Entries Tagged 'Art' ↓

Large turnout for Angelica Mercado’s reception

Even though there was a private party in the Everist Gallery (making a bunch of noise and disrupting the gallery talk, imagine that, poor planning on the Pavilion’s part) there was a huge turnout for the reception. Unfortunately I did NOT see the video that I posted to my site the other day being displayed in the exhibit. I’m wondering if this got censored from the exhibit? If so, NOT GOOD. First off, besides the fact there was NOTHING offensive about the video, that is neither here nor there, it is a publicly funded facility, not just local funds but Federal and State grants. Also, the building is owned by the taxpayers of Sioux Falls. Censorship is unacceptable in public facilities.


Angelica Arely Mercado at the Pavilion

Posted by Julia Tasuil on Friday, March 1, 2019

UPDATE: Jefferson High School Renegades?

UPDATE: When I started working on this last night, I had NO idea the SFSD was going to announce today, I also had NO idea that they had already made a decision. So I was shocked when they made the announcement a few minutes ago. I guessed the colors dead on Gold and Green. While I also considered their mascot (Cavaliers) I didn’t want to pick it because it was too much of a blatant rip off, that didn’t stop the SFSD, which picked the Cavaliers. I also steered away from the Cavaliers because that is the Mascot of Bon Homme School district. As for Ben Reifel’s colors and Mascot, the students put a little more thought into it. They went with the Buffalo and Rosebud’s flag colors, Crimson Red and Gold.

While I know NONE of my suggestions will ever be taken for the new mascot for JHS, I still thought I would take a stab at it. I have created well over 100 logos in my time as a graphic designer, including ‘tweaking’ some school mascots.

I will warn you, this is a quick version of what I was thinking that I mostly took from clipart, etc. But I did do some research.

I liked the Gold and Green color scheme. It doesn’t interfere with the other school colors and it represents diversity and strength.

I like the Mountain Goat mascot (RAM) It represents Jefferson’s quiet, yet powerful strengths.

I struggled with ‘Renegade’. It can have some negative connotations, but it defined our founding fathers who were fighting against a foreign power trying to control Americans.

Video part of Angelica Mercado’s exhibit at the Pavilion

I hope this video Angelica created is part of her exhibit at the Pavilion. Her reception is at 6 PM at the Pavilion Friday night. Should be an interesting. I have always been a fan of political art, it encourages thought!

Indian Mound Wall (Guest Post by Bruce Danielson)

The Indian Mound Wall being discussed is a little known and never discussed art piece in Sioux Falls. For those who do not know the area or significance, the burial mound in Sherman Park is the stable hill between the Zoo and Minnehaha Country Club between the Sioux Fiver and Kiwanis Avenue. West 18th Street changes to Indian Mound Drive heading toward the river and the country clubs. The mound is actually what we now call a cemetery from ancient times.

The north face of the mound was trimmed in quartzite block for many years before Porter Williams and others received permission to build the 160’ stack stone wall with stone pictographs of the sacred buffalo hunt. This wall honors the heritage of the original occupiers of the place we call South Dakota and Sioux Falls.

The side of the mound is hard, undisturbed, stable earth. The mound’s north face has not been harmed or weakened by this wall or its construction. The art was placed feet from the face of the original mound with a fill of quartzite between the art and dirt on top of a 6’ deep by 4’ wide trench of quartzite fill to create a frost footing. How do I know this? I was there for a great deal of the construction.

Stack Stone walls and buildings are based on ancient methods of mortar-less construction or in other words, no concrete to fill the gaps. There are walls and building around the world dating back thousands of years still standing. I have personally been to many, years ago. I have been in the Gallarus Oratory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallarus_Oratory. My cousins live within feet of this building, helping maintain the structure and the tall stack stone walls surrounding it. The Greeks also built beautiful buildings and walls which still stand without the use of mortar. Every civilization on earth has used this method for centuries.

The parks department plan is for an ugly monster block wall. While monster or keystone block have a purpose, often it is a temporary solution. The effect in the end is an ugly concrete wall. Of course they now are willing to dye it dark to hide the normal gray color. Wow, that sounds permanent, thanks? Do you know there is actually no reason to even have a retaining wall on the spot?

Think about this, there never was a retaining wall there before the road went in. The original wall of quartzite stone was put in for art’s sake and the Sacred Buffalo Wall was put in front of mound also for art’s sake. Is the plan for a monster block project only a make work project?

The parks director has never made maintaining or protecting this wall since arrival in Sioux Falls a priority. Is the director now in a position to destroy all vestiges of it?

Nothing has been done since it was built to keep people off the wall. Why did the park department never stop people from using it as a climbing wall? The police have been called on many occasions to stop others from being on it, dislodging stones to throw from it? I know these incidents because I personally called to report them. Could the climbers have accidently dislodged the stone to cause failure?

Why did the parks department NEVER do anything to protect it? Why has there never been a structured yearly program to verify wall stability? This reminds me of the mosaic flood wall downtown. The past mayor wanted the flood wall gone, so no basic care was taken to protect it. The answer to the disintegrating mosaic wall was simple, remove it. The community fought back and saved the mosaic (and the downtown from future flooding).

Why does it appear the “engineers” from two different companies wrote reports and contracts to do what the parks department wanted done? Why are contracts and consultant reports purchased by the parks department with what appears to be predetermined results? Was this another one of those projects? It doesn’t look any different from what we have learned from the department’s past history.

The consultants wrote a report to tear this wall down so they could build something they understand. Watch the meeting: https://youtu.be/DBzGYwOKYIo?t=2660 Listen for the consultant to tell us he does not understand how these walls are built or survive. It is not conventional in this part of the world today, so we must destroy it.

The plan as presented so far is not for cladding the monster block wall with any of the original stone. In fact, cladding would be the most expense answer. Cladding would require an unnecessary wall to be built behind the stack stone. There has been talk of using mortar to lock the stack stone, the mortar would break down over time and cause a bigger mess.

One option is to have someone paint an image on the monster block. Oh boy this could be good, in a few years as the paint falls off the concrete block, the city will be “forced” blast the remnants off or spray paint it to cover it. Gosh, maybe we can have a yearly art exhibit something like the Jesus plows?

Another option being discussed is having insert boxes ready to place new reliefs or an image. It is still an ugly concrete monster block wall with maybe some part of the original art. The ability to have special monster block insert boxes large enough for the current stone images would be interesting to watch come together.

The longest lasting and least expensive answer is repairing the current wall. It could be repaired with a change of a few pieces of stone replaced, to recreate the design. The artist and builder of the wall have tried to present this option to the park department but it conflicts with the director’s long-range plan for this art to disappear. In fact I do agree with some recommendations in the consultant’s report, an engineer should be involved for strength factoring and designing a yearly maintenance program.

Consider this Terrace Park fans, destroying this wall is similar to the attempt to “fix up” your park a few years ago, by destroying it with concrete. For those who have difficulty getting to the Japanese Garden, thank the ugly chain link fence installed by the park department to keep us out.

Why was the lighting never installed as promised, to highlight the images. Two high intensity flood lights didn’t do anything to allow viewers to catch the beauty of this wall.

If our parks department actually cared about children or art, programs would be created to explain why we have to care about the Sacred Buffalo Wall and the history behind it. Repair the wall with oversight and a maintenance program. Finally, create the lighting program promised years ago to highlight the art.

It’s simple. Art like this is only created in the minds and by the hands of the creators. We will never see this wall recreated once it is torn down. Using concrete is a desecration of this land and is an insult to those buried in the earth behind the memorial called the Sacred Buffalo Wall.

Buffalo Hunt wall could be (partially) saved by using stone cladding


I often shake my head when artists and engineers get together to ‘solve’ a problem. Often engineers win by saying safety is more important than artistic integrity. But if engineers would talk to artists once in awhile they may find a solution that is not only SAFE but beautiful.

I understand the city and the original artist who created the wall are in disagreement, I’m not going down that rabbit hole. That is a gigantic political mess of he said, she said (I tend to believe the artist in this one). I also take issue with the fact that the artist hasn’t really been consulted at all on how to fix this wall (even though they claim they have consulted him, he says otherwise). As I understand it, he agreed to fix the wall for around $30K, but it would require some work AND a special backfill. It would also require the Parks Department To put up a special signage telling people to not climb on the ‘ART’ or take rocks from the structure. But that ship has sailed. The city’s solution is to build a permanent block wall (Which at some estimates could exceed $250K). I think the city, the Parks Department and the artist could all compromise and have the best of both worlds. The city could build their permanent structure and save the rocks from the original wall and ‘clad’ them into the new wall (you can see cladding in the images above). The problem is the city wants to just bulldoze the entire structure without saving the stones that make the buffalo hunt image. The artist has even requested he be allowed to save those stones by carefully deconstructing the wall. The Parks Department is not keen on the idea.

I actually think if the original stones of the image were clad into a permanent structure it would look pretty cool (probably easier to see) and it would be ‘safe’ according to the engineers.

Of course this would require a compromise, and we know the Parks Director doesn’t know the meaning of a compromise. Heck they can’t even find their ‘no mow’ list or how the Elmwood shed fire got started.

Must See Exhibit at Pavilion • Opening this Friday!

I got tipped off about Angelica’s show yesterday, and I am very excited to attend her reception and talk on Friday. As a blogger (who actually got into blogging about local politics because of art) I can tell you that there is much more going on with this exhibit than you can even imagine, but I will leave it at that. You know when you have a disclaimer that 12 year olds have to be accompanied by an adult, it’s good stuff.

Did Arc of Dreams try to get money out of City?

Remember the promise Arc of Dreams made to the taxpayers of Sioux Falls? They would gift the structure to the city from private donations – NO PUBLIC MONEY.

Rumor has it that they asked the city for a $50K donation, and ‘MAY’ have been denied (at this point). I knew it would only be a matter of time when they asked the city to pony up.

Remember the project was ‘supposed’ to cost $1 Million and has skyrocketed to $2.4 million. The donation was to go towards transportation costs.

I still wonder if they will pay also to fix the sidewalk by the pedestrian bridge they crumbled while building the foundations?

Some may argue that maybe the city should put a little in. I would agree, IF this was a project that was vetted through the public, it was NOT. This was cooked up by a handful of elitists in Sioux Falls who needed to stroke their personal egos. They can pay for it.

As I have argued many times, if the city were to spend $2.4 million on DTSF public art, they could find a way to do hundreds of projects that employ local artists, craftsman and contractors.

I guess we will have to settle for the ‘Swords of Sioux Falls’.

Lopsided Seal fitting tribute to Daugaard

As a person who has visited hundreds of museums and looked at thousands of portraits, it only took me about two seconds this morning while looking at this painting, “The seal is inaccurate and lopsided.” Sure enough, as my diagram shows, it’s off, and way off.

Some might argue that this is an ‘artist’s perspective’. I guess that is well and good if you are Matisse or Piscasso, but if you are a portrait artist, the little things count. Squares and circles need to be accurate and within perspective. Never mind that the artist shaved about 30 years off of Denny’s face.

Maybe he can ask for a discount, or if it is an oil painting, there is probably still time to ‘tweak it’ you know, like the AG did with Benda’s death report.

Pop Goes the West

I’ve been working on a series of paintings about the old west called, “Pop goes the West’.

Here is a sampling;

Lille Langtry


Apache Kid

Deer Skull

Doc Holliday

Arc of Dreams behind schedule and $1.4 million over original budget

While this isn’t a bad thing or a surprise, projects like this take a lot of time and a lot of money when businessmen cook up public art projects;

Jeff Hansen, media relations director for the SculptureWalk organization behind the project, said this week the group has commitments from donors that get the project all the way to its $2.4 million fundraising goal. Earlier this year, the group said it still had about $600,000 left to go.

“This summer we had a long way to go yet,” Hansen said. “But we hit the $2.4 million level, which pays for everything — construction and installation and the plaza area.”

While I think this project being privately funded is awesome, I question a few things.

• How did the original pricetag of $1 million suddenly jump to $2.4? Even with the design change I find it extremely fascinating that a project can be this over budget.

• One of the main arguments supporting the project is to have a tourist attraction for downtown. Really? What about Falls Park? SculptureWalk? Statue of David? All the fantastic bars and restaurants?

Like I said, I think it is great that private business people in Sioux Falls want to fund this very expensive public art project. But I still think the money is being misguided.

Instead of building one gigantic structure that is a monument to WHAT? the money could have been spent on hundreds of smaller public art projects downtown employing dozens of local artists, landscape architects and construction workers beautifying all corners of downtown with mini gardens, murals, and permanent functional sculptures and art. Instead, Arc of Dreams will occupy an area already crowded with Roman like greenway pillars and steps.

It will in turn be a monument to itself and an incredible waste of private dollars on public art. But certainly NOT a surprise in good old Sioux Falls.