Entries Tagged 'Washington Pavilion' ↓

More organizations are bailing on the Pavilion

jar and skittles decoration

The Mayor’s Awards for the Arts are moving their event from long time venue, the Belbas Theatre. I guess now the Pavilion isn’t even good enough for the mayor to hand out some trophies.


First Annual Arts BAL ~ Bringing Art to Life ~
Thursday, April 24th at 5:00 pm
TSP, Inc., 1112 N West Ave

The evening will include presentation of the 2014 Mayor’s Awards for the Arts (nominations forms available atwww.artssiouxfalls.org).

So now arts organizations in Sioux Falls can’t even trust another art organization to present awards? What’s next? Watching the Ballet at The District? A Monet exhibit at the Empire Mall? Just how many mothballs will we need when the Pavilion closes in disgrace (imagine guessing the number of Skittles in the mason jar in 3rd grade).

I guess the Visual Arts Center isn’t the only dirt hole at the Washington Bazillion

While 1/2 CEO Larry Toll is busy asking for $85,000 for a gift shop they probably should be hiring some cleaning crews;

The Kirby Science Discovery Center and Raven Children’s Studio at the Washington Pavilion will be closed through Monday because mites were found on the science center’s two resident box turtles Discover and Tie Dye.

Staff discovered the mites Wednesday, and the turtles were immediately removed from their enclosure and brought to their vet, Dr. Dayton Williams.

Some staff members reported being bitten by the mites, said Pavilion marketing and communications director Michelle Wellman. She said there had been no reports of visitors being bitten.

The science center and children’s studio will be closed to accommodate professional fumigation of the area visited by the turtles.

How the mites got into the turtle enclosure is a mystery, Wellman said, but the Pavilion’s cleaning routine will be updated to include mite control as a result of the incident. The turtles will also be getting a new enclosure, she said.

The CineDome and Visual Arts Center will remain open. Story time, scheduled for 10:15 a.m. Saturday, will continue as scheduled, but check in at the Box Office for the location.

If patrons experience itchy skin and/or small red bumps they should visit their family practice physician to determine if they need to be treated. (How about high fever and severe diarrhea!) 

The Washington Pavilion requests that patrons interested in visiting the Kirby Science Discovery Center or Raven Children’s Studio call ahead at 367-6000 for the most up-to-date information about hours. The affected spaces will be reopened once it has been determined that the environment is safe for the patrons and turtles.

Nice, so a place where kids crawl around and are sticking things in their mouths, we have turtles that are well known for carrying salmonella, and now disease carrying mites. Oh, but it gets better, they will now engulf the facility with dangerous pesticide fumes. So now the kids won’t have to worry about being bitten or poisoned by salmonella, just pesticide residue. Wasn’t there a more natural or organic approach to killing the mites?
It’s your Pavilion, It’s my Pavilion, It’s gross Pavilion.

Staggers suggests the Pavilion’s proposed new gift shop be a card table


Not only was Kermit’s suggestion snarky (FF: 11:00), you could tell he was pretty much fed up with the money bleeding going on at the Pavilion. Anderson and Staggers both voted against the Pavilion’s new gift shop.

The plan is for the Pavilion to build a Northside gift shop to sell more art related items, not a bad idea in itself, except, the Pavilion already has a gift shop (that they have made smaller) on the Southside. It sells stuff like plastic dinosaurs and magnetic rocks. They also have a nice gift shop area in the reception of the Visual Arts Center. I guess I would be all for an expanded gift shop at the VAC, if the VAC stopped charging admission to get in there dirty galleries and miss hung giclee print exhibits, and if the Pavilion actually focused on making money instead having inter-office shananigans.

Larry Toll (1/2 CEO of the Pavilion) said that the problem is people can’t find the VAC because the escalators were never put in. Well jinkies, Larry, after 14 years, you would think you would get around to it instead putting bandaids on the problem (I think the city budgeted for the escalator installation in 2015).

Personally, I think it is time to end the contract with the WP’s management company and find a new contractor. And just so we can hold someone accountable for the several financial mis-steps that have been happening over the past 14 years, I suggest a FULL forensic and financial audit of the place before we hand them their pinkslips. Remember the finance and operations director have been there since day one . . . Hmm.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”Albert Einstein

Items from the SF City Council consent agenda

I think these items need to be pulled in Tuesday’s meeting and discussed. (Item #1) Not saying they are controversial, but I am curious about a NORTH gift shop at the Pavilion (they already have a South one) and why it is costing taxpayers half-million to renovate one floor of City Hall. Of course this is the same building that had to spend around $60K for a ‘backup’ air-conditioner for the IT room.


Toulouse-Lautrec at the Washington Pavilion

To say I am mildly excited about seeing his exhibit at the Pavilion is an understatement. While he may not be my favorite artist of all time, he is high on the list. Heck, I named my backyard patio the ‘Toulouse-Lautrec’, because I modeled it after a picture of him on his patio.

But as usual, when you go digging at the Pavilion, you are bound to find something that isn’t quite right;

At the center of this exhibition is a rare collection of approximately 150 works on paper by Toulouse-Lautrec. This includes 12 of his iconic posters as well as 35 of his sketches, which were often the draft ideas for the posters themselves.

So what are the other 103 pieces? Prints? Reproductions? Giclees? Here we go down the Norman Rockwell road once again.

Not at all, they are Litho’s and VERY nice reproductions. If I had one complaint about the exhibit (which is a very large collection) it would be the collectors need to re-frame the collection (looks very Hobby-Lobbish)

So this got me curious about the ‘origin’ of the exhibit. Greece. You know, the country where people are actually wearing barrels and suspenders for clothing.

If you do a little research on the ‘Private’ museum the collection came from, you have to remember the economic crisis in Greece, or should I say the bottom freaking dropping out?

They have had only one major exhibition in the past two years, something about math. Seems the Greece’s treasury department needs to head over and take a gander at it.

Enough of that, the show is fantastic, I wasn’t even irritated by the $10 entrance fee, but I will say this, I was disappointed with the appearance of the Visual Arts Center.

First off, they knocked out some rag-tag wall at the back of the main gallery (Everist) for the Native gallery (don’t trip on the weird ramp) secondly, as you will see in the image below, they had some kind of trash and seating project going on in the middle of the exhibit (probably an educational program) but why not clean it up? It’s Saturday, not Tuesday, lots of traffic, in fact I saw several viewers staring at this collaboration of trash cans.


I have also heard, the PAV has been renting out the VAC for private receptions, this might be the remnants.

The other inklings I have heard is that the Pavilion has been ‘cutting’ corners. Which surprises me, because, they get a large subsidy from the taxpayer. It has probably been since this summer that I have been there, but the one thing I have noticed is how un-inviting and dirty it is. Even in the Everist Gallery, with a ‘world-class’ exhibit, the carpet was extremely dirty, scuffs all over the walls, shades drawn over the expansive windows (not sure why) and this appearance of ‘Half-Assery’. I was surprised the art was not crooked and laying on the floor.

Trust me, I keep my house about as clean as a truck-stop. But if you are charging an entrance fee to see TL, get out the vacuum cleaner.

I have often said, the new city council needs to ask for a FULL FORENSIC & FINANCIAL AUDIT of the Pavilion. Things are not right over there, shit is going on!

But they could save taxpayers a lot of dough, and forgo the audit, and just fire the current management company, you know, like everybody.

It breaks my heart, because I worked there the first 4 years it was opened, had an art exhibit there, donated to arts night and was personal friends with the first director. I really felt it could work, and that is what is frustrating what I see when I walk into the place.

You can partake in the Pavilion’s juried show, if you have a time machine

Okay, I know what you are thinking, peeps make mistakes, typos happen. Would agree. Worked in printing for 20 years, they happen everyday;



So the next logical step after going through Marketing as well as the Visual Arts Center’s Curator and Director is to fix it, make new printouts, copies, etc, before sending it nationally. Ah, oops;


Leaky 10 year roofs are one thing, typos on art entry forms are another. Taxpayer money going towards this stuff, freaking mind-boggling.

Apparently the Washington Pavilion Cinedome roof was only good for 10 years


I am still in a little bit of shock over this. During the SF City Council meeting, Councilor Staggers asked why we are replacing a roof after only 14 years (it is leaking, and apparently only had a 10 year lifespan) and why isn’t the city’s engineering department looking at this issue instead of a private engineering company, Director Huwe’s response, “No one in the city engineering department has roof expertise. (sic)”

I am no engineer, but, I would think if the city engineering department put their heads together, they could figure it out.

Besides the fact that we have spent over $40 million on the reconstruction and construction of the Pavilion over the past 14 years and a roof lasting only 10 years is inexcusable, what is even more disappointing was that council chair Entenman has known about this plan to replace the roof since early November, he was informed by Larry Toll in an email, and the council did not learn about it until Friday when the consent agenda was released.

You will not be missed on the council, Jim.

Also a little troubling is who was one of the lead designers of the Pavilion? Koch, Hazard. Besides a leaky roof after 14 years and a bouncing mezzanine, the Pavilion has experienced many other issues, including the removal of carpet on the main staircases because the design was causing people to misstep and fall. Guess who is involved with the design of the new Events Center. Yup, you guessed it, Koch, Hazard. Oh boy.

Person who helped implement SIRE wins city award

What’s the best way to pretend there isn’t a 700 pound gorilla in the room? Give people that are part of the problem (not the solution) an award. The city employee who was responsible for the implementation of SIRE in 2011 received a non-management employee award last night. Maybe she will get another award after she actually gets SIRE to work. I would like to present it :)

Tuesday (tomorrow) should be an interesting day at Carnegie Hall


1) Agenda for the Public Services Committee, 2) Pavilion Engineering Expense, 3) Ice & Tennis contracts


1) Looks like the city council is back to square one on the taxi cab ordinance. They are now reverting back to a work session to discuss further changes. The first thing that needs to go is the 24-hr requirement and they need to actively explore a central dispatch program. I have trouble believing the state department of revenue is hampering this program.

2) The Cinedome’s roof is only about 14 years old, (consent agenda) and already needs replacement? After spending millions on the Pavilion and Cinedome we can’t even build a roof that will last more then 14 years? Maybe the Kirby Family and Wells Fargo can donate some more money to get it fixed?

3) The council will be voting on the Ice & Tennis contracts (items 9 & 10). But they are not being presented as resolutions or ordinances, just contracts. I wonder if public input will be allowed?

Bang for our buck?


What’s going on at the Pavilion’s Visual Arts Center? Good Question.


That was the response I basically got when I called the Box Office to ask what exhibits were going on at the VAC. If you go to the web page, they have 3 exhibits listed, two expired on October 6. If you click on upcoming exhibits they have two listed for January and February.

When I told the box office representative that nothing was listed on the website, she replies, “We have no information in our office either,” Then transferred me to the VAC, to which I talked to a person who told me they are setting up some big exhibit for this weekend.

Okay, no big deal we all get a little behind on things, but let’s review the big changes going on over at the Pavilion;

1) Development Director leaves without explanation

2) They add another CEO/President, so they have two now

3) The Visual Arts Center starts charging admission, because as they told us, they were going to bring in better art. We just are not going to tell the public or our box office employees what that art is. But thanks for the subsidy every year! Money well spent, just not on our website or IT services.