Apparently, summer happened already. Kids are back to school, and I have seen a few leaves on the ground. I’ve once again declined an invitation to suck at fantasy football, and my gourd-loving friends have already been talking about how excited they are for pumpkin spice season. I prefer to call it fall, and leave my plain, black coffee alone.
I’m pretty positive September has no intention of going any slower, so before it’s suddenly October, here is September’s First Friday Review.
5th Annual Chalk the Walk
This was the first time I have been downtown for the Chalk the Walk event. Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. hired five local artists to create one-of-a-kind chalk drawings. Artists featured throughout the area were Shaine Schroeder, Zach DeBoer, Lacey Eidem, Jaime Hill, and Sara Bainter. It was incredibly impressive to watch the artists work, and see what they could do with some simple sidewalk chalk and a big slab of concrete. Many downtown businesses got involved, also, by leaving a bucket of chalk outside their door to encourage the public to create their own masterpieces. DTSF really does a wonderful job of creating community involvement, and promoting local art.
Anna Reich Gallery Talk
I was immensely captivated by Anna Reich’s collection of photographs, and her gallery talk focusing on Post-Soviet Lithuania and Latvia. The collection was a representation of her journey through her 14 months there, in a small village of 900 people. The weight of life was displayed beautifully through composition, lighting, and subject content. Some photos were composed so that they were closed off with no way to escape the photo, while many others utilized what little light was available. In Soviet times, you were not considered a person. So, when Reich would ask questions like, “How did you feel when…” The response was often, “No one asked us.” No One Asked Us is on display until October 16 in the Jerstad gallery. I highly recommend taking the time to go see it.
The sidewalks, streets, and patios were packed downtown for First Friday, and inside the Design Center was no different for their 19th volume of Pecha Kucha. Before the featured creators and innovators presented on their passion, the audience warmed up with a hilarious Mash Up presentation, where four volunteers from the audience extemporaneously presented on five slides, not knowing what those slides were going to be.
Denise Ferguson, whose art is currently displayed at the center, talked about her mentorship with local Somali refugees, and how it influenced her artwork. Many of her paintings are portraits of those she has met, as well as foods native to that culture. Her work focuses largely on community-oriented things and subjects. She noted how mentoring is a really great way to get to know the many cultures in Sioux Falls.
Other presenters included: Tony Helland talking about Dakota Rural Action, Jessica Farley – owner of ELOFSON and founder of South Dakota Sustainable Fashion, and Jeff Hanson – marketer and member of the SculptureWalk team.
Third Eye Gallery at Vishnu
Third Eye Gallery‘s show, Fan Art Friday, featured themes ranging from Alice in Wonderland to Batman to Game of Thrones. You can check out sweet pieces from artists like Jerry Chacon and Galacia Barton the entire month of September. Other featured artists: Trista Voagen, Sierra Nicole, Kenneth Richter, Travis Bentley, Asher Srednas, Amy Reynolds, and Linus Wiedemeier.
An artist reception was held at Coffea for Cameron Stalheim, whose work is featured there this month. His collection, titled Dreamy Duress, works through the stigma of depression and isolation. He uses the juxtaposition of materials and grotesque textures to contrast ugly and beautiful, selfish and selfless, and the struggle to be free. While the colors he used were indicative of a dreamy, hazy memory, he said he constantly had his mom in his head trying to make it match his home decor. Stalheim is a local sculpture artist. You might recall his 20-foot merman from Artmaze? Definitely go sit, have a cup of Coffea’s best, and take in his beautiful work.
Tallgrass Recovery Art Show at Exposure
While I didn’t make it down to Exposure in time for The Recovery Art Show, led by Tallgrass Recovery, I’m surely going to check it out yet this September. I have heard nothing but praise and compliments. Tallgrass Recovery is a community-based partnership designed to bring together diverse groups of individuals from all demographics to establish a dialogue on the struggles of addiction and the beauty of a life of recovery. Each year this event strives to reduce stigma, educate the public, and provide an outlet for community members to express their experiences with addiction.