve Bormes, and paintings from other area artists.

EASTBANK

The first artist talk of the evening came from John Kolb. His art style is influenced heavily by his Christian roots. Kolb joked that the goal of one of the pieces on display was to see how many different ways he could do a cross. His pieces focus on shapes in a more abstract approach. He feels that sometimes he gets “locked into” greens and blues occasionally. Using a layering technique with his colors, Kolb’s pieces can get up to 5 coats of paint. He has around 5 pieces on display at Eastbank .

Linda Ackland-Kolb gave the second talk of the night, presenting and describing her pastel-painted beeswax works of art. Her pieces, though small, take a lot of work to get right. She fielded questions about the framing process as well, which is delicate since she does not use sealant to set her pieces. The work on display at Eastbank is a series of vessels and some fashion inspired pieces. Linda plans to branch into more clothing inspired pieces next.

Warren Arends ventured from on-canvas art into stonework and jewelery. His work started as a hobby, but now Arends has two students in soldering. He turns colorful stones from all different countries and continents into pendants and rings. His business, Arends Agates, custom makes every piece for individual requests.

Scott Chleborad was another featured artist at Eastbank. His work combines painting and photography that results in often psychedelic landscapes. Chleborad’s talk was short and to the point, with a few anecdotes about his process. His work with light and contrast makes his work unique and beautiful.

All of the artists’ work at Eastbank is worth a trip to 8th and Railroad to see. More than just these four artists have work on display, and the work they brought is just as exciting. Next First Friday, Eastbank will be doing a “postcard sale” of local art, so be sure to check out the current work on display before then.

 

FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW: OCTOBER

This month, First Friday featured a slew of artists participating in the Art and Wine Walk. Most locations had the artists inside their shops, so the looming threat of a downpour was no concern. The rain held off just long enough for the outdoor locations to show off their craft. Instead of going to every single stop on the walk, since there were so many great artists there, I picked the “You don’t see that everyday!” locations.  ~Rachel

Rebekah Scott Designs at Atoley Spa

She learned how to sew in 4-H as a child. Then, one Christmas as a “poor newlywed,” Rebekah Scott realized she did not have to buy gifts. Family and friends received handmade gifts that year, and Rebekah realized that she could start a business with her craft and still raise a family. Thirteen years later, she is still making purses. Her website, shoprsd.com, is based on an interactive system that lets visitors pick designs and see different fabrics on the item they choose. Her wares on display at Atoley Spa had something to please everyone; a variety of styles, colors and patterns were available with more on her site.

Nathan Rueckert at A League of Your Own

“America At The Seams” is Nathan Ruecker’s latest and largest work, and also the name of his soon to be released book. For almost two decades he has worked with old tattered baseballs, turning them into various forms of art. He makes everything from keychains to crosses. Nathan got his inspiration after the September 11th attacks, and he played baseball in college. His work has expanded from the original idea of American flags and really taken off over the years. He works with baseballs because the sport is still “America’s favorite pastime,” and keeps the game close. See more of his work on his website.

“America at the Seams”

Swen’s Reclaimed Wares at Say Anything Jewelry

Mike Swenson brought his reclaimed wood art pieces to his sister’s shop for First Friday, along with some of his tools. Mike kayaks on the rivers, and his state carvings are often inspired by these rivers; he can take the less interesting shapes of some states and make them dynamic by carving in the rivers that run through them. Most of the wood Mike uses comes from barns or pallets, and all of it is reclaimed. Find the Minnesota native on Snapchat to see in progress works at swenmn, or see his shop on Etsy to buy his art.

Mike’s tool set up at Say Anything

Amy Jarding Weaving at Coffea

Amy Jarding, co-founder of JAM and a weaver for three years, set up shop at Coffea on Friday night. Mostly self taught through YouTube videos, Amy creates vibrant and stylish woven pieces in many sizes. Her large works immediately catch the eye in the space, and the hanging accents add color to the ambience. She uses new and used yarn on her frame loom, and sometimes even found objects. Follow her on Instagram or Facebook to see more of her work with weaving and other artistic endeavors.

Parklet Design Competition at Sioux Falls Design Center

South Dakota State University students of all grades submitted sculpture ideas for the Sioux Falls Design Center Parklet Design Competition this Friday. Six student groups were selected to take over parking spots near the 11th and Phillips intersection and set up their designs that passerby could vote on with tokens provided. Designs included a wide spectrum of ideas influenced by pop culture and nature. An interactive game made of balloons and complete with slingshot was compiled by a group including student Walker Kropenske. He said the piece was fairly simple and based on the game Angry Birds.  “What’s That Sound” inspired by Blue Man Group and Pinterest crafts was put together by a group of four including Rachael Selberg. She said her group wanted to create an interactive experience for children and adults too. “Feathers,” a social media positivity campaign that passerby were able to add to (#WhatMakesMeFly), was created by Liz and Angela. They were hoping to spread positive energy on social media in Sioux Falls. A stained glass house inspired Jaylee, Gaby and Samuel for their cellophane built tent. Unfortunately, the sun did not come out much to make their piece shine they way they hoped. “Palisades Pavilion” was created by Kyle Franta and Thomas Schneider, inspired by Palisades State Park and a pit stop for those attending the parklet event. All of the sculptures were large enough to fill their parking spots and draw passerby in. Learn more about the Sioux Falls Design Center and their upcoming competitions on their website.

“Palisades Pavilion”
Liz and Angela with “Feathers”
Angry Birds Interactive
“What’s That Sound?”

FIRST FRIDAY LOWDOWN

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:

LOADED DECKS
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.

FLIGHT EPHEMERAL
Exposure 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

FIRST FRIDAY: AN ARTIST’S PERSPECTIVE BEHIND THE SCENES

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.

“Here’s something you could do tonight. #Repost @mattholsen
・・・
The 5th Annual Tallgrass Recovery Art Show is tonight from 5-9 at Exposure Gallery. A preview of the amazing pieces coming up on KELOLAND News. #kelonews” -KELOLAND on Instagram.

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

www.HannahWendt.com

FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW: SEPTEMBER

Despite the rain earlier in the day, September’s First Friday was a popular place to be. This month, I visited the events at the Washington Pavilion, Rehfeld’s Gallery, Third Eye Gallery at Vishnu, Exposure Gallery, and the Block Party at 8th and Railroad. Talking to the artists at most of the galleries and learning about their work was a treat! The events were all family friendly and worth a trip downtown to see.

~Rachel

“Cracked Open” the Pavilion

Emily Stokes poses next to one of her pieces.

Introduced by Sarah Odens, the Assistant Curator of the VAC, and Jason Folkerts, the Director of the VAC, Emily Stokes appeared to talk about her new exhibition “Cracked Open.” Stokes was very open about her work and life, while telling the crowd her approach to art and her process. Though the gathering only included 18 people, Stokes embraced the intimate atmosphere and opened the floor to questions. She answered inquiries about printmaking, her storytelling, the process she uses and the inspiration for most of her art.

Stokes’ work in the Contemporary Gallery is a compilation of her box and printmaking work that encompasses her style well. The larger pieces on the wall have a simplicity and brightness to them that immediately attracts the eye. The work featured in the gallery is inspired by the differences between small towns and the contrast of living in different places. She explained that this exhibition is somewhat of a new venture for her, and the box concept in some of the pieces came from a desire to change things up a bit.

“I always think of Monet and his haystacks,” Stokes says. “The boxes became a way to kind of unify ideas.”

This exhibition was the first time for Stokes to see her bright work against a dark wall, an experience she excitedly shared with the audience. “It’s taken me awhile to get comfortable with color,” she said.

Her current project is one similar to the boxes, but branches out into more organically shaped creations. She has also been working with screen printing, though her favorite style is still drawing with a ballpoint pen.

As part of First Friday, the Pavilion had a scavenger hunt for children that included pieces in Stokes’ exhibition. Families came in and out of the gallery throughout the talk, producing a lively atmosphere. The unusually shaped pieces and familiar images are a great opportunity to expose kids to art they will understand.

Every side of Stokes’ art has something to it, and the three-dimensional features keep visitors on their toes throughout the exhibit. With the warm colors and farm life images, Stokes has produced a relatable and inspiring exhibition. Director Jason Folkerts said it best: “[She] does a good job of inheriting the Midwest.”

Also at the Pavilion is the “Above the Fold” exhibit with featured origami from nine artists. This exhibit is amazing and has some larger than life pieces that will delight children and adults alike!

Karen Kinder at Rehfeld’s Gallery

Karen Kinder poses next to her favorite animal: sheep.

Walking into Rehfeld’s I was greeted immediately by the new owner, Matt Jorgenson. He was exceptionally polite and helpful in my search for Karen Kinder, the artist of the reception at the gallery that night. The gallery itself was very open and the floor plan well-suited to the foot traffic of a busy First Friday reception. With over 30 artists’ work on display, I was worried I would not be able to identify Kinder’s work. Boy was I wrong! The gallery had set her pieces centrally, and my eyes were drawn immediately to her work.

While walking through the gallery, there was a noticeably different feel from the modern vibe of the Contemporary Gallery at the Pavilion. Rehfeld’s had a warmer and more at-home feel to it. There were children about from the moment I walked in, but much more subdued than the ones at the scavenger hunt. Kinder’s work added to this calmer vibe,  featuring farm and field landscapes with sheep and cattle.

Kinder had many friends and acquaintances visiting with her throughout my time at the gallery. When I finally got a chance to talk to her, the explanations of her work were as warm as the paintings themselves. “Color is just fun!” She said.

Kinder loves color, especially purple, and contrast is extremely important in her work. She also explained that sheep are her favorite animal to paint, though she appreciates the “angularity” of cows as well.

Kinder’s work is well worth a trip to Rehfeld’s, and a great fit for the family or date night. The warmth and farm-grown feel of her oil paintings are inviting and capture the essence of farm life in South Dakota.

Shiny, Happy People at Vishnu Bunny/Third Eye Gallery

Anna Glenski, Morgan Bentley, Hannah Wendt, Dustin Marie, Tyler Breske, Trista White Dove, and The Art of Lemmons were featured in Third Eye Gallery’s latest show. Unfortunately, I did not stay long enough to hear the music from Bodega Sushi and Granola featured that night. The artists put together an amazing array of art in different mediums. The work on display included everything from sculpture to charcoal drawings on newsprint.

The artwork in this gallery presented a different side to modern art that the previous exhibitions influenced by farm life could not achieve. The neons and saturated colors of pop culture icons filled the walls of the galleries, and mixed media pieces with global influence found their place there as well. Though the exhibition was listed as a family event, there were a few pieces present that included nudity or more adult themes that some families might want to avoid.

While many artists presented more abstract concepts, common themes throughout the exhibition were human forms, or parts of them, and pop culture references like Pokémon and the Joker. Along with the many brightly colored pieces, there were quite a few black and white or monochromatic pieces, as well. Some artists had a theme while others simply displayed a selection of their varying works. The variety of work displayed was a refreshing change of pace from the previous galleries I visited, though each gallery had its own charms.

Bonus Feature! Our own Hannah Wendt was featured at this exhibition. She also had work at my next stop–the 5th Annual Tallgrass Recovery Art Show.

Tallgrass 5th Annual Recovery Art Show

The last gallery stop on my First Friday tour was the busiest yet. Held at Exposure Gallery, the Tallgrass Recovery Art Show features the artwork of people who have been affected by addiction. On Facebook the gallery said, “Art is a medium for healing and we’re happy that we can help bring attention to the work that Tallgrass does each year in a small way.”

This show featured paintings, sculptures, and a few found-art style pieces. Most notable in the two room show were the larger-than-life sculpture of a man made of branches, and the fabric draped painted sign. A voting box sat next to the entryway of the gallery, and several visitors stopped to voice their opinion during my time at the show.

Many of the paintings featured words, quotes or the artist’s own thoughts on addiction. Another common motif throughout the show contrasted bright color with black and white or shades of gray. Subjects for the paintings and sculpture ranged from abstract to depictions of people. Though touching is not allowed, many pieces in the show make you want to reach out and feel their different textures and layers. This sort of tactile yearning was a unique experience among the gallery shows that night.

Some of the art in this show may be disturbing to younger audiences, but overall I would consider it family friendly. The pieces came from artists of different age ranges, and the perspectives were as varied as the artists themselves. The pieces in the show draw the audiences in, and simultaneously push them away. This show truly encompasses the different sides of addiction and recovery for an audience who may not have experience with the situation.

I ended the night at the 8th and Railroad Block Party. I didn’t stay long, but it was busy and the music was interesting! The band I heard was a blues group that included a didgeridoo and harmonica in their songs. First Friday was a hit, and there are lots of great new art shows to go see this month. I highly recommend all of the places I stopped at!

FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW: AUGUST

For several months, I have wanted to visit the Museum of Visual Materials for their First Friday art receptions. My first impression was joy when I saw their sidewalk covered in fun chalk doodles. The smell of savory wine and cheese definitely peaked my senses. For someone who has never stepped into the building, I thought that the layout of the space helped me feel welcome to walk about and spark up conversation over the artwork by artist Isz.

Once I noticed my time was rapidly escaping me, I decided to move on to my next destination, the 8th and Railroad Center. Boy, was I surprised to find the chance to ride a mechanical bull!

 

After the sweet seduction of the delicious food trucks, I wandered into the Eastbank Gallery. They had some fun, new art displayed throughout the space. I can’t help, but take my time to gaze upon these diverse artist’s work.

On my way to the Washington Pavilion, I spotted one of the most artistic paintwork on a vehicle I have ever witnessed. I’d be telling myself lies if I said I wasn’t impressed. To be honest, I’m quite jealous and was considering doing the same to my own car.

Photographs by Hannah Wendt

As usual, the artists being held at the Pavilion always are enjoyably engaging and ever breathtaking!

A large crowd gathered in the Schultz Gallery for the opening reception of local artist, Anna Youngers.

 

 

 

Right outside Lucky’s stands Steve Bormes‘ sculpture, “School Spirit,” which is part of the Sculpture Walk. I try to take the long way around downtown just to see all of these wonderful sculptures as much as possible, even when driving to work.

Something that caught my eye inside Rehfeld‘s was a poster for the upcoming IPSO Gallery reception with Marc Wagner and Amy Jarding on August 11. I couldn’t resist taking a quick photo of the advertisement art. See you there!

There have only been a hand full of times that I’ve seen inside the Rehfeld’s Gallery. For me, each time seems to get richer as I explore the layout of artists.

 

Just a hop, skip, and jump away from Rehfeld’s is Vishnu Bunny and their Third Eye Gallery. Each month they host different artists, along with a different theme. All I can say is, you’ll want to go check them out!

With the night slipping away, I found myself getting my nightly caffeine crave. What a better situation having the downtown Coffea right next door to Vishnu… Yay, that means more art!

I am someone who is incredibly receptive of my surroundings. That amazing doughnut photograph by Amy really influenced me to go stop by Half Baked Cupcakes for some sweets. To my delight, I was able to see if Sara Bainter had put up any new pieces in their space!

Don’t forget, right outside The Phillips Diner and Woodgrain is usually some outstanding live music! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw crowds of folks gathering around the Dakota Snow truck giving away FREE shaved ice courtesy of National Bank. Cool! (Ha, get it?)

Even though I haven’t always been aware of all that First Friday has to offer, Downtown Sioux Falls continues to grow on me with each venture I take. Plus, I was able to look up into our bright, blue sky and watch some hot air balloons drift around town. Until next time fellows.

Photographs by Hannah Wendt

 

 

FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW: JULY

The first weekend in July may have set a record downtown. From events, to people traffic, to motorcycles; everywhere you went there was something to enjoy, a crowd of people enjoying it, and virtually nowhere to park. Like most summer weekends, you have to pick and choose what to do, but July First Friday proved to be a roided out rendition of Sophie’s Choice. No matter what you picked, you likely still felt like you were missing out on 10 other things. Some, to be never experienced again, like Art Maze II. It was arguably the busiest  of all time that downtown has ever been. A couple of our bloggers caught merely a sliver.

ART MAZE II
With all of the outstanding events occurring Downtown Sioux Falls on July’s first Friday, I certainly hope everyone was able to hop down and enjoy the festivities! One of such events was the Art Maze II, which happened during the First Friday and Saturday. For those two nights, 30+ local artists, including myself and JAM, come together to create an aMAZEing event full of art installations, performances, murals, henna body designs, interactive spaces, lemonade stands for a cause, food trucks, and more!
As you walked through the spaces, you teleported into a world of extraordinary imagination. The truth is, even photographs couldn’t quite capture the excitement one experienced throughout event. For me, being one of the artists and witnessing the transformation of the entire space, I was filled with a surreal sensation. I still am unable to pin just what that feeling was…a pride in my city and its accomplishments, an excitement for everyone involved, watching and engaging with folks throwing confetti in my interactive installation, seeing such happy expressions on their faces. Maybe it was what the possibilities could be for the future…Art Maze III? Perhaps just an all-encompasing, epic feeling. Rock on Sioux Falls.
Hannah
 
EASTBANK BLOCK PARTY
As the sun bent behind high-rising buildings, guitar chords jumped out of large rectangular speakers and danced along the open air. Erik Koskinen and his band just began there 2-hour-long set. Erik told timeless tales of American life through the eyes of a hard working, Michigan born man. The concoction of Erik’s folk rock, mixed with the community of the crowd in the art and cultural hub of Sioux Falls, made for the perfect end to an exciting and fun-filled First Friday.
-Pat

YOU CAN STILL CHECK OUT THESE OTHER NOTABLE ART SHOWS THROUGH THE MONTH OF JULY

CIGARETTE MONEY @ THIRD EYE GALLERY
Visual artist include:
Solomon Carlson – Sioux Falls SD
Derek Meier – Minneapolis MN
Kimberlynn Jo Floren – Sioux Fall SD
Angela Meyer – Minneapolis MN
Derek Meier
Image via Vishnu Bunny on Facebook
Solomon Carlson
Image via Vishnu Bunny on Facebook


CHAD NELSON AND TRAVIS HINTON @ REHFELD’S
Travis Hinton is a ceramicist. Chad Nelson, a printmaker.

MELANIE RATZLAFF @ SIOUX FALLS ARTS COUNCIL
Melanie Ratzlaff’s artwork includes unconventional materials such as VHS tapes, pop cans, and recycled paper to create artwork that is a contemporary interpretation of her Lakota heritage. In this specific body of work, one will find references to pop culture & female identity. Melanie’s work has made its way to homes in South Dakota, Washington, and Arizona.
Melanie Ratzlaff
Image via Sioux Falls Arts Council website

FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW: JUNE

Every Friday I have the fortunate schedule of getting off work by 5:00, which for a workaholic like myself, that extra time always poses a problem: what am I to do for the next several hours? Never fear, my friends! Downtown Sioux Falls presented, yet another wonderful evening filled with that spectacular, creative scene.

First up was the 8th and Railroad Center for a “funtastic” time at a block party!

 

This being my first stop, I arrived as the beginning acts were playing. When I noticed the presence of several food trucks, I wanted to kick myself for eating dinner before coming…darn!

Well, nonetheless, the show must go on even without trying the amazing foods. Right as I had walked into Eastbank Art Gallery, my spirits were lifted to see such a variety of work being displayed! From jewelry, to watercolor paintings and a painted female figure! Boy, and don’t forget the wonderful sculptures, and vibrant paintings of what our beloved, classy Sioux Falls looked in previous times.

As much as I wanted to stay the entire night for the later bands to play, I had to leave the block party to head up Phillips Avenue. To my surprise, there was a band playing right outside Woodgrain! My second destination was Half Baked Cupcakes to check out what new creations artist, Sara Bainter, has allowed us public to behold.

Now, walking south on Phillips, I directed myself to the New New show happening at Vishnu Bunny Tattoo.

Later that night, Angie Hosh (a personal favorite) was scheduled to play, however, I later found that I wouldn’t be able to see them. Luckily, my dear artist friend, Maddee Ophelia, had attended! Yes!

Through my time spent at Vishnu, I saw MANY incredible works. With the walls brimming with art, it was hard for me to pick a few to show closer up. I must say, these pieces by Sasha McDowell and Emilie Nettinga were some of my favorites. So, you’ll just have to make a hop down to check out the rest and decide which speak to you the most!

Happy 2nd birthday, Unglued!

I enjoy roaming the collections of locally made work for sale at Unglued; it always brings a smile to my face. Good thing I was already smiling because there was a sparkling photo booth to take pictures in for their celebration! Not to mention, Scratchpad Tees had their first experience in its new location for First Friday. To them, I declare a warm summery welcome!

On my way to peak into the local authors signing event, I couldn’t resist stopping to appreciate Steve Bormes sculpture “School Spirit,” which is part of the Sculpture Walk.

The night had gone by fast, so I took a few skips east on 10th Street to Last Stop CD Shop, or more specifically, the Post Pilgrim Gallery.

Another personal favorite is J. White’s work. In addition, there was a large quilted rug placed in the center of the space. The details in these pieces continually blow me away. (Seriously, go check ’em out!)

Not only was there gorgeous visual artwork presented at Post Pilgrim, but the White Wall Sessions were jamming out with their featured artists! You’ve got to love having the chance to look at some inspiring art alongside with the head bobbin’ preforming arts. What fun!

First Friday, you were a great one, once again! See you next time.

-Hannah

ELEMENTS AND OTHER APRIL REVIEWS

ELEMENTS: WORK FROM USD’S SCULPTURE CULTURE
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.

 

APRIL FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW 
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!

 

ARTability
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!