Tag Archives: USD

ELEMENTS AND OTHER APRIL REVIEWS

ELEMENTS: WORK FROM USD’S SCULPTURE CULTURE
by Emma Johnson

Friday, April 14, I had the pleasure of witnessing something that doesn’t happen too often in the art world – an exhibit comprised entirely of student work. The show, titled Elements: work from USD’s Sculpture Culture, featured artworks from both undergraduate and graduate sculpture students at the University of South Dakota. The exciting display highlighted the array of mediums and techniques that USD sculpture students are utilizing in their art making.       -Emma

Close up of Mikayla Tuttle’s “Cairn,” 2105, wood and steel

Third year sculpture student Courtney LaVallie’s piece immediately caught my attention as it seemed to be floating in the corner of the room. The work, titled “Unraveling Universe and Her Tears,” appeared as nest of wood strips tangled into an impossible egg shape. Upon closer inspection an opening in the front of the “egg” revealed a web of beaded droplets inside. LaVallie said she is most drawn to sculpture because of its versatility – “I can use any material I want, anything I can find can be made into a piece of art.” LaVallie is primarily interested in processes such as wood carving and metal casting.

Liela Ghasempor, “Rage,” 2016, Stoneware clay

In addition to wood working, the exhibit featured pieces of cast iron as well as ceramic works, such as graduate student Amy Fill’s series of porcelain cups titled, “Dynasty”. These ironically elegant forms resemble tin cans covered in soft, rusty orange and blue flowers. “Dynasty” highlights sculpture’s ability to include countless mediums and techniques in order to create a three dimensional piece. Fill works consistently with found-objects, ready-mades, and industrial materials.

Amy Fill, “Dynasty,” Wood and salt-fired, slip cast porcelain, commercial stencils

A particularly charming piece was Beckett Smith’s “Silhouette”. This one-legged stool defied gravity in the center of the gallery, while its shadow (a thin piece of wood painted black and laid out on the floor) revealed all four legs! This work not only made some great art historical references (Duchamp anyone?), but added a sense of humor and whimsy to the exhibit.

Ben Powers, “Container,” 2017, wood

The back gallery at Exposure featured USD student, Leila Ghasempor’s solo show. Ghasempor was the winner of Exposure’s Solo Show award at the annual Stilwell Juried Art Show that occurred this past January. A quick look around the room made it quite evident why Ghasempor received this award. The artist chose to display a series of striking ceramic busts that she created last summer. Each face was carefully twisted and molded into fantastic facial expressions that reveal Ghasempor’s anti-war advocacy. Although her solo show contained only ceramic works, Ghasempor utilizes a number of mediums; one of which is performance. The piece that Ghasempor performed at the opening of her solo show further emphasized the anti-war theme that runs through much of her work.

Leila Ghasempor, “Terrified,” 2016, Stoneware clay

Students such as Cody Robinson (a senior sculptor) feel that Sculpture Culture is a term used to define the sense of community that sculpture students have formed with one another. Robinson has stated that he enjoys being a part of a group that he can share his ideas with.

Dani Backer, “Blanket,” 2016, wood

The Sculpture Culture show brought to light the sensational student work that all too often remains in the studio as opposed to the gallery. While this group of student artists agree upon the importance of Sculpture Culture, LaVallie has pointed out the importance and necessity of student-led exhibits. LaVallie believes these “are important for students because it gives [them] an opportunity to see [their] work outside of the studio.” Student-led shows also allow young artists to make necessary connections with their audience and other artists working in their community.

 

APRIL FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW 
by Hannah Wendt

With the days getting longer and the sunset guiding my footsteps, where do I go on April’s First Friday night? Downtown Sioux Falls!

Taking the hands of my 7-year-old sister and 4-year-old niece, our first destination is one of our top favorite places in Sioux Falls, the Washington Pavilion Visual Arts Center. March’s First Friday event hosted several new exhibits, so April’s was a continuation of most of the same works. However, twice visited is great for the younger, or the younger at heart, as the building continually offers a fun learning environment.

After our adventure cravings were filled by the Pavilion, we decided to walk (more like skip) across the street to the Sioux Falls Design Center. For the last while, popping into the Design Center to see what they are all about was on one of my priority lists. I led my two companions through the door, and, wowza, I’m glad the three of us stopped in during Free First Friday! They were demonstrating how to complete your own screen printing…with Easter designs on cards! We followed a helpful individual to a table set up with colored card stock, and already prepared screen printing boxes. The process of pulling a squeegee across an ink covered screen onto the paper underneath to produce something entirely new fascinated anyone inexperienced with printing. So, for my little sister and niece, it was the equivalent of finding a treasure chest in a never before discovered cave.

Eight-thirty rolled by, and signs of tiring feet, tiring eyes, and tiring minds appeared. Our First Friday trio called it a night. Moreover, it would be a challenge to contain our excitement for the fun that was set to be had the next morning. We looked forward to exploring new ways of doing origami at JAM Art and Supplies with local artist, Reina Okawa, who will be putting the origami pieces together into a full scale installation at the Washington Pavilion. Oh, what great things Sioux Falls is holding for us in the near future!

 

ARTability
by Tana Zwart

The Sioux Falls Mayor’s Disability Awareness Commission hosted their 7th annual ARTability reception at the Museum of Visual Materials on April First Friday. Roughly 60 local artists with disabilities displayed limitless creativity in a wide range of mediums; even needlepoint and macrame. Melodies from local flautist, Vicki Kerkvliet, provided ambience while over 130 guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, and perused the large exhibition.

The transforming and therapeutic nature of art seemed to be a prevalent, collective undertone. One artist noted a drastic evolution in her paintings from when she initially started creating. The angry stark blacks and piercing reds she described of her first works compared to the prominently more colorful, abstract pieces she had displayed that night, was a testament to an internal shift that can come from finding an outlet that fits.

The exhibition was a one-night event, as opposed to previous years where the art hung in the museum for a month prior to the reception. Many of the pieces were available for purchase, with all of the funds going directly back to the artist.

It would be wonderful to see more faces of the art community at next year’s event. Keep it on your radar. I promise, you won’t want to miss it!

 

 

SHARON WEGNER-LARSEN: AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

lance (3)There is something special about viewing an artist’s work in-progress. The raw, intimate glimpse of a temporary existence, an image in flux of both content and time. For Sharon Wegner-Larsen, this type of documentation is simply a part of her creative process; each piece seems to be painstakingly documented, and generously offered to the public in an engaging way. Talking to Sharon, you can tell she is a natural born teacher, someone who values the dedication and discipline attached to strengthening a craft.

Much like her marriage of painting, illustration and design, Sharon combines her love of science and art to create vivid, detailed explorations of life on earth and the space above. Seeking to create a dialogue between the two, her pieces celebrate exploration, and the wonder of the natural world. Read on to find the inspiration behind her work, how she keeps herself on task, and how she has watched the Sioux Falls art community grow. ~Amy

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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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A NOVEMBER REVIEW (1ST & 2ND FRIDAY)

Is it really November already? Despite the warm weather, a new month has crept up on us and with it has brought a new selection of artwork for the good people of Sioux Falls to feast our eyeballs upon. I’ve extended my review to include not only DTSF First Friday on November 6th, but also Second Friday on November 13th!
IpsoCollage-2
Shrine

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SHAINE SCHROEDER: AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

Michelle St. Vrain CoverI was introduced to Shaine Schroeder’s work several years before I met him. I had been invited over to a friend’s apartment that I had not been to before, and about two steps into the place, three words slipped out of my mouth. What-the-fuck. Every plausible space on the wall was covered in art, no more than an inch or two between each piece. Upon closer inspection, I soon realized it was all the same artist. Every single last piece held together by the same stylistic semblance. Although this was the largest Schroeder collection I have encountered in a private collection, it is certainly not the last time I would be surprised, and a little bit startled, by the loyalty of his patrons. You rarely see just one Shaine Schroeder piece in a house, there are always at least two, and sometimes more than 20 in one location. After meeting Shaine last summer, I soon understood the appeal.

It’s hard not to like Shaine. He seems to have a perpetual secret, a slew of wonder deeply compacted into his constant half-cocked smile. He is quick-witted with a colorful tongue, and always seems happy to share a story or two. His bold personality is directly reflected in his work. His paintings are impossible not to look at, bright colors and varied mark making pull the eyes around the canvas, the subject matter revealing itself even more after you learn the title of the piece. He is prolific in production, and grounded in his business savvy.  He has made large efforts to help those less fortunate than himself, donating proceeds from art sales to a variety of organizations around the Sioux Falls area over the years. Shaine has a love for this town, good and bad, and I think it’s safe to say Sioux Falls could say the same. ~Amy

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JEFF BALLARD: AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

lance (2)

Jeff Ballard is searching. Like so many other souls, he is seeking that inexplicable trail, the elusive marriage of space and time, and our purpose within it. Comforted by solitude and the ever-pulsing company of his own thoughts, Ballard keeps himself open to whatever the universe may be trying to whisper into his subconscious. He quells the unknown with his study of relationships, seeking out intent and purpose between loved ones, nature and even God. As an artist, Ballard’s work is exploratory, his paintings giving reference to the struggle of just trying to make sense of it all. There is a painful awareness of the flux in life, if only to give fuel to further push through to clarity, and give an understanding glance to the metaphysical. 

Jeff Ballard was raised in Sioux Falls, and received his MFA in painting from the University of South Dakota. He teaches art at Dakota State University and the University of Sioux Falls, where he is also the Gallery Director. Ballard is a co-founder of the Sioux Falls publication “The Local Artist,” a biannually released magazine featuring ten local artists a year.* Chatting with Ballard was a delightful, moving experience, and I am thankful for the opportunity. ~Amy

*The Local Artist is accepting submissions for their 2016 issue until October 19th. Apply here.

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ZACH DEBOER: AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

Michelle St. Vrain Cover (1)

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

The Sioux Falls Design Center

Art goes far beyond the paintings on a gallery wall. We use the term ‘art’ to describe everything from Rembrandt to motorcycle maintenance. Likewise,  ‘design’ alludes to many different mediums. From the architecture that decorates our downtown streets to the layout on our computer screens and desks on which they sit, design brings ease and aesthetically appealing convenience to our everyday lives. 

Located on 11th, just off of the Phillips Avenue main drag, The Sioux Falls Design Center is a space that seeks to shed light on the importance of design in our everyday lives.  Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Kellen Boice and chat a bit more about the Sioux Falls Design Center.

SFDC_kellen

Jordan: What is the Sioux Falls Design Center’s goal as a space and organization?

Kellen: The Sioux Falls Design Center’s main mission is to inform and engage the public on design in the community they live in. We do the with help from our sponsors by hosting events, where people can come in and learn about design.

Sioux_Falls_Design_Center_artJ: What are some of the events that the Design Center hosts?

K: The Sioux Falls Design Center is open every First Friday for an evening event. Generally it ties in with our DC Gallery and what we are exhibiting for that month, highlighting one of our SFDC Sponsors.

On a quarterly basis, we host an event called PechaKucha Night where we ask the public to sign up to give a presentation. Each presenter has 20 images that rotate every 20 seconds to talk, which comes out to six minutes and 40 seconds to talk about whatever they are passionate about. We always have an electric mix of topics ranging from “Swamp Thing: Collecting for a World Record” to “The gothic vault in the Digital Age” to “Being and Coffee.” This event happens during the First Fridays in March, June, September, and December, with the next one on September 5th.

Throughout each month we may host lectures, panel discussions, workshops, design charrettes, all of which are always free and open to the public. These events can be found on our website calendar and Facebook page.

SFDC_artJ: What is going on during the month of June at the Design Center?

K: June 13th,  from 11AM to 2PM, people can stop by SFDC and pick up some unofficial city flag of Sioux Falls swag.

Later in the month, on the 22nd from 6:30PM to 8PM, we will host a Design Charrette with Live Well Sioux Falls to come up with some designs for bike racks that will be placed around the city.

We will also be featuring an Emerging Artist in our DC Gallery, Klaire Pearson. Claire is pursuing her MFA at the University of South Dakota and has a very impressive collection called “Feminine Attempts.”

J: How can artists or designers reach out to exhibit at or become involved with the Sioux Falls Design Center?

K: Artists can submit to be one of our emerging artists by downloading an application from our website and send it to kellen@siouxfallsdesigncenter.org along with 5 to 8 images of their work. we also are looking for volunteers during events to help with taking photos, arranging chairs, and even drawing on the chalk boards.

Check out more about the Sioux Falls Design Center at www.siouxfallsdesigncenter.org or stop in to 108 West 11th Street in Sioux Falls Monday through Friday between 1PM and 6PM. 

Jordan_JAM-Profile-Signature

First Friday Review: April 3, 2015

Forget favorite colors or holidays. This printmaker has a favorite day of the month. I’m sure by now you may have guessed, that day is First Friday. A day when the creative souls of our humble midwestern city gather en masse to celebrate one another’s work. And I must say, April showered us with a darn fun Friday.

I began my art seeking adventures at Prairie Berry Winery, where I stumbled upon a themed group exhibition called “The Art of the Colloquialism.” The titles of the works sure didn’t “beat around the bush” in alluding to the communicative theme of the works, with headlines like “Six Ways Till Sunday” by Collette Gesinger and a stunning “Take Five” in oil by Steve Randall.

I then meandered onward to check out the newly missing wall between JAM Art & Supplies and Exposure Gallery & Studios. That’s right folks! These two wonderful supporters of local artists now share one, big Continue reading First Friday Review: April 3, 2015

LIZ BASHORE HEEREN – AN INSPIRING INTERVIEW

LizHeerenI don’t like to admit when I’m intimidated. It seems unnecessary to show that type of weakness, to evaporate any sliver of feigned confidence I may be portraying. There are internalized rules that we each hold ourselves accountable to, certain routes we explore to make us stronger, smarter… more safe. It is the individuals that step beyond these constraints that I applaud, and equally admire. The people who adhere themselves to a path of growth, that embrace struggle to enlighten their perspective in some reaching way. The people who step away from their own shadow, if only in an effort to teach someone else about the light.

Liz Bashore Heeren intimidates me, and for good reason. She is poised, polite, and professional. Heeren is an artist, a professor, a gallery director, a mother… Each role presumably as demanding, and rewarding, as the next. Growing up in an artistic family, Hereen was not a stranger to the role of an artist, and the realities of pursuing your dreams in a thoughtful and practical way. Heeren continues to use her long love of science to pursue that beautifully whimsical line between human and synthetic, the marriage of elemental juxtaposition. Her take on this perspective reminds me to give pause, investigate my world in the immediate sense, and every now and then, step into the light. ~Amy

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