This is my first First Friday Review. There were so many events going on that it was impossible to go to all of them and give each the amount of time they deserved to experience what each unique place had to offer.
Art in the Alleyway
I began my First Friday journey by wandering downtown, past Mama’s Ladas, and into the alleyway, curious as to what the giant sign was suggesting was back there. Turning the corner, a magical little world was in full swing with artists proudly showing off their work at tables and booths, musicans setting up for their upcoming performance and small crowds of people gathered and talking. Everything from prints, paintings, graphic design, tshirts, pottery, woodworking, clothing, and decorative deer antlers were on display. It was an awesome experience and I suggest that everyone go to Frislie’s Art in the Alleyway next time they host this re-occuring event.
Our very own Amy Jarding was set up with her work on display as well as 10-15 other artists. A few other artists in attendance included Shaine Schroeder, Frislie’s wood-working creations, Chase Lilleholm’s ceramics, Andrew Billion, graphic design artwork and tshirt designs by Dustin Scheideler and clothing design by Darling Vintage. It hurts my heart not to talk about and highlight each and every artist I saw, so if you’d like to be featured on this blog, we would love to have you (contact us!).
My next stop on my First Friday tour de art was Rehfeld’s on Phillips. I wandered into the gallery space, immediately taken aback by how packed the gallery was. The place was alive with chattering and wandering people holding wine glasses, pointing at different pieces of art. Hors d’oeuvres were being whisked about from group to group by wait staff and the artists themselves stood by their work, eagerly explaining their pieces and their process. Over 200+ artists were in attendance for this show and the support for it showed.
Wandering around the space, people would glance at my giant camera once in a while in curiousity, but one artist had the heart to strike up a conversation with me. After joking about my huge lense, I asked her if she knew about JAM Art and Supplies and she said she had, in fact, heard of us (yay!). Glenda Drennen was her name and she was a doll to talk to, explaining her process for creating her little bird paintings. She uses the dried paint from her acrylics, butcher paper and carefully tears the pieces of dried paint to form the birds doing playful things such as singing or taking a shower under a flower. It was an incredibly unique process, and she was super excited to explain it to me. I thought her work was fantastic.
My third stop was across the street from Rehfeld’s at Prairie Star Gallery. The Prairie Star Gallery is a hidden gem in the local art world. Artists from over 50 states have been represented in the gallery space and Prairie Star works hard to promote the highest quality Indegenious art. The walls were packed with art – paintings, clothing pieces, incredible quilts, etc. Artists were on hand to talk about their work.
Sioux Falls Design Center
At 7 p.m., I skipped over to the Sioux Falls Design Center to attend my first Pecha Kucha Night. If you’ve never been to one of these, they are exciting and fun. The presentations are mixed with rehearsed speeches and a dash of spontaneity, moving at an incredibly faced pace, full of information. The presenter gets 20 slides to present on a self-chosen topic with only 20 seconds to talk about each slide.
Jess presented to a packed house about JAM Art and Supplies. She did a kick-ass job and I could feel the tension in the room as everyone strained to hear what was going to be talked about on the next slide. JAM is such a unique, niche idea for Sioux Falls that it had everyone instantly intrigued.
Chalk the Walk
Chalk the Walk was also taking place downtown. I snapped a few photos of some of the interesting ones I saw while I was gallery-hopping. It was great to see kids contributing to the chalking event. The little humans all appeared to be uber excited about decorating the pavement.
And that wraps up my First Friday review. I was grateful for the opportunity to cover one of these despite the fact that I am in no way a reporter/journalist or expert art critic. I’m happy to share my experiences, observances and a few of my favorite pieces though.
Katie is Senior Graphic Designer at Meta Payment Systems. She takes photos of the Inspired Interviews and serves on JAM’s Board of Directors.