A morning bell rings at Roosevelt High School, and outside a room in the deepest recess of the C Wing of visual and performing arts, Erin Nguyen waits smiling outside her ceramics classroom. As the high-schoolers file in, I note that it’s only the second week of a new semester, and Erin is able to greet each of her students by name.
Known as “Miss Winn,” to her students, Erin lives in Sioux Falls with her husband, Dan. She has ten years of teaching experience, and has spent the last two working her “dream job” at Roosevelt. Consummately expressive with her face and her words, Erin laughs easily and speaks at a leisurely pace, drawing out the vowels of certain words, turning her conversation into a kind of melody.
Continue reading Erin Nguyen: Art Educator
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
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
I started my evening at the Sioux Falls Design Center for their PetchaKutcha Night. With an overflowing crowd settling in at 7PM for the speeches to begin, we were asked for four volunteers from the audience. These brave souls went on to narrate slides that popped up on the screen, each one unknown to the volunteer, and lasting 20 seconds long (coincidently the same amount of time per slide for the awaiting presenters). This activity serves as a warm-up for the room, and also gives the presenters that last boost of confidence; anyone can talk about something for 20 seconds. We can look at this activity in a broader sense, and take this as a lesson in interaction, and a nudge towards the need for open-mindedness. It’s important to keep an inquisitive attitude and a light-hearted approach when participating in community events such as this. Take an interest! Share your voice!
Continue reading MARCH 6 – FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW
Artists 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
Continue reading ANDREW BILLION – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW
For Chad Dykstra, pottery began as just a hobby. He was introduced to the art by his father-in-law and started throwing back in 1992. It wasn’t until gentle prodding from his wife to start selling his creations in 2008 that he decided to turn his hobby into a way of life and the business now known as Up In Smoke Pottery.
Chad and his wife Kiesha work together on the pieces. He usually throws all of the pieces and his wife does the finishing and glazing. They do a few different types of pottery; Pit fire, foil saggar, paper saggar, obvara, and blackware are each beautiful in their own ways. Plus, these pieces really travel well. Up In Smoke Pottery has sold pieces all over the United States and Canada. They’ve also won Continue reading Around and About – Up In Smoke Pottery
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
I started using the Washington Pavilion pottery studio. Every Sunday from 1-4 there is an open studio for people who have taken a class in their pottery studio before, or if you at least have some knowledge about clay. Supposedly, I fall into the latter category. It’s foolish.
I don’t know anything about clay. In college I focused mainly on printmaking, drawing, and painting. When I took my ceramics class with Jerry Punt I became easily discouraged. I started hand building a sculpture that looked like it was a sand castle made out of hollow marshmallows. I don’t remember how long I worked on it, but at some point it disappeared. Someone threw it out.
Five years later I’m finally ready to move on and try my hand in the ceramics studio. They make it easy to buy clay from there, which I really liked. And, it doesn’t cost anything to fire your pieces. Continue reading Why You Should Try Something New and Blog for JAM