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KRISTINE REINER: AN INSPIRED INTERVIEW

Our final Inspired Interview finds us with local graphic designer, and mixed media artist, Kristine Reiner. Read up, and be sure to keep her on your radar!

Describe to us what type of work you do, and what your preferred mediums are.

I really prefer to reuse stuff around me. I’ve actually just called it mixed media. I paint with roses, mainly. I went to school for graphic design. I received an abundant amount of roses, and I didn’t know what to do with them, so I started painting with them.

So when did you start?

I had one art class my whole high school career. I was from a really small town. My senior year they cancelled my art class…all art classes. They cancelled them, and cut funding. I didn’t know what to go to school for, so I just chose graphic design. I’ve never really painted or done anything like that. 2012 was really when I started painting and experimenting.

How has your work evolved over time?

In high school, my confidence level wasn’t up, and there were all these other stunning artists who make things picture perfect. I was like, I’m never going to be that good. That’s why I leant towards abstract, just seeing how I progress each series I do. It’s funny cause I’m not trying, but my improvements are there. I can’t really gauge it.

Bikini – 2019

Were there any factors that led you to where you are today?

Absolutely. I didn’t really know why I was so attracted to art. I’ve kind of had a rough childhood. I was looking for a hobby, and I was creative, but I hadn’t really gotten to that point where I knew how to use it. I realized in college that creating art was therapeutic, and I started using my art to bring awareness to sexual and domestic violence around town. I’ve actually donated to a few shows, and volunteered and helped, and all other sorts of stuff. It’s actually really cool. Art is too crazy, and it’s such a easy way to open an awkward conversation.
I do graphic design for a living. Selling paintings is harder, but I had one good show.

What usually inspires you to create your work?

My emotions mainly. If I really stressed out and cranky, that’s the time to create. It’s so weird. It’s hard to describe it. I can just tell if I haven’t painted in a while. I kind of get an itch.

Do you do paint every week or so?
I do so many different things. I make lip balm, I make dog bandanas, and other stuff because of my ADD. But sometimes I get in the spur of it. I think my last series, within the matter of 2 days, I made like 12 paintings. It’s just kind of when you are in the flow, you are in the flow.

How long does it typically take you to complete a project?

Well, the one behind you took like probably two weeks. But I’ve gotten a lot quicker, because I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with my style. So, I would say a day tops, unless I hate it. Well, that’s not true, I’ve been fighting with one downstairs, that’s been months. It’s all about my mood.

Do you have anything you want to work on in the future? Any skills you would like to develop over time that you have not yet done?

I would love to actually get where I’ve completed one or two works a week. Where I try to challenge myself, that way I don’t get so creatively blocked.

Does it happen often where you are in a funk?

It does, but I’ll do something else, and then I’ll come back to it.

K -2018

How has Sioux Falls influenced your work? What are your thoughts on the art community in Sioux Falls?

Sioux Falls has been absolutely amazing…just sharing my work and meeting other artists. The community is so tight knit – so close and so helpful. I guess a lot of artists have competitors and people like that, and I’ve never even experienced that.

They are just helpful and nice. You can call them up and say like, “Hey, this really fricken sucks.” They can give you some tips, and they just get it.

The Road Ahead – 2018

Have you been here your whole life?

Basically, I grew up in a small town like 30 minutes away.

P -2018

How did you get know about JAM?

Was in a media class at USF here in town. I needed to volunteer at some art thing for my degree, and JAM was just starting. They were in of the little studio rooms at the time. So, I got to watch that whole progression. It’s so crazy.

CHX RMN – 2019

What advice would you give to anyone starting out as an artist?
Don’t give up. Keep trying. Someone in the world somewhere is going to love what you make. It may you take you years to find them, but somebody will.

Wings – 2019
Took 8 white roses to complete, and has a few hidden “Easter eggs,” like the Sasquatch in the bottom right hand corner. Reiner likes to keep her commissions free and personal. The couple she made this for played into their inside joke of the husband being a ‘Sasquatch.’

Where do you showcase your art?

Usually downtown. I’ve been in a few banks and museums. Just kind of event-type of things to raise awareness for nonprofits. As far as current projects go, I’m just working on some commissions, and getting ready for a show coming up later this spring. I don’t have any more information on that however. I do have a piece in the “Finding Our Voices” traveling show. It was just at the Third Eye Gallery. The show aims to bring awareness to sexual and domestic abuse. It’s all survivor-led, and will be at a new location in Sioux Falls soon.

I recently started leading painting classes, as well. The next one is at Full Circle Book Co-op on March 23.

h. 2019

FIND KRISTINE:

Website: kristinereiner.com
Facebook: @Kristinesartwork 
Instagram: @kristinesartwork

E. A. ZOKAITES: AN INSPIRED INTERVIEW

A writer (she achieved her MLitt with merit in creative writing from the University of Glasgow, Scotland), as well as a fine art painter, this local artist has the need to create just flowing through her veins. Read a little Q and A with E. A. Zokaites, and then definitely check out her website!

Describe to us what type of work you do, and what your preferred mediums are:
I painted oils almost always, occasionally it’ll be with acrylics. I do mostly nature art. I love clouds, so I do a lot of skies….a lot of landscapes. But I’m kind of branching, and do a lot of animal stuff, because it’s super popular. I was thinking about starting to do some trees and stuff like that, but it’s mostly landscape and skies.

How long have you been doing your specific medium?
So, professionally, I’ve been an artist for about a year, but I’ve been painting since I was 9 off and on. I’ve always loved clouds. I have a binder full of [cloud] photos that I took probably when I was 11. Whenever I see clouds, I’m like, “Oh, I should paint that.” Just living out in the country when I was little made me love the sky, and the landscape.

How has your work evolved over time?
My work hasn’t evolved as much as I expected, because the themes that I liked have remained the same. I like to try out different styles a little bit. Sometimes it’s a little more impressionist, and a little more realistic, but overall I think it’s been pretty steady.

Were there any factors that led you to where you are today?
My dream was to paint, and then in high school I decided I wanted to write novels. So, my education is mostly in writing and English and literature, and all that. After I graduated, I was tired of writing so much that I went kind of back to painting again, and it’s been full circle. I still want to write, but for right now, it’s mostly the painting I’m doing.

So, is your career mostly your writing or is it painting, as well?
Mostly what I make money from right now is painting. I’m not doing very much writing, but I want to get back to it.

What usually inspires you to create your work?
Sometimes when I’m out driving I have to pull over and take pictures. So, there’s a lot of pictures on my phone of stuff I can paint. Sometimes it’s pictures that other people have given me. But like I said, I mostly work from photos. So, I’ll just snatch a quick picture, and then maybe take parts of it and construct a painting from that.

How long does it typically take you to complete a project?
If we’re talking actual time spent on the painting, I have some tiny ones that are magnets, and those take maybe an hour. But, the bigger it gets, the more time it takes. So, I have some that took like 5 hours, and some that took more like 10. Some of the ones that are in progress are probably going to end up being about 20. But, part of that’s me learning new techniques, too.

So how long did that wolf one take you?
That one took about 5 hours, two of which were probably building the frame and structuring the canvas. That one I managed in one sitting, but some of those other ones like the one on the easel with the grey sky, that one I’ve been working on most of this year. But there’s probably about 10 hours into it.

Do you have anything you want to work on in the future? Any skills you would like to develop over time that you haven’t yet?
Part of what I’m working on right now is trying to build super thin layers. I’m learning about tone grounds. So, instead of starting on the white canvas, you start with a color. And so you have to paint super thin to have that show through. And then trying to learn how to get all those layers to work together. I used to paint all at once. Like the wolf painting I did in 3 hours one session. So, I didn’t do the background and let it dry, I did it all at the same time. But now I’m trying to do this layering work, and it’s tricky. Plus, I’m experimenting with canvas vs. linen, and I’m going to try board and stuff like that. I’m not really sure what the future beyond that will be. I’m sure there will be other techniques I want to try. But that’s what I’m working on right now; super thin layering.

How often do you paint?
Maybe a couple days a week. Not as much as I should.

Where have you displayed your art?
So far I’ve done craft shows. Mostly those. Not galleries, yet.

How has Sioux Falls influenced your work?
Well, Sioux Falls is my hometown. I’ve moved a fair bit, but Sioux Falls has always been the hub, like the center that I come back to. South Dakota and Minnesota is where I’ve mostly lived. It’s the landscape of the prairie that I come back to, and the skies. I think that is mostly what influences my art.

What are your thoughts on the art community here?
They’re really supportive here. They want everybody to succeed. I find that really encouraging. I’ve made a few good friends in the art community, and we’re always trying to help each other get better and share art shows. Like, “Oh, I’ve found this show. You should try it.” There’s some critique groups on Facebook that I’m part of. I actually started out meeting the writing community, and then the art community.

How did you hear about JAM then?
I actually had a studio at Exposure about half a year here. What happened actually is that I met somebody in South Dakota Writes that is also an artist, and she mentioned studios at Exposure that were open, because she had one there. Her name is Hannah Wendt. I ended up talking to her, and the branches spread out; meeting more people, and finding out about JAM.

What advice would you give to anyone starting out as an artist?
Probably, I would say that it’s easy to get discouraged, but don’t let that stop you. There’s a lot of uncertainty in trying to make a career out of something like your art, and it’s scary, but it’s worth it. You’ll probably have to find some type of support structure to help you when the going gets rough. My family supports me. I wouldn’t have made it this far without their encouragement. Making more friends in the art and writing community helps.

CHECK OUT LIZ’S WORK!
Website: www.eazokaites.com
Facebook: @eazokaites
Email: mail@eazokaites.com


EMILIE NETTINGA: AN INSPIRED INTERVIEW

Upon introductions, Emilie started in describing her recent artwork at her day job, Schmitt Music. The mural on the wall was installation-mounted to be sculpted to her designs of Sioux Falls, and the high school marching band community near the music shop’s location. 

“It’s definitely a learning experience. It’s new for me. I usually do clay sculpting. Actually, right now I am doing a series with beeswax, so it’s all different stuff. This is definitely something different – applying heat to it, and burning myself a lot.”

Did your boss ask you to create this?

“Yes he did. That’s what I went to school for, and I have degree in. This is my day job. They just built this new area for our repair man to have his own space to do instruments. This wall here was just big and plain. Actually, this is like my fourth attempt at doing this wall. I’ve painted it over and over and redone it, because that’s kind of an artist thing, but I never found what I wanted to do. I was like, I’m a sculptor and not really a painter, so lets do a wall that I can kind of make three dimensional. So, that’s what I’m going for.”

Describe to us what type of work you do, and your preferred mediums:

Sculpting of all different materials. I use to say I’m just a ceramics sculptor, I’m just a clay sculptor, but I’ve definitely branched out these past couple of years. Like I said earlier, the beeswax is super new for me…then styrofoam, and mostly three-dimensionals. 

Did you go to school for that? 

I went to school for fine art, but I had to study all the different mediums. To do that, you have to do painting, and printmaking and all that. 

Do you have more work at your house?

Yes, I have a series right now that I’m working on that is all about honey bees. I’m actually using real parts of beehives, and then beeswax to sculpt bees out of honeycombs and the wax.

All The Queen’s Drones, beeswax on true brood frame and hive box drawer.

How long have you been doing your specific medium? How has your work evolved over time?

I would actually say for sculpting it’s been since college. Probably about 9 years I’ve been doing all creative stuff, not just one certain thing. I’ve done all different crafts growing up…not just one specific thing. Oh man…overtime just the simple basic pottery wheel stuff, like cups and bowls, to putting it on the wall. 

Never done anything like this before, though. Did one sort of wall thing that was actually downtown. In the basement of JAM there was a thing called Art Maze, last year. They asked local artists to pretty much do whatever they wanted with the space. People walked through it like a maze. I did drywall mud on the walls, kind of like a mural to do something different, but never with styrofoam. 

Are there any factors that led you to where you are today?

I mean it’s kind of a cliche thing. I was doing something with my hands since I can really remember. Not necessarily coloring in coloring books, but kind of building and making things. It eventually led to the three-dimensional stuff. Just trying to do a painted mural like the one here took three different times, and kept getting painted over. I just couldn’t get it on the flat perspective, it didn’t look good to me. So, it evolved into this.

What usually inspires you to create your work?

Honestly, for this specific one right next to us, my experience from working here these last couple of years. I didn’t know a lot about the band scene and high school marching band until I worked here. Right down the street is the biggest Sioux Falls high school. In this area, and kind of in the country, they are really good. Their marching band performances are outstanding. Just hearing them in the summer, and their practices inspired me. So, this mural is going to be kind of a city with marching bands and stuff like that. 

The rest of my work, like the beeswax and everyday life things…it’s kind of advocating, because bees are super important. So, it’s about using the most natural things. All of it is the real thing. I’m using real beehives, and not using glue or paint. All the materials belong to bees. 

How long does it typically take you to complete a project?

This one took me a long time. Since like last December, so that doesn’t count. This one would be my longest one. I don’t have a specific set date on it, yet. But, I would say for me it takes longer than a lot people. For me it takes months to do sculptural things. I can’t do quick drawings or paintings. People can do stuff in like a day. Takes me quite longer to do stuff. It also, takes me longer because I have a 3-year-old, and I have my own business, and I work here. 

What is your other business?

I just started two months ago – art appraisal, and music instrument appraisal. So, I’m fitting it all in. It can definitely take months to do sculptural things. If its clay, it takes building, letting it dry, and firing it. I don’t get to commit to a lot of shows, because I don’t have a big compilation of works waiting around. But that’s ok, that’s just who I am. I have stuff made specifically for certain things. 

Emilie’s studio.

Have you sold any of your work?

I have sold smaller works. Downtown Sioux Falls does a great job with the downtown shows for local artists and stuff. The last couple of years I’ve done little clay pieces that were framed. I made like relief things, kind of like this with clay, and actually just fit them with regular picture frames. No glass or anything, and they were painted and everything. So, I’ve sold things like that.

Vivian Vintage, framed ceramic bas-relief-frame is also upholstered by hand.

Do you have anything you want to work on in the future? 

Yes I do. I feel like it’s kind of secretive, but I’ll give a clue. I definitely have a big idea specifically involving coffee, and like the downtown coffee scene. Using actual parts of coffee, the beans, and all that. 

Any skills you would like to develop over time that you haven’t yet?

I don’t know. I would definitely say, sculpting things I have never tried before. Metal working, actually…not sure if you guys noticed the sculpture walk. I would like to do a sculpture like that, but I haven’t done anything that huge, monumental or big. So, just learning how to work with bronze is a long-term goal of mine. 

Gilded Goldenrod, framed ceramic bas-relief.

How has Sioux Falls influenced your work? What are your thoughts on the art community in Sioux Falls?

I’m not native here. I’ve been here for like 5 years or so. So, just kind of taking it all in – a lot of the downtown vibe, the people that are down there. The art scene has been influential. I’ve even included the city logo, and the city itself with the old buildings in some of my works. 

I think it’s really growing. It’s kind of…I use the word vibrating, and you feel it when you are down there. It’s just growing a lot. People should check into it. 

What advice would you give to anyone starting out as an artist?

I would say, just be authentic, and just be who you are. Don’t try to fit in a certain bubble of art. What you are inspired to make, make it. Make it genuine, and for yourself. There will be people who will find you. 

FIND EMILIE:
Facebook: @emilieearmark
Instagram: @emilieearmark
Website: EarMark Evaluations

ADAM BEILKE: AN INSPIRED INTERVIEW

This college student, and Sioux Falls native, has art in his bones. Say “hey,” to Adam Beilke!

Describe to us what type of work you do, and what your preferred mediums are:

So, I’m kind of like mixed-media. I like making a lot of digital stuff, because I’m a Graphic Design student. I like doing that, but I also respect the art of traditional acrylic painting, so I do a lot of that, too. Just, like, all across the board.

Do you go to college then?

I’m a second year at Southeast Tech, and it’s only a 2 year degree.

How long have you been doing your specific medium? How has your work evolved over time?

Digital probably 3 years, and then painting I’ve been doing since high school.

I’m always looking at new artists and new styles, so I’m always getting inspired by different stuff…getting new ideas. I think I have a better understanding of what I want to make as time goes on.

Who are your favorite artists?

Off the top of my head, Keith Herring, the 80s artist. I like his simplicity. I like a lot of famous stuff like Picasso and Andy Warhol.

Some other favorite artists include Keith Haring, Alex Grey, Adam Jones, Craig Gleason, Sidney Howard, Nick Guenzler, Karnn Bhullar, Allie Craig and Merritt Cates.

There’s some cool local art, I just can’t think of any local artists off the top of my head.

Were there any factors that led you to where you are today?

I was just always interested in art in high school. Ever since I got out, I’ve been trying to book art exhibits and stuff. So, I’m always continuing it and practicing it.

Do you display your art anywhere?

In the process of making new pieces for my second art exhibit with my friend, Sam Babcock. He and I have known each other since middle school and he was the first person I reached out to about a collaborative show. He and I rented out gallery space at the Museum of Visual Materials this past spring. That was my first art show. We’re going to have another one in the summer. I plan to also work with some other local artists sometime in the near future.

What usually inspires you to create your work?

Usually other peoples stuff. It depends. I kind of have to be in the mood for it. If I have an idea, I have to act on it, and I never know when it’ll hit me. So, it kind of just varies.

How long does it typically take you to complete a project?

Usually, it can only be a couple hours if I’m just sitting down and working on it. But painting, it can be like hours on end. That stuff takes like a long time.

Do you have anything you want to work on in the future? 

I am currently trying to create and develop a clothing brand called “Viable Psyche.” This brand will serve as a way to tie in my passion for clothes-making, along with my design and art compositions. The name and logo represent growth and functionality between the mind, soul, or spirit, yet I encourage people to find their own meaning within its style. As of now, it doesn’t have an official website, but I do have a temporary artist shop using Threadless. I hope to be able to fund and launch a more independent website in the future as the brand (hopefully) grows. I’m selling shirts at Last Stop CD Shop, and also a record store downtown, as well.

Any skills you would like to develop over time that you have not yet done?

In the art world, maybe watercolor. I’m awful at watercolor, but my dad’s really good at it. I’ve never gotten to master that. I’m always retracing over my mistakes and stuff. I don’t know…I think there’s always a lot of stuff you can do with digital art. People are always creating new things and trying to figure out new technical stuff, and finding new techniques all the time.

So, you said your dad does watercolor painting. Does that inspire you?

Yeah, it’s weird because I’ve been drawing since I can remember. My mom’s also an art teacher at Lincoln High School. It just seemed right.

I find that my purest form of inspiration comes from listening to music. Artists tend to rely on looking at what other people are making, which can be a vital way to keep on top of trends and styles, but using music can be a great tool in coming up with my ideas. My CD and Spotify collection span across many genres, causing different emotions and thoughts to transfer upon listening. There’s nothing better than being able to tune out and start from scratch using only the creative influences of audio.

How has Sioux Falls influenced your work? 

I really like the culture here. I’ve been to a ton of exhibits at the Washington Pavilion. I think downtown has a cool creative scene. I think we all kind of inspire each other a bit.

What are your thoughts on the art community here?

Pretty cool. I like them. Like I said, I can’t name any local artists off the top of my head, but seeing stuff that’s around, it’s cool that we’re adapting to new styles and stuff.

What advice would you give to anyone starting out as an artist?

My advice would be not to try too hard. Being yourself is the most genuine thing you can do when it comes to being an artist. You don’t have to make a canvas. Draw whatever’s on the top of your head. Starting out with just a sketchbook, you can get as many ideas out as possible, then you can kind of pick and choose projects. Just starting out with a sketchpad and being original, drawing to have fun – those are the most important things I can recommend.

STORE: www.viablepsyche.threadless.com

INSTAGRAM: @viablepsyche

FACEBOOK: @viablepsyche

MOLLIE LAGE: AN INSPIRED INTERVIEW

“The Most effective way to do it, is to do it.”  – Amelia Earhart

With a heap to do the next handful of months – like finish graduate school, a graduate committee review, gallery exhibitions and shows, commissions, teaching a photo class for the first time, and full-time teaching at Washington High – Mollie Lage still carves out time to get in her studio, and hustle that art. We could not think of a better local artist to kick off the year (and revival) of our Inspired Interview Series. So, without further adieu…meet Mollie!

Describe to us what type of work you do, and your preferred mediums:

The art that I make when I’m not working on commissions is mostly abstract, and socially or emotionally motivated. I call it conceptual art because it’s based off of ideas rather than physical subject matter.

I also enjoy creating works that represent stories, which is why commissions are so important to me. It gives me the chance to bring someone else’s idea to life, and is a unique opportunity to give back. Acrylic and charcoal are my mediums of choice, but as a high school teacher, I’ve been dabbling in just about everything!

What’s the story about the people that you paint?

The show that I’m working on right now is called Visual Language. I teach at Washington High School where there’s a high ELL (English Language Learner) population. For instance, the parachute painting is called “Inadequate Safeties.” These students (some of them coming from refugee camps or war town countries) don’t always have the resources that they need to succeed, not necessarily academically, but in a lot of other ways, which is why I’ve been using my recent artwork to gain support for LSS Center for New Americans, an amazing source of help.

Old Enough”, the painting of a hand holding the balloons, is about the how in some countries birthdays aren’t celebrated, so when coming to America, the children have no idea how old they are. When some immigrants and refugees come into the United States, they have to give a date of birth, so they just put down January 1st of whatever year they think might be right. So, thinking about the mental ability of an average 9 year old versus an average 13 year old, that’s a disadvantage in itself. The balloons are for those students.

The portraits of the ladies are an attempt to represent idea formulation, and potential growth coming from people who don’t look the same as one another. Something that I’ve noticed as a teacher is that when a student doesn’t speak English very well, there can be a tendency to feel it’s necessary to water down the content they’re supposed to be learning. However, unless there has been major trauma or an event that has caused cognitive or educational delays (which is sometimes relevant), a 16-year-old who doesn’t speak English is just as aware and capable as an American born 16-year-old. Some adult refugees or immigrants were doctors in their country, but now have menial jobs or no jobs because of the language barrier, and the assumptions that employers make. I wanted to portray that thought, so I’m calling the series, “We are not weak.”

How long have you been doing your specific medium? How has your work evolved over time?

The first time I used acrylic, other than when I painted Christmas decor with my mom, was in high school, but it terrified me then because I was used to drawing. I got heavily into painting my sophomore year of college, and have been working with it since then, which was about 8 years ago.

Over years of teaching more realistic and technical skills that I wouldn’t necessarily say I had honed in on in high school and college, my work has turned from almost completely abstract (focusing mostly on color and texture) into something somewhere in the middle of abstract and realistic. I still love abstract painting, but I’m not afraid to get highly detailed in some areas of my work. I’ve begun to love making artwork that resonates and means something to other people, too, even ones that I don’t personally know. It’s so enriching to facilitate that connection.

Were there any factors that led you to where you are today?

First of all, my family has always been supportive in my artistic endeavors, so I don’t know where I’d be without them. At first that [endeavor] was music, but in high school I started developing a strong passion for drawing. When I went to the University of Sioux Falls, I went as an art education major with a music minor. Then, I dropped the education major, because the idea of teaching terrified me, and I added a psychology degree instead. Because of that switch, which I eventually switched back, I interviewed for an internship at Sanford in the arts and healthcare realm. I was offered the internship, which was a wonderful, heart wrenching, inspiring experience. Through it, I grew exponentially as an artist because of the emotional impact of working with children and adults who were battling, winning, or losing to cancer. Not only that, but the other artists that I worked with, and the unlimited number of supplies at my fingertips, funneled me into a making spree that hasn’t completely stopped since then. My husband, Chase, has also been a huge support, pushing me to make when I want to avoid it. We’ve been married for 6 months, and I’ve done more with my art than ever before.

Opportunities that fell into my lap, like traveling to Europe with my choir and art department in college, changed my life, my way of thinking about the world, and expanded my brain. Those thing I never expected or even wanted to experience, because I didn’t understand how immensely important they would be in my life. Traveling and teaching are an accurate representation of how my artist journey has been going so far – not knowing I needed something, and then having it plopped in my lap. I thank God for leading me here, allowing me to work my butt off doing what I love. I think it’s so important to say yes. even when you’re scared or don’t feel ready, because that’s how you’re forced to get ready, because that’s how I got here.

What usually inspires you to create your work?

It’s different every time. It can be something social or emotional that is triggering an urge to make. Sometimes it’s just a great way to think through a problem or an idea. Other times, a story has been shared with me, and I am trying to get it down for that person or that group of people. Other times it’s recreational, and fueled by the music that‘s playing.

How long does it typically take you to complete a project?

Until recently, I would go through spurts where I’d paint for 2 days straight, and then wouldn’t paint for weeks or months, but lately I’ve been trying to be more consistent. The amount of time a project takes really depends on the size and complexity of the project, but I am a pretty prolific painter when I get down to it.

Do you have anything you want to work on in the future? 

As far as artwork goes, I plan to continue doing a mix of commissions and originals. I plan to show Visual Language in 2019 and 2020 around Sioux Falls, calling more attention to the Center for New Americans. I plan to have WHS student work up alongside my own work at Dunn Bros in March. After that, The Museum of Visual Materials is hosting my work from September to October, and then I’ll be showing at the downtown Coffea from December to March of 2020. I’m working to fill up the year!

As that body of work is being shown, my plan is to continue with the fundraising project that I’ve been doing the last few months. I just created a website, MLSFStudio.com, which I’m using to host print sales of my own artwork. Each season I’ll be making mini prints of that artwork available. 50% of the proceeds from those mini print sales will be donated to the Center for New Americans.

Any skills you would like to develop over time?

Developing myself into a local business owner is something I’d like to do, but as far as making art goes, I’ll never stop working on my technical and design skills.

“Blown Away” Acrylic and Charcoal on Birch Board, 2018

How has Sioux Falls influenced your work? 

Sioux Falls has been a lovely supporter of the arts since I first moved here, and it’s only getting better. My students here, and the people I interact with at work and in my personal life, are frequently leaving me feeling motivated to make. Obviously, my teaching career at Washington in Sioux Falls has been a huge influence in my latest body of work.

“The Will” 30×30 Mixed Media

What are your thoughts on the art community in Sioux Falls?

The art community here is smaller just because Sioux Falls is smaller, but we are definitely blossoming, and seeing more and more people reaching out to get the arts involved in their projects. We have the Sculpture Walk, the Pavilion with Arts Night and the fine arts center, First Fridays, and more galleries and places willing and ready to host artwork. We’re definitely growing, and with that growth, more opportunities to be successful as an artist here. Lastly, most Sioux Falls people see the value in supporting local artists, businesses, and food producers, which has created an encouraging environment for us to do what we do.

Mollie with her cat, Chip.

What advice would you give to anyone starting out as an artist?

Just keep making, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Hone your skill and be diligent. Don’t take criticism harshly even if it’s harsh, just consider it. Look at what you make, and either toss the criticism to the side, or take it as kind advice and use it to get better. Even if you don’t always feel confident about what you’ve made, which you won’t, put yourself out there to other people anyway, because as a collective of human beings with lots of opinions, skills, thoughts, and ideas, the people around you are your greatest resource.

__________________________

Find Mollie’s work!

FACEBOOK: MLSF Studio

INSTAGRAM: @mlsf.studio

WEBSITE/SHOP: www.mlsfstudio.com

P.S. Check out our Art Educator Interview with Mollie from back in 2015!

ART STUDENTS CREATE STEAMROLLER PRINTS

Though the wind may have been a minor nuisance, it was a beautiful, sunny day to create art outdoors on Thursday, October 12. For the first time ever, in a parking lot on the campus of Augustana, a dozen art students and 2 faculty collaborated with Myrl & Roy’s Paving in Sioux Falls to create large-scale prints using a steamroller.

Working in teams, students spent months prior preparing their 4-by-8-foot fiberboards, utilizing everything from traditional hand-carving tools to electric routers in order to create a relief. The surfaces were inked, covered with material, paper, carpet, a board, then pressed by the steamroller to create the print. The pressure of the steamroller was crucial for image transfer.

Part of the challenge was to find fabric large enough to print on.  While many students used bedsheets, some were able to find fabric large enough. One group used a piece of satin that printed very well. Another group decided to quilt together pieces of fabric so that the colors coordinated with parts of the image in order to create a color-blocked, screen printed feel. It turned out fantastic!

Photo courtesy of Senior Art Student Katie Munson

Students found that designs with more detail, though beautiful, tended to be more difficult to image than those with less intricate carvings.

Approximately 50 large-scale prints were created in five hours. Some of them are currently hanging in the atrium of the humanities building at Augie through the end of the semester. Be sure to check them out!

Photo courtesy of Senior Art Student Katie Munson

Faculty:

  • Chad Nelson
  • Lindsay Twa

Augustana Students:

  • Colter Benson
  • Breanna Burklund
  • Taisya  Gowlovech
  • Hannah  Grapevine
  • Nora Strom
  • Lotte Solvang
  • Ajla Sundstrom
  • Ella Ng
  • Wyatt Dickson
  • Katlin Munson

Iowa State Students:

  • Caleb Henkelman
  • Jordan Luckow

Volunteer Spotlight: Sara Bainter

The Volunteer Spotlight is a new series here on the JAM blog and I am a new blogger, so it’s a perfect match. You may be asking yourself what is the Volunteer Spotlight? Well, let me tell you. Each month we will pick one of the wonderful volunteers here at JAM and ask them many different questions about volunteering, their lives and any projects they’re excited about and want to share with us.

Ideally, I want to sit down face-to-face with my interviewee over a hot cup of tea, unfortunately for my first interview that wasn’t exactly how it went. Our busy schedules kept us apart, but email brought us together.  Say hello to the wonderful artist and poet, Sara Bainter, whom I have the pleasure of volunteering with at JAM.

Here it goes…

Shanda: How long have you been a volunteer at JAM? And why did you get involved?

Sara: I officially started volunteering January 2017? I started getting involved because I knew it would be a great place to volunteer and give back to a community that I felt like had already given so much to me artistically and otherwise since I moved here in March 2016.

What is the best part for you about volunteering at JAM?

The best part is getting to see all of the people who are shocked at the low price of their craft or art supplies, and are going home to create! I also love watching people’s reactions as they leave Exposure Gallery. It’s just a great feeling to experience it first hand.

What do you do at JAM?

I goof off or doodle a huge percentage of the time, and sometimes I put donations out like I’m supposed to. I like to help with Weird Art Wednesdays when I can. I love watching people of all ages come in and use art supplies for free for two hours while we work on creating projects together!

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering at JAM?

You will be so appreciated and needed! Please help. (laughs out loud)

What is your art background?

I feel like that’s a very long story that maybe I should write. But it starts with me being very bored, isolated and lonely in Winner, South Dakota.

What project are you currently working on that you are really excited about?

Right now I’m in the middle of moving and turning my bedroom into an art installation to facilitate more dreaming and imagining.

You have a book coming out soon, tell us a little about that.

Campfire Poetry is the paraphrased journey of heartbreak, devastation and hope, which I illustrated with various mixed media. There is a guest illustration by Christopher Reistroffer! My intention is to give creative control of the lyrics to many different bands and see what comes out of those ideas and performances!

You have beautiful illustration in your book. What came first to you, the paintings or the words?

Thank you! The words definitely came first. It seems like suddenly poetry bled from every pore and I didn’t know when it would stop.

What emotions will be triggered while reading your book?

I’m hoping some people will feel empathy. Maybe others will feel like they are not the only ones with these experiences. I want hope to be a big part of the Campfire Poetry experience.

What was the most challenging part of writing this book? And what was the most rewarding part?

The challenging part of writing is in experiencing conflict worthy of inspiring others. I don’t think I have to talk specifically about what I went through, but I do have to talk about falling down and getting back up in the unique way that I did. I felt like I had no other choice than to write this book, and once it started coming together, I felt a deep responsibility to share it with others in hopes that it will help them.

How does it feel to finally have it done and in your hands?

I really only have had access to the only copy of the proof, and even though I had to change and fix a lot of things, it woke me up and I felt an even deeper responsibility to get the book into the hands of the right people.

Where and when can we buy your book?

The first copies of campfire poetry get here on November 6th. It will be available on Amazon.com. Just search Campfire Poetry or Sara Bainter… or stop me in the street and demand a copy because I will have some on me when they come out!

 

If you would like to volunteer at JAM our next hour-long training session will be Monday October 30th from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Must be 18 years old to volunteer alone, but under 18 can volunteer with a parent! You can find more info here.

An Evening of Art, Architecture and Community

with keynote by Dale Lamphere
AIA South Dakota
Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (CDT)
Sioux Falls, SD
TICKETS HERE

Renowned sculptor and South Dakota artist laureate Dale Lamphere will give a free, public presentation as part of a celebration of art, architecture and community on Thursday, Sept. 14 in Sioux Falls.

An Evening of Art, Architecture and Community is sponsored by Architecture Incorporated and presented by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) South Dakota and the Great Plains chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel on 3200 W. Maple St., with tickets available to the public at no charge.

AIA South Dakota will also recognize SDSU alumnus and business leader Jerry Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines for his unparalleled support of the SDSU Department of Architecture.

Lamphere sculpted the breathtaking Dignity Statue that perches atop a bluff overlooking the Missouri River in Chamberlain and has been further immortalized in specialty state license plates. Lamphere has also been commissioned to build the Arc of Dreams, a massive stainless steel sculpture that will span the Big Sioux River in downtown Sioux Falls.

Lamphere will give a solo keynote presentation and take questions from the audience. An Evening of Art, Architecture and Community will also feature a brief panel on how art and architecture intermingle to shape community that will include:

Panelist: Dan Pitera, FAIA, executive director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center and recipient of the coveted Whitney Young Award.
Panelist: Tanya Olson, ASLA, PLA, principal/owner at Tallgrass Landscape Architecture in Custer.
Panelist: Tim Barry, artist and managing partner of Hot Shops Art Center in Omaha.
Panelist: Kristine Bjerke, AIA, principal architect of Architecture Incorporated in Rapid City
Panelist: Dale Lamphere, South Dakota artist laureate, sculptor, owner of Lamphere Studio near Sturgis and founding board member of Arts South Dakota.
Moderator: Patri Acevedo, AIA, CPHC, vice president/present-elect of AIA South Dakota and market leader with JLG Architects in Rapid City.

FIRST FRIDAY REVIEW: SEPTEMBER

Despite the rain earlier in the day, September’s First Friday was a popular place to be. This month, I visited the events at the Washington Pavilion, Rehfeld’s Gallery, Third Eye Gallery at Vishnu, Exposure Gallery, and the Block Party at 8th and Railroad. Talking to the artists at most of the galleries and learning about their work was a treat! The events were all family friendly and worth a trip downtown to see.

~Rachel

“Cracked Open” the Pavilion

Emily Stokes poses next to one of her pieces.

Introduced by Sarah Odens, the Assistant Curator of the VAC, and Jason Folkerts, the Director of the VAC, Emily Stokes appeared to talk about her new exhibition “Cracked Open.” Stokes was very open about her work and life, while telling the crowd her approach to art and her process. Though the gathering only included 18 people, Stokes embraced the intimate atmosphere and opened the floor to questions. She answered inquiries about printmaking, her storytelling, the process she uses and the inspiration for most of her art.

Stokes’ work in the Contemporary Gallery is a compilation of her box and printmaking work that encompasses her style well. The larger pieces on the wall have a simplicity and brightness to them that immediately attracts the eye. The work featured in the gallery is inspired by the differences between small towns and the contrast of living in different places. She explained that this exhibition is somewhat of a new venture for her, and the box concept in some of the pieces came from a desire to change things up a bit.

“I always think of Monet and his haystacks,” Stokes says. “The boxes became a way to kind of unify ideas.”

This exhibition was the first time for Stokes to see her bright work against a dark wall, an experience she excitedly shared with the audience. “It’s taken me awhile to get comfortable with color,” she said.

Her current project is one similar to the boxes, but branches out into more organically shaped creations. She has also been working with screen printing, though her favorite style is still drawing with a ballpoint pen.

As part of First Friday, the Pavilion had a scavenger hunt for children that included pieces in Stokes’ exhibition. Families came in and out of the gallery throughout the talk, producing a lively atmosphere. The unusually shaped pieces and familiar images are a great opportunity to expose kids to art they will understand.

Every side of Stokes’ art has something to it, and the three-dimensional features keep visitors on their toes throughout the exhibit. With the warm colors and farm life images, Stokes has produced a relatable and inspiring exhibition. Director Jason Folkerts said it best: “[She] does a good job of inheriting the Midwest.”

Also at the Pavilion is the “Above the Fold” exhibit with featured origami from nine artists. This exhibit is amazing and has some larger than life pieces that will delight children and adults alike!

Karen Kinder at Rehfeld’s Gallery

Karen Kinder poses next to her favorite animal: sheep.

Walking into Rehfeld’s I was greeted immediately by the new owner, Matt Jorgenson. He was exceptionally polite and helpful in my search for Karen Kinder, the artist of the reception at the gallery that night. The gallery itself was very open and the floor plan well-suited to the foot traffic of a busy First Friday reception. With over 30 artists’ work on display, I was worried I would not be able to identify Kinder’s work. Boy was I wrong! The gallery had set her pieces centrally, and my eyes were drawn immediately to her work.

While walking through the gallery, there was a noticeably different feel from the modern vibe of the Contemporary Gallery at the Pavilion. Rehfeld’s had a warmer and more at-home feel to it. There were children about from the moment I walked in, but much more subdued than the ones at the scavenger hunt. Kinder’s work added to this calmer vibe,  featuring farm and field landscapes with sheep and cattle.

Kinder had many friends and acquaintances visiting with her throughout my time at the gallery. When I finally got a chance to talk to her, the explanations of her work were as warm as the paintings themselves. “Color is just fun!” She said.

Kinder loves color, especially purple, and contrast is extremely important in her work. She also explained that sheep are her favorite animal to paint, though she appreciates the “angularity” of cows as well.

Kinder’s work is well worth a trip to Rehfeld’s, and a great fit for the family or date night. The warmth and farm-grown feel of her oil paintings are inviting and capture the essence of farm life in South Dakota.

Shiny, Happy People at Vishnu Bunny/Third Eye Gallery

Anna Glenski, Morgan Bentley, Hannah Wendt, Dustin Marie, Tyler Breske, Trista White Dove, and The Art of Lemmons were featured in Third Eye Gallery’s latest show. Unfortunately, I did not stay long enough to hear the music from Bodega Sushi and Granola featured that night. The artists put together an amazing array of art in different mediums. The work on display included everything from sculpture to charcoal drawings on newsprint.

The artwork in this gallery presented a different side to modern art that the previous exhibitions influenced by farm life could not achieve. The neons and saturated colors of pop culture icons filled the walls of the galleries, and mixed media pieces with global influence found their place there as well. Though the exhibition was listed as a family event, there were a few pieces present that included nudity or more adult themes that some families might want to avoid.

While many artists presented more abstract concepts, common themes throughout the exhibition were human forms, or parts of them, and pop culture references like Pokémon and the Joker. Along with the many brightly colored pieces, there were quite a few black and white or monochromatic pieces, as well. Some artists had a theme while others simply displayed a selection of their varying works. The variety of work displayed was a refreshing change of pace from the previous galleries I visited, though each gallery had its own charms.

Bonus Feature! Our own Hannah Wendt was featured at this exhibition. She also had work at my next stop–the 5th Annual Tallgrass Recovery Art Show.

Tallgrass 5th Annual Recovery Art Show

The last gallery stop on my First Friday tour was the busiest yet. Held at Exposure Gallery, the Tallgrass Recovery Art Show features the artwork of people who have been affected by addiction. On Facebook the gallery said, “Art is a medium for healing and we’re happy that we can help bring attention to the work that Tallgrass does each year in a small way.”

This show featured paintings, sculptures, and a few found-art style pieces. Most notable in the two room show were the larger-than-life sculpture of a man made of branches, and the fabric draped painted sign. A voting box sat next to the entryway of the gallery, and several visitors stopped to voice their opinion during my time at the show.

Many of the paintings featured words, quotes or the artist’s own thoughts on addiction. Another common motif throughout the show contrasted bright color with black and white or shades of gray. Subjects for the paintings and sculpture ranged from abstract to depictions of people. Though touching is not allowed, many pieces in the show make you want to reach out and feel their different textures and layers. This sort of tactile yearning was a unique experience among the gallery shows that night.

Some of the art in this show may be disturbing to younger audiences, but overall I would consider it family friendly. The pieces came from artists of different age ranges, and the perspectives were as varied as the artists themselves. The pieces in the show draw the audiences in, and simultaneously push them away. This show truly encompasses the different sides of addiction and recovery for an audience who may not have experience with the situation.

I ended the night at the 8th and Railroad Block Party. I didn’t stay long, but it was busy and the music was interesting! The band I heard was a blues group that included a didgeridoo and harmonica in their songs. First Friday was a hit, and there are lots of great new art shows to go see this month. I highly recommend all of the places I stopped at!

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