By Jim Speirs, Executive Director, Arts South Dakota
After a year of Zooming I was finally able to get out without my computer and marvel at the amazing state of create we live in. We’ve all been ready to get back to making and experiencing art—and it seems as if everything is happening at once. One very exhilarating trend is the construction and expansion of cultural centers across the state to spotlight and exhibit the work of South Dakota artists.
I am especially excited about the deep commitment and focus on the arts across South Dakota’s Native Nations. In Kyle, the brand new Oglala Lakota Arts Center is nearly open and artists Keith BraveHeart and Cat Clifford are already moving into their new studios at the center. The Rolling Rez bus is parked in its new home there and soon the center’s halls and walls will be filled with the sounds and sights of a community embracing the role the arts play in all of our lives.
In Rapid City, the well-established Racing Magpie cultural center and gallery is soon to open a new space, including a brand new mural by Micheal Two Bulls. Visiting Racing Magpie requires only general directions, because once you get close you won’t miss it.
On the international graffiti art scene, Eagle Butte, SD is a place well known to artists. The Red Can Graffiti Jam, now in its 7th year, is part of the Cheyenne River Youth Project and the town of Eagle Butte never looks the same for long because of this vibrant arts event. During this year’s Jam, the Cheyenne River Youth Project broke ground to build a new youth arts center: Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Youth Arts & Culture Institute, slated to open in a couple of years. Not many towns with populations of 1,310 have a youth arts center, but Eagle Butte, thanks to the Cheyenne River Youth Project, is not just any town.
These cultural center stories emphasize the commitment to the arts being illustrated in bricks and mortar by organizations and communities. The projects are gifts to South Dakotans and a legacy of arts for all of us to enjoy.
Please visit www.ArtsSouthDakota.org to view the calendar of arts experiences throughout South Dakota this summer.