Art teachers are blessed in Sioux Falls, said Sherri Sherard, art educator at Edison Middle School. They are given leeway, and are able to be creative in how they teach and in what they teach.
That creative allowance shows in the array of tools and materials that line Sherard’s art supply room shelves. Students in her classroom are able to experience a wide range of artistic trades and crafts. Like many art educators know, not every student is going to be an artist. However, as Sherard notes, at least they gain the experience and process of creating certain things, like using a loom to weave. Sherard’s lessons are not just a practice in technique, they are woven with culture and history.
Continue reading Sherri Sherard: Art Educator
Chad Nelson’s roots in art and craft are well grounded. His father is an accomplished woodworker and studied art in college. His mother works needle point, quilting, and sewing. Nelson, himself, is an art teacher at Brandon Valley High School, and is also a skilled printmaker. However, printmaking was secondary, Nelson wanted to be a teacher. It is a passion he attributes to the strong role models he has had in his life – from his mom and dad, to his high school art teacher, to college professors.
“Not only did they teach me how to be an artist, they taught me how to be a person, too,” said Nelson. “They were all very caring, and usually went beyond their roles of just a teacher, [et cetera]. It very much affected me, and I wanted to do that for other people, too.”
Continue reading Chad Nelson: Art Educator
I had the pleasure of interviewing and meeting with several art educators in the Sioux Falls area about their experience and passion for teaching children. Art educators carry an important role with developing a child’s creativity, imagination and problem solving abilities. Although the art educators of Sioux Falls may varying in experience and teaching style, they all strive to provide the best art education possible. One of the first educators I interviewed was Kathy Dang from Cleveland Elementary School. Originally from Hutchinson, MN, Kathy has been teaching in Sioux Falls for 5 years. She received her bachelors in K-12 Education and Art from Augustana College and in addition received a Masters in Education from Augustana as well. Kathy’s hobbies include; cooking, yoga, gardening and enjoying time outdoors. ~Nakia Fritz
Kathy Dang- Cleveland Elementary
“I hope my students understand that art is not about creating pretty objects, it is about developing problem solving skills and visual thinking strategies that will help them throughout their lives. Art, especially in elementary school, helps students to realize that there is more than one way to solve a problem, we can learn from our mistakes, and that art is a venue to share our ideas.” Continue reading Kathy Dang a Sioux Falls Art Educator
Carl Grupp is a natural raconteur. As most who know him will attest, the man who many consider to be South Dakota’s greatest living artist is fond of peppering a conversation, regardless of subject, with any number of asides, anecdotes and tall tales.
Therefore, one might have rightly reasoned that it was only a matter of time before Grupp, who came of age during the turbulent Sixties, turned his wealth of bizarre and interesting experiences into a book. And finally Continue reading Portrait of the Artist as an Old Writer: Carl Grupp’s Literary Debut
This past Wednesday marked a changing of the guard at Augustana College’s Eide/Dalrymple Gallery. Newly arrived for a month-long exhibition are the peculiar and entrancing ceramic vessels of Randy Johnston.
Based in River Falls, Wisconsin (where he has his studio and teaches at a local university), Johnston brings a rather unique perspective to his chosen medium. Indeed, ceramics is conventionally thought of in terms of “function”– more as a “craft” than an “art.” And it is too often neglected by Continue reading If By Chance: The Ceramic Art of Randy Johnston
Today, the art world is a really big place. In the last few decades, the advent of the internet and the decline of Western cultural imperialism have opened making it an almost global network of creativity. Major galleries and museums now make a point to feature artists from all walks of life and countries of origin. If Picasso, a Spaniard, was the world’s foremost artist-celebrity in his heyday, one might argue that China’s Ai Weiwei has inherited his mantle.
But in some ways, the art world has changed for the worse. Sadly, it is still exclusive and money-driven, prone to excessive hype and bizarre trends. And for all intents and purposes, it is still based in a handful of cultural meccas: New York, Paris, London, Tokyo.
This is why it can be refreshing, even enlightening, to look at the work of artists living in places where the art world has scarcely penetrated, where the creative impulse isn’t overwhelmed by Continue reading Some Quick Thoughts About Carl Grupp
I once had a tae kwon do coach tell me that when you’re out there on the mat, you want your performance to inspire people. Your performance should look effortless, but high energy. It should be fun, so that people think, “I want to do that, I want to start practicing tae kwon do.” David Lethcoe does this with his sculptures; his creations are fun and carry a lot of energy and he makes me want to create. But Dave isn’t performing or just acting inspired. He knows how to stay inspired; you have to keep learning different things. When you keep learning you don’t have to think out every step–your subconscious can work out the problems that your mind creates. You just need to keep it simple.
Some people intuitively know how simple the world can be. That doesn’t mean they’re simple people. With Dave, it’s just the opposite. He has theory, art history, and new art movements all rolling through his head, fighting for his attention, when deep down he knows that just looking at the sky will suffice. It takes courage to admit that your subconscious can solve problems better than your ego can. Dave’s approach to life is romantic. I am a romantic—that’s probably why I became an artist. I like the idea of working in your studio, having your whole day to just clear your mind and cut materials. To me, when Dave tells us about a day in his studio, it is inspiring and encouraging. Keep things simple. Learn so your mind can stay fresh, and every now and then, look up at the sky. ~Jess
JAM: What is the path that has led you to where you are today?
Dave: I’ve always wanted to be an artist since I was young. I drew all the time and played outside. I didn’t have any artists in the family, but my older brother drew as well. I always thought he was good, and I wanted to be as good as him. After a while, he got to point where he didn’t draw any more and I kept doing it. When you’re in elementary school, art kind of makes you the cool kid because everyone wants to see what you’re doing. I would compete with another kid in the class by trying to outdraw him. We were Continue reading David Lethcoe: An Inspired Interview
Sometimes there is a thoughtfulness in a person that is immediately apparent through their approach to a conversation, and the things that they share with you. It may serve as a reminder to others of the beauty in subtlety and the strength in purpose. In this interview, we had the opportunity to talk to one of those people.
Adam Goodge is a printmaker living in Sioux Falls, that focuses primarily on screen printing, and producing clean images with somewhat politically driven messages. He welcomed us to his home to view his studio and a collection of his works. Goodge chatted with us about the importance of detail in producing a good print, how to create a powerful message with a visually pleasing piece, and what happens when you use a plasma cutter to take apart an engine. -Amy
Continue reading Adam Goodge: An Inspiring Interview