On a beautiful May Friday, my friend Melissa and I ventured out into the perfect spring air, a warm breeze teasing us that summer is near. Downtown was thriving with people, not an unusual occurrence considering today is one of the best days of the year – Downtown’s First Fridays AND the Art and Wine Walk! The Art and Wine Walk, sponsored by Downtown Sioux Falls, is an enticing way to bring people into the local shops, casually sipping wine and enjoying the artwork that is hosted there.
Exposure hosted a gallery experience featuring mixed media pieces called, “Growing Wild and Rare: Works from Reina Okawa and Cristina Kaufmann.” Colorful and abstract, their collage-like pieces received so many compliments that I overheard throughout the week before the show and during my short time walking around the gallery. Beer, wine, cupcakes, a packed crowd and the excitement of the new JAM Art and Supplies space next door, brought a full house.
JAM Art and Supplies
Of course, I had to stop here. I had to see the store come alive, see the people milling about. I asked Jess the other day, “How IN THE WORLD, did we fit into that tiny room before?” She just shook her head in amazement. My friends, we have a SPACE! And filled with so many goodies. I think everyone’s heads start spinning with ideas when they walk in here because there are so many possibilities with these previously-rejected, born-again supplies. It was great to see so many new faces and always wonderful to see the same faces. The support we receive from everyone, day in and day out, with your presence, your volunteering, your likes and comments and shares, mean so much to us. We can’t thank everyone enough for helping this dream come alive and for embracing us into the art community.
To support one of my besties, Amy Jarding, and to see one of her art shows for the first time with my own eyes, I naturally had to stop by Coffea, breathe in the delicious aroma of brewed beans and vanilla lattes, and see her live demonstration. Amy’s pieces are something totally different from anyone else in Sioux Falls. She is a unique mixed media artist, using everyday objects such as plastic toys, to create colorful and humorous experiences for each viewer. Her other talent, weavings, are just as fascinating, creating colorful patterns and shapes with found materials. I loved seeing her be able to do her thing with her loom and yarn.
This was personally my first stop into the rad Vishnu Bunny space. If you’ve never been in here like me, it’s located right next to Coffea downtown and has a refreshing, unique vibe to the art they feature. I loved the chain link material along the wall holding the art. The artists that are featured here are Brendan Parks and Terry Bittner. Bright, abstract with a quirky character thrown into the mix, the style of the paintings are vivid and genius – a perfect venue for this show.
A quick stop in Prairie Star was definitely a meaningful one. I overheard a conversation explaining a Lakota tradition and how to use the piece of pottery the customer was holding. It really struck my heart that so many of the Native American pieces in that gallery have so much more than a story from the artist who created it, but a rich history and past around the imagery, materials, concepts and usage of the piece. The artists wore name tags so they were easy to approach and interact with. Everyone working was so friendly. It’s truly a special place in Sioux Falls. Read more about the gallery in our Gallery Interview series.
A League of Your Own
Again, this was a first time stopping by this shop for a peek at what they had featured for a First Friday for artists. It’s great to see shops like this, decked out in sports gear and fan flair, participate in the art scene in Sioux Falls. The fabulous Nathan Rueckert was making art out of used baseballs with a live demonstration taking place for his piece, America’s Game. He’s been featured all over the country including the Baseball Hall of Fame. Check out Nathan’s website for some INCREDIBLE pieces made out of baseballs – pendants, wall art, link cuffs, oh my! So unique. So different.
Frislie’s Art in the Alleyway
Jeremy Frislie has put together an art show in one of Sioux Falls’s oldest alleyways to showcase local artists in an unconventional, more personal way. His Art in the Alleyway is a laid-back and personal gathering of artists; this year featuring fine art, pottery, masks, clothing and more. The alleyway can be entered near Mama’s Ladas – the sign points the way. The alleyway is filled with little booths, with the artists themselves showcasing their work. Garrett Koehler had some emotional paintings gracing the cement parking lot and brick walls and Dustin Scheideler was showing his brilliant black and white pieces again this year. Jeremy Frislie had his woodworking up and Nathan Holman was kind enough to let me take a photo of his quirky, lovable masks. Like I said last year when I went to my first Art in the Alleyway experience, it’s a magical, little world. A hidden gem of the Sioux Falls art scene. Something unconventional with someone brave enough to see a vision and go after it.