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It’s always hard to decide where to start with First Friday events and sometimes it can seem overwhelming. But, the Mad Hatter said that you should start at the beginning so I’m going to tell you how I wandered around on October’s First Friday (which was also the Art and Wine Walk).

So let’s get started.

BetterBirdhouse copy

I’ll begin with the Sioux Falls Design Center. Their Build a Better Birdhouse competition was kicking off Sioux Falls Design Week and I got to vote on my favorite birdhouse. Did you get a chance to do that? If you haven’t, vote here before the 9th . And if you have, check back to the Design Center’s site after the 9th to see who won!

Next on my list was A League of Your Own to  see the work of Nathan Rueckert. He makes art with recycled baseballs under the company name Baseball Seams. He told me that he started crafting art out of baseballs after 9/11 because he noticed that the stitching on the baseball could easily be manipulated to become the lines of a flag. At this point, roughly 7,000 baseballs have passed through his hands and made into unique and engaging art.

The logical next stop would have been Coffea, but I rushed over to 8th and Railroad instead. So here’s a piece of advice: when doing the First Friday loop, it’s probably a good idea to be aware of what’s going on when, and then try to move along in one direction and have an ultimate destination. For example, I started at the Design Center and my goal was to end up at the Bomshell(ter) show. But along the way I went back and forth a couple of times and ended up missing the fashion show at Urban Archaeology, which was a big old bummer.

Josh and Guy copy

So anyway, let’s act like I was smart and went straight to Coffea after A League of Your Own. The artist reception happening that night was for an artist named Josh Rieck, who’s a luthier (someone who crafts instruments by hand). Josh is a musician himself, and one of the instruments on display was his personal mandolin. I asked him what the weirdest question he’d gotten all night was and he paused, which gave the third-party in the conversation the opportunity to pipe up and say, “Well I asked him if I could play one of them [pointing to an instrument]”. Josh is a good sport and complied for the man, whose real name I won’t disclose but his JL Beers name tag said “Guy”.

Speaking of guys, Dylan Jacobson was chilling in the entrance to 8th and RR Center, handing out pages from his upcoming comic and sketching new material too. He’s the kind of guy who’s more than happy to talk about his art, which was good because people loved to talk about it with him. When he and I chatted he said it’s really cool that people wandering through thanks to the Art and Wine Walk were interested to see what he was working on. Conversation about some rad comics with the artist himself is a win in my book!

Exposure Crowd copy

Then it was on to Exposure. They launched their fall issue of The Local Artist. Jeff Ballard is one of the names behind that magazine, and while an artist himself he wasn’t on display that night. But of course the show didn’t disappoint, because Exposure never does. A couple of Exposure veterans who had art up were Matthew West and Jordan Thornton (not to mention Solomon Carlson, who had some of his Ready.Sketch.Go! stuff on display) but I saw stuff from Exposure newcomer Kelsey Benson as well.

Bomshell(ter) Art copy

Final destination was the Bombshell(ter) Art Party, at the old Food Pantry Building. It was a unique art show in that most of the lighting came from candles, which gave the whole thing an intimate, lean-in-and-take-it-all-in-slowly feel.Ceca and others

I had the chance to talk with Ceca Cooper about her one piece in particular, called “Heavily Burdened”,  which was essentially about navigating motherhood in the face of five nitpicky eaters

I ended my night over at Woodgrain Brewery to try their spin on a Coffea coffee-infused wheat beer. Be sure to check that out too, it’s a nice drink.

So there you have it, folks, welcome to October! That’s how I spent my First Friday, and it was a mighty fine one. Don’t forget to check out the Pavilion this month, there’s some great stuff there (and on Tuesdays, all day, you can check it out for free!) and of course if your art tank isn’t full after that, be sure to check out places like Rehfeld’s because they’ve always got rad art there as well!


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