The sweaters, tall boots, and scarves came out this past Friday. Trekking around Sioux Falls in the blustery, cold weather was a sharp reminder of what is in store for the upcoming months. Luckily, I had the wonderful Jana Anderson accompany me as we wove our way through the streets of downtown Sioux Falls. We hit as many places as we could for the First Friday event of October, absorbing art and happily participating in the Art and Wine walk.
Did I mention that I love First Fridays? How great is it that the community chooses to promote art and the downtown small business world every month? Attend more than one of these and you’ll be sure to see some of the same smiling faces, people who eagerly support this re-occuring event. Without these people, this wonderful evening wouldn’t be happening.
Take a peek below to read about the venues, the artists and the experience of spending a few minutes at as many places as we could.
The first stop of the night was at Exposure on North Philips. The big Art Show sign points you indoors, a welcome affair on the 40-degree, gusty-winds-sort-of-night.
The Academia show was in full swing, featuring University of South Dakota Art Department faculty members. I was personally delighted to see Young Ae Kim. I’ve heard raving things about her graphic design program at USD and her work did not disappoint. Being a graphic designer, I was personally drawn to her piece. Zech Blasy’s bright, pop-culture centric sculptures filled the back room, each piece demanding your attention.
We popped into Simply Perfect and were greeted with a glass of wine. We spoke to Gary Gaede briefly, admiring his completely unique medium for art – creating geometric designs on the back of wrapping paper, shopping bags and cardboard boxes. Both functional and beautiful, they can be used as gift wrap and then later framed.
Eastbank Art Gallery
Eastbank’s gallery walls were filled with artwork by so many different people. I chose a few to feature, but a person could easily spend hours pondering each piece and each artist’s group of work. The reception for the featured artists was happening during this time so the gallery was filled with people.
Among the artists I chose to feature were Cathleen Benberg, Roger Ellingson, Steve Brummond, Kevin Dumdei and V. M. Heraux. Maybe I’m drawn to a particular look and style, or maybe there’s something inside of each of us that draws us to a particular piece. Either way, the artwork spoke to me and they are now captured here, on the blog.
Rug and Relic
The artwork in Rug and Relic gives off a different vibe than most art-showing places in Sioux Falls. The paintings are grouped so adeptly. They are not overcrowded and competing with other artists, each given their own space to play. Chris Vance’s pieces are wickedly brilliant and unique with bright colors and quirky characters telling a swirling, animated story.
Bryan Holland was showing some pieces near the back and his paintings are so detail-driven – the background and foreground so vividly different in style. Laura Jewell had a few pieces throughout the store as well. Stay tuned to read her upcoming Inspired Interview.
Walking from 8th and Railroad Center to Cliffhangers was a bit of a jaunt with the blasting cold, but good conversation between Jana and I and the promise of a warm gallery made the walk go by quickly. We snuck into Cliffhangers through the backdoor and a bouncy, little white dog greeted us, more excited to see Jana than me. The gallery is just past Skelly’s, across from The Diner; it’s a fantastic space filled with fantastic artwork.
Jana and I quickly stopped in Zanbroz and wound our way to the back of the store to see Marc Wagner’s work. He told us about his zine’s, how many he prints and his process for creating them. An unfinished piece sat on a table next to him – live art paused mid-creation.
We heard that Elisabeth Hunstad was playing at Chelsea’s Boutique, and both having gone to high school with her, we had to make a quick stop to her her phenomenal, high-energy performance. I ran into another friend there and told them they’d make it on the blog (ha). I’d never been in Chelsea’s Boutique before, which is a shame, because I wanted everything in the store, naturally.
The last stop of the night was at Total Drag, where JAM was hosting a supply drive. A box of supplies sat near the front entrance of the store – THANK YOU to everyone that donated. These supplies will go to the Multicultural Center’s after school program. In the shop, people were browsing the records and tapes at the front of the store and Burlap Wolf King was singing and playing guitar to an almost full house at the back of the store. I had never been to Total Drag before, and I’m guessing most of you haven’t either since it’s slightly off the Philips Avenue and Main Street path. It’s a fantastic little shop if you’re into live music and records, amongst other nostalgic things and I highly recommend going out of your way to see this place to support local music.
And that is my brief, high-level overview of the First Friday and Art and Wine Walk experience. Bottom line, it was cold, there was wine and art, and artists were everywhere.