Tag Archives: 8th and Railroad Center

DAVID SIEH: AN INSPIRED INTERVIEW

Talking with David Sieh in his gallery at the 8th and Railroad Center was a great experience. I learned a lot about what it means to be a contemporary naturalist, and how David approaches his work. Though a small space, Se Gallery was a brightly lit workspace with a lot going on. Getting a glimpse into his artistic process and journey as an artist was a treat.
-Rachel

Rachel: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself as an artist and your preferred medium to work with?

David: Sure. I guess, like we were talking about before, I grew up in the Twin Cities area and then moved here. So my art evolved from nature, landscape and wildlife. Then I was exposed to more contemporary, abstract art, then very influenced by the New York school of artists, all the abstract expressionists and then into pop-art. So my art kind of combines all of that.

About me, I grew up in nature, surrounded by nature and I always had a love of art, to use color and design. Stuff with that really developed my interest in art and I schooled in art so I just continued down that path I guess.

David got his Bachelor of Sciences degree with an emphasis in art from the University of Sioux Falls after bouncing to Augustana and Vermillion for a while. He’s been making art for 30 plus years. He’s been in his current gallery space for over 5 years.

You write that exposure to Terry Redlin’s work drove you to a career in art. What about him and his work inspired you to start making art?

When I was in high school, Terry Redlin was living in Hastings, Minnesota. He was one of the first people to inspire me as far as having a career in art. I actually did go over to his house–his home studio–when he was very first promoting his work. He inspired me in that a person could do the art and make a living. I was very much into nature and environmental art at that time, and I still am. Even though my work doesn’t emulate his work or really show any influence of him, his career path influenced me.

You call yourself a contemporary naturalist painter. What does that mean to you personally and how does it affect your work as an artist?

I’m very inspired by nature, that’s where I recharge my batteries. I have to be alone in nature. I try to do a little bit everyday, even if it’s just walking down the sidewalk or just in the backyard; to kind of get in-tune, get in a rhythm with nature, so as a naturalist I learn from nature. Just seeing how complicated things are…color patterns, designs, all that stuff influences my aesthetic. As a contemporary naturalist, I express that in my own painting through my gestures, colors, compositions. So, my work comes off as non-representational a lot of the time, but still influenced by nature.

You started drawing and painting when you were young “as a form of communication.” How does art communicate to you and how do you see yourself communicating through art to others?

On the representation level it’s a relatively cut and dry conversation where people just see me representing nature or an image. Then I can also combine those images with other aspects so it changes the dialogue to where it makes things a little more complicated. People have to think about the relationship of two images side by side, often times in a conservation aspect where it makes you think about the fragile-ness of nature, also the complexities of nature. Then, if you were to look at the abstract art, it doesn’t necessarily have a dialogue about nature. Its dialogue is more of an emotional impact where hopefully people look at it and have an emotional, maybe even a physical reaction to it. You know, that guttural reaction where you really like something or you really don’t, and then you stop and think about why you do or don’t like it.

Do you feel like you have a responsibility through your art to communicate those things or feel as though you have a responsibility as an artist?

I definitely do. I feel that I have the ability, or talent or sometimes I even feel like I’m a medium. I don’t even know exactly where the work comes from or what the work is, I’m just the medium putting the work down. So yes, I feel that I do have a responsibility to create as much art as I physically can just to get those conversations rolling.

As a part of the Sioux Falls art community, what do you think of the art scene?

There’s a real good talent pool here in town, a lot of people interested in it, but as far as a collector base and as far as general public knowledge it’s really minimal. But it seems to grow a bit all the time.

David’s list of in-town favorite shows include the past “Artists Against Hunger” shows and the Washington Pavilion’s Arts Night. He recommends Exposure, Post Pilgrim, Rehfeld’s and Piper. His work can currently be found at Piper and his studio at 8th and Railroad. He has also done murals at the Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum.

How often do you create new work? And how long does a piece usually take you to finish?

As you can see, I’ve got work that’s in different stages of finish. I paint every single day. I’m in the process constantly. I’m never out of the process.

I’m gonna go with the usual 50 years and 10 minutes. It’s years and years of developing your technique and style.

Do you have any future plans for shows or specific pieces of art?

For me the art career and the whole thing is a combination of steady and consistent and patience. I’ve been doing this for 30+ years, so for me it’s the long term game.

David does accept commissions, seeing them as “Totally relevant and necessary, and part of the process.”

Follow his work through his Facebook page.

FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW: SEPTEMBER

Despite the rain earlier in the day, September’s First Friday was a popular place to be. This month, I visited the events at the Washington Pavilion, Rehfeld’s Gallery, Third Eye Gallery at Vishnu, Exposure Gallery, and the Block Party at 8th and Railroad. Talking to the artists at most of the galleries and learning about their work was a treat! The events were all family friendly and worth a trip downtown to see.

~Rachel

“Cracked Open” the Pavilion

Emily Stokes poses next to one of her pieces.

Introduced by Sarah Odens, the Assistant Curator of the VAC, and Jason Folkerts, the Director of the VAC, Emily Stokes appeared to talk about her new exhibition “Cracked Open.” Stokes was very open about her work and life, while telling the crowd her approach to art and her process. Though the gathering only included 18 people, Stokes embraced the intimate atmosphere and opened the floor to questions. She answered inquiries about printmaking, her storytelling, the process she uses and the inspiration for most of her art.

Stokes’ work in the Contemporary Gallery is a compilation of her box and printmaking work that encompasses her style well. The larger pieces on the wall have a simplicity and brightness to them that immediately attracts the eye. The work featured in the gallery is inspired by the differences between small towns and the contrast of living in different places. She explained that this exhibition is somewhat of a new venture for her, and the box concept in some of the pieces came from a desire to change things up a bit.

“I always think of Monet and his haystacks,” Stokes says. “The boxes became a way to kind of unify ideas.”

This exhibition was the first time for Stokes to see her bright work against a dark wall, an experience she excitedly shared with the audience. “It’s taken me awhile to get comfortable with color,” she said.

Her current project is one similar to the boxes, but branches out into more organically shaped creations. She has also been working with screen printing, though her favorite style is still drawing with a ballpoint pen.

As part of First Friday, the Pavilion had a scavenger hunt for children that included pieces in Stokes’ exhibition. Families came in and out of the gallery throughout the talk, producing a lively atmosphere. The unusually shaped pieces and familiar images are a great opportunity to expose kids to art they will understand.

Every side of Stokes’ art has something to it, and the three-dimensional features keep visitors on their toes throughout the exhibit. With the warm colors and farm life images, Stokes has produced a relatable and inspiring exhibition. Director Jason Folkerts said it best: “[She] does a good job of inheriting the Midwest.”

Also at the Pavilion is the “Above the Fold” exhibit with featured origami from nine artists. This exhibit is amazing and has some larger than life pieces that will delight children and adults alike!

Karen Kinder at Rehfeld’s Gallery

Karen Kinder poses next to her favorite animal: sheep.

Walking into Rehfeld’s I was greeted immediately by the new owner, Matt Jorgenson. He was exceptionally polite and helpful in my search for Karen Kinder, the artist of the reception at the gallery that night. The gallery itself was very open and the floor plan well-suited to the foot traffic of a busy First Friday reception. With over 30 artists’ work on display, I was worried I would not be able to identify Kinder’s work. Boy was I wrong! The gallery had set her pieces centrally, and my eyes were drawn immediately to her work.

While walking through the gallery, there was a noticeably different feel from the modern vibe of the Contemporary Gallery at the Pavilion. Rehfeld’s had a warmer and more at-home feel to it. There were children about from the moment I walked in, but much more subdued than the ones at the scavenger hunt. Kinder’s work added to this calmer vibe,  featuring farm and field landscapes with sheep and cattle.

Kinder had many friends and acquaintances visiting with her throughout my time at the gallery. When I finally got a chance to talk to her, the explanations of her work were as warm as the paintings themselves. “Color is just fun!” She said.

Kinder loves color, especially purple, and contrast is extremely important in her work. She also explained that sheep are her favorite animal to paint, though she appreciates the “angularity” of cows as well.

Kinder’s work is well worth a trip to Rehfeld’s, and a great fit for the family or date night. The warmth and farm-grown feel of her oil paintings are inviting and capture the essence of farm life in South Dakota.

Shiny, Happy People at Vishnu Bunny/Third Eye Gallery

Anna Glenski, Morgan Bentley, Hannah Wendt, Dustin Marie, Tyler Breske, Trista White Dove, and The Art of Lemmons were featured in Third Eye Gallery’s latest show. Unfortunately, I did not stay long enough to hear the music from Bodega Sushi and Granola featured that night. The artists put together an amazing array of art in different mediums. The work on display included everything from sculpture to charcoal drawings on newsprint.

The artwork in this gallery presented a different side to modern art that the previous exhibitions influenced by farm life could not achieve. The neons and saturated colors of pop culture icons filled the walls of the galleries, and mixed media pieces with global influence found their place there as well. Though the exhibition was listed as a family event, there were a few pieces present that included nudity or more adult themes that some families might want to avoid.

While many artists presented more abstract concepts, common themes throughout the exhibition were human forms, or parts of them, and pop culture references like Pokémon and the Joker. Along with the many brightly colored pieces, there were quite a few black and white or monochromatic pieces, as well. Some artists had a theme while others simply displayed a selection of their varying works. The variety of work displayed was a refreshing change of pace from the previous galleries I visited, though each gallery had its own charms.

Bonus Feature! Our own Hannah Wendt was featured at this exhibition. She also had work at my next stop–the 5th Annual Tallgrass Recovery Art Show.

Tallgrass 5th Annual Recovery Art Show

The last gallery stop on my First Friday tour was the busiest yet. Held at Exposure Gallery, the Tallgrass Recovery Art Show features the artwork of people who have been affected by addiction. On Facebook the gallery said, “Art is a medium for healing and we’re happy that we can help bring attention to the work that Tallgrass does each year in a small way.”

This show featured paintings, sculptures, and a few found-art style pieces. Most notable in the two room show were the larger-than-life sculpture of a man made of branches, and the fabric draped painted sign. A voting box sat next to the entryway of the gallery, and several visitors stopped to voice their opinion during my time at the show.

Many of the paintings featured words, quotes or the artist’s own thoughts on addiction. Another common motif throughout the show contrasted bright color with black and white or shades of gray. Subjects for the paintings and sculpture ranged from abstract to depictions of people. Though touching is not allowed, many pieces in the show make you want to reach out and feel their different textures and layers. This sort of tactile yearning was a unique experience among the gallery shows that night.

Some of the art in this show may be disturbing to younger audiences, but overall I would consider it family friendly. The pieces came from artists of different age ranges, and the perspectives were as varied as the artists themselves. The pieces in the show draw the audiences in, and simultaneously push them away. This show truly encompasses the different sides of addiction and recovery for an audience who may not have experience with the situation.

I ended the night at the 8th and Railroad Block Party. I didn’t stay long, but it was busy and the music was interesting! The band I heard was a blues group that included a didgeridoo and harmonica in their songs. First Friday was a hit, and there are lots of great new art shows to go see this month. I highly recommend all of the places I stopped at!

FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW: AUGUST

For several months, I have wanted to visit the Museum of Visual Materials for their First Friday art receptions. My first impression was joy when I saw their sidewalk covered in fun chalk doodles. The smell of savory wine and cheese definitely peaked my senses. For someone who has never stepped into the building, I thought that the layout of the space helped me feel welcome to walk about and spark up conversation over the artwork by artist Isz.

Once I noticed my time was rapidly escaping me, I decided to move on to my next destination, the 8th and Railroad Center. Boy, was I surprised to find the chance to ride a mechanical bull!

 

After the sweet seduction of the delicious food trucks, I wandered into the Eastbank Gallery. They had some fun, new art displayed throughout the space. I can’t help, but take my time to gaze upon these diverse artist’s work.

On my way to the Washington Pavilion, I spotted one of the most artistic paintwork on a vehicle I have ever witnessed. I’d be telling myself lies if I said I wasn’t impressed. To be honest, I’m quite jealous and was considering doing the same to my own car.

Photographs by Hannah Wendt

As usual, the artists being held at the Pavilion always are enjoyably engaging and ever breathtaking!

A large crowd gathered in the Schultz Gallery for the opening reception of local artist, Anna Youngers.

 

 

 

Right outside Lucky’s stands Steve Bormes‘ sculpture, “School Spirit,” which is part of the Sculpture Walk. I try to take the long way around downtown just to see all of these wonderful sculptures as much as possible, even when driving to work.

Something that caught my eye inside Rehfeld‘s was a poster for the upcoming IPSO Gallery reception with Marc Wagner and Amy Jarding on August 11. I couldn’t resist taking a quick photo of the advertisement art. See you there!

There have only been a hand full of times that I’ve seen inside the Rehfeld’s Gallery. For me, each time seems to get richer as I explore the layout of artists.

 

Just a hop, skip, and jump away from Rehfeld’s is Vishnu Bunny and their Third Eye Gallery. Each month they host different artists, along with a different theme. All I can say is, you’ll want to go check them out!

With the night slipping away, I found myself getting my nightly caffeine crave. What a better situation having the downtown Coffea right next door to Vishnu… Yay, that means more art!

I am someone who is incredibly receptive of my surroundings. That amazing doughnut photograph by Amy really influenced me to go stop by Half Baked Cupcakes for some sweets. To my delight, I was able to see if Sara Bainter had put up any new pieces in their space!

Don’t forget, right outside The Phillips Diner and Woodgrain is usually some outstanding live music! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw crowds of folks gathering around the Dakota Snow truck giving away FREE shaved ice courtesy of National Bank. Cool! (Ha, get it?)

Even though I haven’t always been aware of all that First Friday has to offer, Downtown Sioux Falls continues to grow on me with each venture I take. Plus, I was able to look up into our bright, blue sky and watch some hot air balloons drift around town. Until next time fellows.

Photographs by Hannah Wendt

 

 

FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW: JUNE

Every Friday I have the fortunate schedule of getting off work by 5:00, which for a workaholic like myself, that extra time always poses a problem: what am I to do for the next several hours? Never fear, my friends! Downtown Sioux Falls presented, yet another wonderful evening filled with that spectacular, creative scene.

First up was the 8th and Railroad Center for a “funtastic” time at a block party!

 

This being my first stop, I arrived as the beginning acts were playing. When I noticed the presence of several food trucks, I wanted to kick myself for eating dinner before coming…darn!

Well, nonetheless, the show must go on even without trying the amazing foods. Right as I had walked into Eastbank Art Gallery, my spirits were lifted to see such a variety of work being displayed! From jewelry, to watercolor paintings and a painted female figure! Boy, and don’t forget the wonderful sculptures, and vibrant paintings of what our beloved, classy Sioux Falls looked in previous times.

As much as I wanted to stay the entire night for the later bands to play, I had to leave the block party to head up Phillips Avenue. To my surprise, there was a band playing right outside Woodgrain! My second destination was Half Baked Cupcakes to check out what new creations artist, Sara Bainter, has allowed us public to behold.

Now, walking south on Phillips, I directed myself to the New New show happening at Vishnu Bunny Tattoo.

Later that night, Angie Hosh (a personal favorite) was scheduled to play, however, I later found that I wouldn’t be able to see them. Luckily, my dear artist friend, Maddee Ophelia, had attended! Yes!

Through my time spent at Vishnu, I saw MANY incredible works. With the walls brimming with art, it was hard for me to pick a few to show closer up. I must say, these pieces by Sasha McDowell and Emilie Nettinga were some of my favorites. So, you’ll just have to make a hop down to check out the rest and decide which speak to you the most!

Happy 2nd birthday, Unglued!

I enjoy roaming the collections of locally made work for sale at Unglued; it always brings a smile to my face. Good thing I was already smiling because there was a sparkling photo booth to take pictures in for their celebration! Not to mention, Scratchpad Tees had their first experience in its new location for First Friday. To them, I declare a warm summery welcome!

On my way to peak into the local authors signing event, I couldn’t resist stopping to appreciate Steve Bormes sculpture “School Spirit,” which is part of the Sculpture Walk.

The night had gone by fast, so I took a few skips east on 10th Street to Last Stop CD Shop, or more specifically, the Post Pilgrim Gallery.

Another personal favorite is J. White’s work. In addition, there was a large quilted rug placed in the center of the space. The details in these pieces continually blow me away. (Seriously, go check ’em out!)

Not only was there gorgeous visual artwork presented at Post Pilgrim, but the White Wall Sessions were jamming out with their featured artists! You’ve got to love having the chance to look at some inspiring art alongside with the head bobbin’ preforming arts. What fun!

First Friday, you were a great one, once again! See you next time.

-Hannah

RUG AND RELIC

With some foot-tapping folk music playing, I had the chance to go into Rug & Relic to interview Steve and Tove Bormes. The time spent speaking with the Bormes was incredibly informing and entertaining! Right away when you walk through the doors, they make you feel welcome. It’s almost as if I was chatting with some long time friends that I hadn’t spoken to or seen for years, but still have such a fun connection with them. Even in conversation, they play off of each other’s strengths and make each other better. You can see they take humble pride in their work with Turkish art, and the local and regional artists displayed in the building. It’s clear that they are personable people that love to take the time to chat with anyone about what they love: art. I encourage anyone to stop by to take a longer look into the fantastic pieces presented here, or even just to ask some questions.     -Hannah

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Eastbank Gallery

Eleven years ago, 20 local artists started Eastbank Art Gallery in a storefront at 8th and Railroad Center, at a time when that part of town was known largely for the rail yards, and not much else. Over the years, things have changed exponentially, with even more change promised since the City of Sioux Falls purchased more than 10 acres of the downtown rail yard from the BNSF Railway for redevelopment. People know where Eastbank is now, and as a gallery, they have forged a good reputation with artists.

The spacious gallery has one of the largest, readily available collections of local and regional art in Sioux Falls. Unlike any other gallery in town, they are member-stocked and member-ran. The walls and display cases boast the work of the current 16 members, and range in style, technique and trade.

I sat down with vice president, Jim Heroux, to talk more.

Continue reading Eastbank Gallery

First Friday Review: September 4th, 2015

This past First Friday held an abundant offering of exhibits, and judging by the packed streets of downtown, you could tell that everyone was trying to enjoy the last fleeting days of summer. Art receptions for the evening included:

Frislie’s First Friday Art in the Alleyway, “Art of Colloquialism” at Eastbank Gallery, “No Deck Pics” at Vishnu Bunny Tattoo’s Third Eye Gallery, “The Annual Recovery Art Show” led by Tallgrass Recovery at Exposure Gallery and Studios, “The Annual Portfolio Show” at Rehfeld’s, as well as DTSF’s Chalk the Walk and the Downtown Block Party on the Eastbank. Whew. Continue reading First Friday Review: September 4th, 2015

February 6 – First Friday Review

With temperatures hovering around thirty and the sun staying out just a smidge longer these days, it was a perfect night to venture out and admire some art. Once again, First Fridays were in full swing for the year. I bounced to three places – Eastbank Art Gallery, Prairie Berry Eastbank and Exposure Gallery.

My first stop was at Eastbank. The place was quickly filling with eager-going art lovers. I love running into people I know as I attend these events more and more often. It’s fun to walk into a familiar place and see some friendly faces.

Eastbank was hosting artist receptions for Amy Kasten and Ryan Howard. Amy’s quirky collages and gorgeous jewelry were immediately eye-catching as you walked in the door. Her jewelry ranged from delicate necklaces to leather bracelets and her collages were small and colorful, filling the walls. Ryan Howard’s pieces were vividly soothing, showcasing impressionistic-like qualities in his locally-themed, landscape paintings. Carl Grupp‘s colorful watercolor landscapes caught my eye as well as Gerry Punt‘s pottery in the front room. Other artists were featured in the gallery space as well. Eastbank is always one of my go-to places for seeing art on First Fridays.

First Fridays, Sioux Falls Artists, JAM Continue reading February 6 – First Friday Review

ANDREW BILLION – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

Andrew BillionArtists have special access to their third eye. There is this intuitive union of looking beyond the immediate, and yet remaining fully absorbed in the present. Inspiration is in even the most mundane of endeavors—nature boasts a plentiful palette, and a muse can be an ephemeral thing. It is about looking beyond what you think you know, and possessing the inquisitive nature to understand something other than what it may appear to be. Art is about pushing yourself through the struggles, searching for the answers to questions you haven’t even asked.

Andrew Billion knows how to look, how to push himself in the search. It appears he is not afraid of the unknown, or the daunting task of conquering new endeavors. He just takes it in stride with a big warm smile. Andrew is a painter, and as of late, a potter. He is prolific in production, and modest in promotion. His study methods may be unconventional, but to say they are effective would be an understatement. Speaking with Andrew reminded me that I can do anything, if I only put in the time. How will you use your time this year? Please read on, reflect, and enjoy! ~Amy

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STEVE BORMES: AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

STEVE-B-FEATUREDSteve Bormes is cool. Or, in nomenclature more appropriate to that of Bormes, you could say that he is groovy… and pretty damn good at it too. Bormes is one half of the husband-wife team that own the beautifully curated Rug and Relic, located at 8th and Railroad Center. But do not be deceived–there is more to the man behind the rugs, and he has a heck of a story on how he got there.
Walking around Rug and Relic, a person would have to be somewhat of a dolt to not notice the intriguing sculptures speckled about the store, providing patrons with the occasional doll arm or antique car part. Large wooden bowls made into lights, antique kitchen appliances adorned aside the muted fists of discarded dolls, endless subtleties to the human anatomy… these are just some of what makes Bormes’ work so inspiring. He creates with the practicality of science and symmetry, and finds a way to seamlessly marry that with nostalgic remnants of his childhood, keeping his work alluringly curious. He was a delight to visit with, and Sioux Falls is lucky to have such a not-so-secret gem. Stay groovy, Steve. ~Amy
BABY-LEGS-OUT-OF-LAMP

STEVE-BIG-SMILE-STUDIO

What is the path that has led you to where you are today?

Man, I’ve been one of those guys my whole life, that when I needed something, I would Continue reading STEVE BORMES: AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW