Tag Archives: printmaking

Let’s Celebrate Jordan Thornton’s Artist Residency

Landing an artist residency is a big deal. So when an artist does, it’s cause for celebration.

One of JAM’s favorite artists, Jordan Thornton, has “nailed” down her first artist residency!

It happens to be in Vermont, and there happen to be fees and costs that come along with that, so the Sioux Falls community has the awesome chance to help Jordan in her journey.

But before I get to that, here’s a little more information about Jordan.

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She’s a printmaker with a deeply-rooted love of nature, which you can easily see in her work. Handpulled and hand-printed woodcut prints, often displayed in shadowboxes (that she usually makes herself) are her forte.

Jordan describes her current work as having a focus “on plant imagery, primarily the roots. The visual part of these pieces is of the physical plant, while the thought behind the work focuses on our own roots: what holds us to a place, a person, a pursuit.”

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If that’s not enough info about her craft, check out our Inspired Interview of Jordan.

She’s been honing her craft for years. And she’s also been applying for residencies for years. And then the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT offered her an artist-in-residence spot for the upcoming month of August.

Here’s the catch: getting to Vermont isn’t free.

So that’s where you come in.

Jordan’s got a Kickstarter campaign that’ll cover the remainder of her residency fee and travel costs. But, most importantly, this campaign puts her art into the hands of the people investing in it.

To kick off the campaign, Coffea Downtown is hosting a launch party which doubles as the artist reception for Jordan’s three month show at Coffea. The party’s going down on May 6th from 6-8pm.

If you can’t be there to high five her and join the fun in person, you can still join the fun online:

Chad Nelson: 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

REINA OKAWA: AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

 

Marc Wagner

Reina Okawa has an eye about her. There is an attention to detail, and an alertness to fluidity in her work. She credits her methods to inspiration from her Japanese roots, and her childhood in Venezuela. Using a variety of material, she creates bright, playful compositions, abstractions from nature in a mixed media context. Her work pulls a person in, each layer possessing lovely detail, intricacies feeling like tiny little secrets between the viewer and the piece. Reina’s work is thoughtful, a direct reflection of her personality, a warmth emanating from an unassuming soul. It was a pleasure to hear her thoughts, and even more so to share them. Never change, friend. You are a treasure. ~Amy

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ZACH DEBOER: AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

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Zach DeBoer has been a good friend of mine since college. Although he’s several years younger than me, he’s always been the mature one in our friendship. He is a planner, someone who rallies the masses, acting as a source of guidance for the less motivated. The kind of person who cleans his housemate’s room for him if he’s feeling bored or particularly… particular that day. He’s not afraid to speak his mind, but the chances are he’ll be able to make you smile while he’s doing it. 

Zach’s work is reflective of his personality. Upon first view, you are met with bright, bold colors, much akin to the warmth of his attitude and outlook. Further inspection reveals concise placement, and well conceived content.  Work is created with purpose, and executed from start to framed finished. Zach works methodically, and carries his creative sense through to his business savvy. Although he received his education in Printmaking and Art Education, Zach is currently operating his own gallery in downtown Sioux Falls. The month of August actually marks the one year anniversary for Exposure Gallery and Studios being open under it’s new management. Zach has become integral in the Sioux Falls community, and I look forward to continuing to watch him grow. I’m proud of you, buddy! ~Amy Continue reading ZACH DEBOER: AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

June 2015 First Friday Review

Hello, I’m Sharon! I’m filling in here on the JAM blog for the first time to do a Downtown Sioux Falls First Friday review for June 5th. I was able to make it to four different art receptions that evening, but there were many, many more than that going on. The weather was perfect and downtown was absolutely bustling and buzzing with people!
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My first stop was at the Sioux Falls Design Center for Pikachu Night. I mean, PechaKucha Night. PechaKucha isn’t nearly as mysterious as it sounds, though I still can’t pronounce it correctly. It’s a simple presentation format where 20 images are shown, each for 20 seconds, while the speaker talks about the images as they go by.

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I made it just as the second speaker, Allyson Bousema, was starting. It was standing-room only and I could barely get in the door! Allyson was speaking about her new business, Prints & Repeat, a printing company focused on the unique needs of artists.

Continue reading June 2015 First Friday Review

MARCH 6 – FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW

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!

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JORDAN THORNTON – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

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Sometimes it takes leaving to really find out where you want to go, the direction you want to take. Memories become your most valuable possession, the strength of your home giving guidance to the unknown, and foundation to what you do. The traits we manifest take part in forming who we are. What we are drawn to. What we do. You may be able to alter your environment, but it never really leaves you. Jordan Thornton has embraced the embodiment, and is back in a familiar place. This printmaker captures motions from her everyday life, her surroundings, and presents them in an active and engaging way. Her work stretches beyond the frame, and guides its audience to do the same, to take notice of the intricacy of life directly in front of you.

Much like her work, Jordan seems to be constantly reaching further, pushing herself to stretch beyond obvious boundaries. Her work develops fluidly, almost instinctual. She is absorbed in her craft, and conscious of the beauty within her own world. Often we forget to simply pause, to breathe in a summer day, to look closer at the trunk of that tree, to even take a peek at your own self. One must not forget the obvious, as there is a reason it is right there in front of you. ~Amy

Continue reading JORDAN THORNTON – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

MARC WAGNER – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

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As artists, sometimes it feels like we’re paddling upstream. All of the work we do for one piece, or one show might give us very little return. We could easily turn into existentialists, banging our heads against the walls, and wondering what the next step is. Most of the time the answer is simple: make work every day and then get out there and show your work again and again. Marc Wagner can attest to that. He recommends it.

Marc is an important ingredient to the Sioux Falls art scene soup. Chipper, inspirational, and knowledgeable only begins to describe Marc, but I encourage you to get to know him; seek him out and spend some time around him because when I do, I’m better for it.~Jess

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MICHELLE ST. VRAIN – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

MichelleStVrainCoverAs children, it is not unusual to find fascination with animals. These creatures are a source to relate to, innocent beings living through the dichotomy of coexistence with man. To me, it makes sense to be drawn to the innocence and wonder of just… being. Children hold this magical quality to them, this ability to approach life with unbridled awe. Life has hopefully not begun to teach it’s hard lessons, to discern one’s path. In the end, we are all drinking the same water, breathing the same air. One should not be so quick to discern the hierarchy of existence.

I wish I had known Michelle St. Vrain as a child. I imagine her exploring through the dense trees of Kentucky, followed by a small body of animals; bunnies hopping at her feet, butterflies flitting above her hair in a blurry crown. This is a delightful image to hold in my mind, but I am quick to point out that Michelle is not some dainty maiden traipsing in the woods with Bambi. She is a strong-willed and mindful soul, and uses her personal beliefs as a point of exploration in her work. Michelle fosters a deep compassion for all living creatures, and continuously develops that connection. Using images of animals, or at least parts of them, she creates moments of interaction with these creatures in their various forms. Instead of focusing on the variance of our existence with the animal kingdom, she finds a refreshing unity in the disparity, and I find that to be just lovely. ~Amy

Continue reading MICHELLE ST. VRAIN – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

Portrait of the Artist as an Old Writer: Carl Grupp’s Literary Debut

zandbroz-book-signing-carl-gruppCarl 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