First Friday – March 7th

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Like most First Fridays in Sioux Falls, this past Friday was full of plenty of options for entertainment in the arts world. Due to the variety, I ultimately was forced to narrow down my choice of events in order to make time to properly enjoy each one.

I began my evening at IPSO Gallery at Fresh Produce to view “Mythology and a Little Bit of Science,” a solo exhibition by Bryan Holland. Holland fuses original oil paintings of animals with an assemblage of different mixed media treatments. Some of the pieces are reminiscent of old advertisements, or other weathered signage.

Being an Aries myself, I was particularly drawn to Holland’s Slow Burn, a work focusing on the face of a ram—tips of its horns reddened with ember and smoking almost ephemeral wisps across the canvas. The detail put into this work is not unappreciated, and the simple image stands proudly and firmly on its own. The ram has significance in various mythologies, but it seems that it fundamentally represents a sign of rebirth or new life. I certainly felt that Holland’s pieces were alive and well, and was happy to have stopped by the show. His work will be up until April 2014.

After leaving IPSO I headed over to the Sioux Falls Design Center. It was my first time at the venue, and I was impressed by the clean utilization of space. I was there to attend the Design Center’s 9th edition of their PechaKucha Night. PechuKucha (POO-CHA KA-CHA) is an informal gathering in which a series of presenters show 20 slides, for 20 seconds each, all while discussing the nature of the material they are presenting. This practice started in Tokyo, and is now present in over 700 cities.

The evening featured six presentations, with speakers ranging from visual artists to architects to members of the Sioux Falls Roller Dollz. Each presentation was informative and engaging, with each person bringing light to interesting ideas or innovations. Although each presenter was discussing a different topic, I found a familiar theme in each person’s approach: sustainability. These presenters seemed omniscient in of the importance of our impact on the future, and the control that we have to do something about it.

Some of the topics covered were the use of social media as a collaborative mechanism, 3D scanning as a rehabilitative tool in historic preservation, and the importance of understanding the outlying effects of plastics on both humans and the environment. These were not all the topics covered, but the ones that I found to be the most engaging and forthright in their approach. The ideas were fresh, captivating, and inspiring, and the presentations are just the right length of entice the audience and encourage them to further investigate information independently. I will absolutely be attending PechuKucha again.

Full Presenter List in order of appearance:

Michelle St. Vrain – Emerging Artist for March Design Center Gallery

Jessica Garcia Fritz & Federico Garcia Lammers – mMAS Design & Research

Niki Schillerstrom – ReStorAtion Art Auction

Sara Lum – Rural Datascapes

Shannon McCarthy – NO AWAY

Vanessa Sweeney aka Redvolution & Jayme Nelson aka Pain Maker – SF Roller Dollz

Feeling fresh and inspired by my experience, I headed over to Vishnu Bunny Tattoo for my last stop of the evening. Vishnu has a casual, laid back atmosphere, which is equally intriguing as it is in a tattoo shop. Vishnu was hosting “Betty and the Beast,” a joint exhibition by Nathan Holman and Scott Ehrisman. I was mainly drawn by curiosity to this show, as I have casually read Ehrisman’s South Dakota focused blog, and I was interested to see his work.

I may have come for Ehrisman, but it was Holman’s animal masks that captivated me. The intricate details were clean and purposeful, and the composition bright and enticing. It was a pleasure to be able to view these masks in person. The work of the two men may have not been completely complimentary to each other, but the hodge-podge of Vishnu made it both exciting and acceptable. The show will run until March 29th.

It is refreshing that such a variety of options were available to attend on First Friday, all within walking distance of each other, and all offering free alcohol! One of the reasons that FF’s work is the proximity in which the events are located to each other. It is very easy to hop from two or three different places in the same evening, and not feel like you are being rushed. I encourage everyone to make an effort to check out at least one event for April’s First Friday(April 4th).

Amy Jarding is a visual artist living in Sioux Falls. She graduated the University of South Dakota with a double major in English and History in 2005.

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