Entries Tagged 'Art' ↓

Does Sioux Falls have any arts leadership in the public sector?

Wow. It was refreshing to hear someone besides myself (and who actually has a degree in these kind of things) speak out about the lack of cultural leadership in our community in the public sector;

I believe now is the correct strategic moment to consider renewed formal leadership for the Sioux Falls Arts Council, a position that has been covered in a transitional capacity for the past two years.

It’s actually been in a transitional period for over a decade. The Pavilion’s plan to kill the Sioux Empire Arts Council was successful, the problem was the Pavilion had no backup plan, and the mastermind of it all ran back to Brookings to do another job he wasn’t qualified for, well at least he isn’t damaging Norman Rockwell prints anymore.

It only took this letter writer one year working at the Pavilion to figure out it’s façade (it took me 4 years);

The Washington Pavilion has not, and does not look to be, a leader in concepts like larger community cultural issues, creative placemaking and community vibrancy.

That is because the Pavilion is there to protect itself, that’s why they dismantled a great FREE community arts program (SEAC) and renamed it, only further destroying what was a good organization to begin with. But hey, now we will have a butcher shop museum at Falls Park to replace it. At least now we all will know where milk and sausage comes from.

I have been suggesting for years it is time for the city to put out bids for a new Pavilion management contract. Others have even suggested that the entities in the building should be split up (separate the performance and entertainment halls from the arts center and science center). I don’t know what the solution is, but one thing is for certain, there needs to be a true leader to take the bull by the horns.

*For the record, I don’t know the author of this letter, and have never spoken with him.


I decided for some reason a 2,000 mile road trip was a good idea. I hit the Black Hills, Devil’s Tower (a must see) and Yellowstone (2 days) and finished in the Midwest’s capital of beer (Ft. Collins) before heading home. I am relaxed and ready to get back at it. I recommend to anyone spending 6 days by yourself, it will set your mind free.

pht1-rivrerself pht1-devself pht1-fallsself pht1-devil pht1-rush pht1-geyser pht1-rushself

I’m Back!


Just been doing some light posting over the past week, because I didn’t want to spend all my time fiddling with my blog while on a 2,000 mile road trip. Many more pictures to come! I picked up ‘Gee Willikers’ in Cody, WY (above).

Corn Palace Days has a great exhibit

Click to enlarge


Photography Club, Charles Luden

Charles Luden sent me these cool photos today, thought I would share;

I shot these in 1974 in Denver at a small club named Ebbets Field. Tom Waits opened for Roger McGuinn. It was a great show. Roger’s 1st solo LP and Tom’s 2nd LP were recently released. A priceless event. – C.L.




UPDATE: Did the city corrode their own piece of art?

UPDATE: After a little research of my own, it seems just regular South Dakota weather could have easily corroded this piece and the welds, if it is made from a mild steel. It seems not much research was done on the piece (materials) before it was installed, which is unfortunate. But I do agree that it could possibly be reinforced at the foundry, but it won’t be cheap.

I found this story about removing public art from Lyon park a bit disheartening;

A steel sculpture of a woman is gone from Lyon Park.

Her hopeful silhouette – leaning forward, one arm raised to the sky – was removed in favor of government prudence.

City officials hired a company to examine the piece and determine upkeep expenses. It’s a practice City Hall plans to move forward with each time it adds to its portfolio, Planning Director Mike Cooper said.

“Now that our inventory of public art has expanded significantly over the years, the investment is pretty substantial,” Cooper said.

The sculpture at Lyon Park, “Effortlessly Buoyant” by Indiana-based artist Gregory Mendez, was removed this week after it spent more than year looking out over the intersection of 14th Street and Phillips Avenue.

While I am all for the city investing in public art, I wondered when the ‘maintenance and cleaning’ budget started how long they would be willing to fund it. Could our city be so broke that now they can’t even come up with the money? Funny how we have the money to build a pool that will have a $1.5 million dollar operating budget each year (and we still have to pay a fee to use it) and $500K for a private tennis club with the mayor’s name plastered on it, but somehow we are coming short on the public art budget.

But there is probably a bigger issue here not mentioned in the story;

Steel in the sculpture suffered “extensive corrosion,” according to findings from the Los Angeles-based company hired to analyze the piece. The group, RLA Conservation of Art and Architecture, recommended against accepting the artwork.

City officials first hired RLA in 2013 to help maintain its existing pieces of art, including the deteriorating youth mosaic wall along the river downtown. City leaders have since committed thousands of dollars to fix the wall, a collaborative effort from hundreds of Sioux Falls children.

Ironically the damage to the wall and the sculpture might have been caused by the city and not natural things like rain, snow and ice. People working on the mosaic have told me that most of the damage caused to the wall is the result of the chemicals the city uses on the streets during the winter. I can’t image how much has been sprayed on that sculpture over the past winter from 14th street. The chemicals are highly corrosive. Residents complain yearly about what it does to the city’s boulevards. These chemicals eat away at things like steel and ceramics. So did the city actually damage it’s own piece of art? Would be interesting to see the piece up close.

There is a solution, let’s hope the city has a change of heart;

But when it comes to “Effortlessly Buoyant,” Clark was disappointed. The sculpture was a good fit for the park, and cleaning up is as simple as bringing it to a foundry, he said.

It seems a protective coating could be an easy fix.

Another art show, another weekend

Thanks to everyone who came out to Artists Against Hunger this past weekend, join me again this First Friday Downtown!



Buy some art, feed the hungry

I hope to have most of my available inventory in the show (there is limited space, so it may not be all of it). It’s in the lower level gallery at Last Stop CD shop on East 10th this weekend.


Highlight of JazzFest? Andra Day!


In her own respects looking like Billy Holiday and sounding like Nina Simone and Amy Winehouse doesn’t hurt. She did a cover of Missippi God Damn and a montage of Bob Marley, truly a beautiful voice. Andra is going places.

Hudson writes a great article about Brian Masek & Jesse Christen


One of the best local interviews I have read in a long time. I can say I have been very fortunate to know Jesse and Brian for over 20 years, two of the top musical artists not only in Sioux Falls, but the region. Jesse is a regular at the Bolin Fest in Sioux City. I can’t even count the number of times I have seen both of them play around town and at my 15 year stint at Touch of Europe. Watching them both grow as musicians has truly been a treat. Though I could never play an instrument (just ask Jesse about the number of jokes he has cracked when I have asked him to teach me guitar) I truly appreciate music, and the raw talent these two have is remarkable. Please check them out at Jazzfest, 6 PM Thursday night on the main stage and Saturday night on the 2nd stage.

JazzFest is also a treat this year (25 years), I have been attending almost 20 years, the great mix of blues, jazz, R & B and even pop rock this year will make it one to remember, the weather is also going to be perfect. Props to Rob Joyce and SF Jazz and Blues, some of my proudest moments as a graphic designer and artist have been with the work I did with them, creating the logo for two years in the past. Come and join us and help me celebrate my big 44.