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.
Last month I sat down briefly to chat with artist Em Nguyen about her work. Specializing in watercolor and charcoal, Nguyen creates detailed, whimsical pieces, often inspired by nature or the requests of her patrons. Whether she is managing Lucky’s, or finishing yet another commissioned piece, this lady knows how to hustle. That being said, it is obvious how much thought and care goes into each new work.
Nguyen understands the necessity of fostering the art community, and does her part through organizing the Art Collective at Lucky’s Bar for the past six years. This free event gives new artists an opportunity to show their work without the pressure of a gallery setting, with the next Collective being held this summer. It is because of events like this, and people like Nguyen, that the Sioux Falls arts community will continue to thrive. Thank you for all that you do. ~Amy
Everyday JAM receives donated, lightly used art supplies that they are able to turn around and get into the hands of artists and crafters at an affordable price. That is just one stroke of the paintbrush. JAM Art and Supplies fosters community. Whether it is through their classes and workshops or their website’s First Friday Reviews and Inspiring Interviews, they are a palette of resources for the Sioux Falls art scene. To support that work, JAM hosts an annual fundraiser – the Sweet Art Show, two days before Valentine’s Day. If you heart art, you will not want to miss it.
Last year, with attendance exceeding 250 people, the first Sweet Art Show raised more than $10,000. Thanks to those generous sponsorships and donations, JAM was able to further their mission in 2015. They offered classes and workshops to Sioux Falls artists and children – ranging from free art clubs for middle school and high schoolers, business coaching classes for artists, private lessons, as well as toddler yoga and sing-alongs. They also held their first creative reuse summer camp last August. Kids 8 to 13 learned what creative reuse was, and were also introduced to art installation. As a group, they developed a concept and turned Exposure Gallery into a “candy thunderstorm.”
Last year’s event was held at the Museum of Visual Materials, and featured the work of 16 local artists. Other sweet attractions included a gourmet ice cream social with toppings (created by Chef Lance Catering), a cash bar, silent auction, a create your own Valentine station, and a surprise performance by the Washington High School drumline.
The night will also include the gourmet ice cream bar and other tasty treats, a presentation of an artist advocacy award, live music by Elisabeth Hunstad, raffle prizes…plus a huge surprise that will give you a taste of just how sweet JAM really is.
Looking forward, along with acquiring space for a classroom and providing scholarships for private drawing lessons, JAM looks to send staff to a Monart Method drawing seminar and a Visual Thinking Strategies workshop – both art-based teaching methods that increase core learning skills, comprehension, and problem-solving skills. Funds will also help sustain and improve JAM’s website, increase creative reuse summer camps to 4, and provide more class and workshop opportunities to Sioux Falls artists and children in 2016.
New year, new goals, one strong mission: get art supplies in the hands of local artists. Get involved, yo!
Exclusive sponsorship opportunities are available for you or your business! Become an art advocate, and support a nonprofit that is making waves in the Sioux Falls community. For more information on sponsoring JAM and the Sweet Art Show, please ask to see the 2016 Sponsorship Commitment Form or contact Jess. Share with your business-owning friends too.
Other great ways to get behind the mission? JAM takes merchandise donations year-round, and is always looking for volunteers.
Check out more of last year’s event below. We will see your face on February 12!
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.”
It’s not often that people get to do their dream job. Often, there are compromises, subtle stains in the perfect picture you’ve painted of your future self. This is not necessarily a bad thing; often times the things we have to do, make us love the things we get to do even more. I admire the people who make the leap, and put forth the gumption to play their hand at fate. For Lance Jeschke, he’s done it twice. He began touring with his band after high school, and kept up with the non-stop lifestyle for nearly twenty years. This background in the music business gave Jeschke a proficient business sense, which combined with his passion and talent, has launched his career as a visual artist.
Jeschke creates vibrant, colorful works that spawn from a deep, imaginative love within. Coming from a line of artists in the family, Jeschke continues a tradition of expression and fortitude, no longer creating pieces for himself, but to support his own family. Jeschke is a Royal Talens ambassador, and has shown his work in Europe. His career has progressed at such a rate due to his dedication to both his family and his craft, and can serve as inspiration to anyone out there on the verge of making their own leap into the daunting unknown. ~Amy
/zēn/ – noun (informal); a magazine, especially a fanzine
A zine is similar to a magazine, but usually smaller in size and publication, and of the DIY variety. Tomorrow night is the release of a new zine, Skullmore, which is catered towards the creatives of South Dakota. Skullmore is a collection of art, poetry, music, short stories and feature articles on galleries and businesses that support the arts community. The zine will feature full-color artwork and full-color covers, setting it apart from the traditional straight-from-the-copier zines. The five different covers feature the work of [from L-R in the picture below] Mercedes Nelson, Zach DeBoer, Marc Wagner, Lindy Wise, and Sharon Wagner-Larson.
Exposure Gallery and Studios will host a launch party for the zine in their back gallery from 6-9PM, which will exhibit original works featured in the first issue. This publication is thoughtful, cohesive, and FREE! Combined with the free beer that Exposure offers at their First Friday show, this could be a pretty cheap date for all your romantics out there.
The zine accepts all submissions related to the arts, and is curated by several individuals within the Skullmore family. For questions or content submissions, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
When you look at LindaAcklandKolb’s work, it’s easy to find yourselfstaring. That’s okay; I don’t blame you. Touching on inspiration from nature, fashion, and her musical background, Kolb utilizes pastels and beeswax to produce vibrant, controlled pieces suspended in soft, soapy deliciousness. Having spent several years working with mixed media, she has rendered some of that technique to her wax pieces, and it reads incredibly well. I was excited to view her work in person, and was even granted the pleasure of being walked through the technical nature of her creative process.
That is what I treasure most with these interviews, the opportunity to see an artist’s work space, to see theirprogress pieces, to see their home. A residence is an embodiment ofa person; small nuances giving circular direction right back to the source. A home resonates with memories, motives, little bits of your soul wrapped into those things your hold most precious. With Kolb, her Sioux Falls home is just as warm and bright as her seemingly perpetual smile. Several months ago, chatting by the warm glow of a fragrant Christmas tree, Kolb shared with us the necessity of creativity as a child, and the strength of perseverance when pursuing your goals. Herthoughtful and articulate words gavesoft guidance and strong advice. I found myself pulled in by her kindness, and hope that it translates through to you, the reader. Breathe in, breathe out, muster a smile and treat yourself to a great read about a lovely person. ~Amy
What is the path that has led you to where you are today?
My mom had a great influence over me and my siblings. We got along with what we had, and we used basic things to entertain ourselves, to be creative in some way. I grew up on a farm, so we pounded nails in some boards and floated them across the stock tank. She made our prom dresses. She was a seamstress, along with my grandma, so I’m sure I picked up some of that from her. She would put Continue reading LINDA ACKLAND KOLB – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW→
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
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