Category Archives: Uncategorized

Exploring the American West through Nigerian Eyes

Nigerian artists Dotun Popoola and Jonathan Imafidor are back in Lemmon for an exhibition at the Kokomo Inn. The pair’s Diary of Two Visual Anthropologists is the first show at the newly opened gallery space, a former tavern renovated by friend and frequent collaborator John Lopez.

Diary is inspired by the Yoruba concept of irepo, or harmony. In the spirit of irepo, Popoola and Imafidor continue to explore the common ground they have discovered between the cultures of their native Nigeria and the American West — particularly between the Yoruba and Edo cultures of Nigeria and Native American Plains cultures.

“In the course of our traveling to America during the past four years,” says Imafidor, “we have had experiences with a lot of different people, and taken the Greyhound and seen the real America and while we’re traveling documented all these things in our sketchpads. And when we get to our destinations we represent them in other mediums. It’s a collection of everything we have been doing for the past three years.”

Popoola’s Ere Ibeji visit the Ranch is a playful example of irepo. In Yoruba tradition twins— ibeji — are invested with spiritual power. The ibeji depicted here reflect the characteristics of traditional carved, female ere ibeji figures — like large heads (“the head is the seat of wisdom”) and front-facing features (eyes, breasts, hands, feet)…

via South Dakota Public Broadcasting. To view more, click here.

Local artist shares wire, string art hobby of 40 years

Faces of the presidents, and more, make up a unique collection of art made entirely from string and wire. Those masterpieces have become a Tea man’s hobby for the last 40 years.


“I get some good satisfaction when it’s done ’cause I know it took me a long time to do,” LeRoy Kyles said. “It was really worth it. I get a good feeling when I look at it. It’s a form a therapy and I enjoy it so much. When I’m down or whatever, I go and scribble on a piece of paper and I come up with a design and go and do it. It’s very relaxing for my mental attitude.”

via KSFY. To watch the video, click here.


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.


Deadline: South Dakota Arts Council’s Artists in Schools

CONTACT: Rebecca Cruse, Deputy Director, SDAC

Artist application deadline coming Sept. 1

PIERRE – Artists are reminded that the deadline to apply to the South Dakota Arts Council’s Artists in Schools and Communities (AISC) and Touring Arts programs is Sept. 1. Applications will open June 1.

The Artists in Schools and Communities program provides intensive, hands-on training in all arts disciplines to students of all ages across the state by providing funds to schools and nonprofit organizations that bring in groups and individuals for week-long artist residencies. The artists are responsible for developing their residency lesson plans. Residencies are coordinated through the South Dakota Arts Council office as part of the Arts in Education program.

The SDAC’s Touring Arts roster provides quality arts experiences in all regions of the state through a matching grant program for performances, programs and exhibits. Nonprofit organizations work directly with the artists available for booking during the two-year touring period.

Artists interested in applying for the Artists in Schools and Communities or Touring Arts roster must apply online through the SDAC’s e-grants system. Hard copies of the applications will not be accepted. For complete programming information and links to the e-grants system, visit for teaching artists or for touring artists.

An office of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council’s mission is to provide grants and services to artists, arts organizations and schools across the state, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Dakota Legislature.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.

CFA: Artist Residencies at Retreat at Pointer’s Ridge

Thursday June 1 – Sun November 19
The Retreat at Pointer’s Ridge, 47303 Big Sioux Rd, Baltic, SD 57003

Artists in any media are encouraged to find the space and time they need to work on new or ongoing projects. There is no deadline for 2017, but applications must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to intended residency dates. Weekend, weekly or monthly residencies are available now through November 19, 2017. More information can be found at:


Dear Valued Patrons and Sioux Falls Community,
Although some people may regard the arts and art education as a luxury, we know that creative activities are the very building blocks of child development. Developmental benefits of art education include establishing and increasing motor skills, language development, increased decision making, visual learning, inventiveness, cultural awareness and improved overall academic performance. Studies show that there is a correlation between art and other achievement.
 “Young people who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.”
– Grace Hwang Lynch, PBS
Proposed cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Education, and Institute of Museum and Library Services would directly impact the Washington Pavilion and hurt the Sioux Falls community. Beyond that, many of the artists that the Pavilion presents rely on NEA funding and many of the exhibition improvements in our hands-on science museum are fabricated by other museums and initiatives partially funded through IMLS support.

The federal cuts will strike a blow to two programs which greatly impact our community: Teacher Circle and Action Arts and Science Program (AASP). 

We invite you to learn more about these programs and to take action to support these vital programs endangered by potential funding cuts.

1. Contact your congressional representatives and tell them not to defund the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Center Program, or the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Senator John Thune 202-224-2321 or 605-334-9596
Congresswoman Kristy Noem 202-225-2801 or 605-275-2868
Congressman Mike Rounds 202-224-5842 or 605-336-0486
2. Reach out to support the following organizations:


Darrin Smith, CEO


Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.

Last week, full details of the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (which begins on October 1, 2017) were released. The budget calls for a total elimination of funding for the NEA. The release of the budget officially starts the hearing process in Congress. It is UP TO US to remind Congress of the value of the arts.

Americans for the Arts is an excellent resource. Visit their action center. Contact your elected representatives today,
and ask them to #SaveTheNEA!

Sioux Falls Seeks Arts Renaissance

Could a new era of artistic activity and public appreciation for the arts spark a cultural renaissance in Sioux Falls?

That’s the hope of the Sioux Falls Arts Council, which will host the community’s first Arts Mixer on Thursday at Prairie Berry East Bank. The goal of the event is to improve collaboration between the city’s many artists and cultural organizations.

Better communication was a prominent theme at a recent public brainstorming session at the Washington Pavilion. The event was hosted by the nonprofit Arts South Dakota in partnership with the South Dakota Arts Council.

The mixer, which will be held quarterly, is free and open to the public. Artists of every discipline are invited – including visual, literary, theatrical, musical and even culinary artisans. The council also encourages those outside the arts community to attend the event and contribute to the conversation.

Kara Dirkson, executive director of the Sioux Falls Arts Council, feels the arts need to be a deliberate part of the current city-wide growth, both in terms of the rising population and business development.

“There’s an empty spot at the table when the city gets together with the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce,” she said….

via the Argus. To view more, click here.


The 78th Annual Sioux Empire Fair is seeking entries for all categories.

SEE HANDBOOK for categories, rules, and other info.

Questions can be directed to the Arts Center Coordinator:
Wendy Sweeter
605-251-8497 (Home)
605-695-9819 (Cell)


For the May Art & Wine Walk, Young & Green Art (Jordan Thornton!) will be at Young & Richard’s Flowers in downtown Sioux Falls. She will be doing a printmaking related demo, launching a Kickstarter campaign, and will have work available for sale.

Find Jordan here:

Here’s the scoop— Jordan was offered a SWEET artist residency at Chulitna Lodge Wilderness Retreat in Alaska. She will be spending three weeks in this beautiful remote location off of Lake Clark, 180 miles SW of Anchorage starting on August 18. This residency will provide her with time and space to create artwork and explore new concepts and processes in the studio, as well as, take inspiration away from her surroundings.

However, to make this happen, she has some fundraising to do. She will need to come up with another $2500 towards residency fees and travel costs, and is using to make it all happen. Kickstarter is an online fundraising platform designed to provide creators with the resources and funding needed to make their ideas reality.

Kickstarter is all or nothing- you hit a funding goal or you don’t get anything. So let’s make it happen!!

Invite the world, and stay tuned for all the fun details!