Tag Archives: USD

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!
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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

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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.

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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. 

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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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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

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