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South Dakota Governor’s 8th Biennial Art Exhibition opens at South Dakota Art Museum

Don Kates, Stand of Aspens, 2016, photography
Don Kates, Stand of Aspens, 2016, photography | Preview image for this article: Liz Heeren, Cosmo Strato, 2018, acrylic and colored pencil on board

The South Dakota Art Museum hosts the South Dakota Governor’s 8th Biennial Art Exhibition, featuring works from 64 South Dakota artists, Jan. 25 to April 20. The showing, the first of four statewide, represents all regions of the state and a wide variety of art forms.

The museum will host a free opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Jan. 25. Appetizers and refreshments will be served. Guests will have the opportunity to meet artists and explore exhibits throughout the museum. There will not be a formal artist talk.

Jodi Lundgren, South Dakota Art Museum curator of exhibitions, served as one of the four jurors who reviewed 298 entries from 112 artists in a blind jurying process. Echoing the jurors’ statement in the exhibition catalog, Lundgren noted, “The submissions were of tremendous quality; the artists of South Dakota are creating vital work in response to the world around them and the times in which we live. This exhibition speaks to the current artistic moment in South Dakota, filled with observations both quiet and startling, and moments of beauty and surprise.”

Six artists from Brookings were selected, including South Dakota State University School of Design faculty members Diana Behl and Peter Reichardt, and community artists Andrew Kosten, Harriet Lievan, Jessie Rasche and Robert Semrad. This is Semrad’s first appearance in the biennial. While many of the artists are from cities and university communities, artists from rural and smaller communities across the state are also represented.

“The challenge of geographical isolation has given way to a new era of connectivity,” said Lundgren, “and has opened doors and opportunities in unprecedented ways. South Dakota artists see, and are being seen, more than ever.”

Patrick Baker, executive director of the South Dakota Arts Council, appreciates that the exhibition includes both exciting emerging artists and noted masters. “The remarkable collection comprises a plethora of artistic approaches,” he wrote in the catalog, “i.e., there’s something for everybody: from acrylic to graphite, intaglio to monotype, metal to fiber, paper to canvas, wood to digital print, stoneware to gouache, and everything in between.” The state arts council provides major financial support for the organization of the show, its travel across the state, and for the acquisition of works by artists from the exhibition for the collections of the exhibiting institutions.

The South Dakota Governor’s Biennial Art Exhibition was established in 2003 in order to recognize and encourage South Dakota artists, to promote the artistic identity of South Dakota, to celebrate the cultural and artistic heritage and future of South Dakota, and to encourage a larger sense of community and connection across separate artistic communities within the state.

As governor from 2011 to 2019, Dennis Daugaard gave his endorsement and support to four biennials. Before leaving office, he wrote in the exhibit catalog, “I hope viewers will find the same joy and excitement I do when observing South Dakota’s talented artists and their accomplishments throughout the state. It is an honor to endorse this significant event that unveils the professionalism, imagination, and talent of our state’s artists.”

The exhibition travels across the state and is organized through the collaborative efforts of staff at the exhibiting institutions. After being displayed at the South Dakota Art Museum, the show will travel to the Dahl Arts Center at the Rapid City Arts Council, Rapid City (May 3-Aug. 17), the John A. Day Gallery at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion (Aug. 30-Oct. 11) and the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science, Sioux Falls (Oct. 26-Jan. 19, 2020).

The biennial exhibitions are a snapshot of the tremendous quality and unique diversity of artistic creativity within the state at a specific point in time. Their accompanying catalogs serve as valuable permanent records that help to trace historical developments and connections within the state. The catalog for the 8thbiennial exhibition will be available at the South Dakota Art Museum. A sampling of works can be viewed.

Exhibiting Artists

Lynda Clark Adelstein, Steve Babbitt, John Banasiak, Michael Baum, Diana Behl, Angela Behrends, Eden Bhatta, Keith BraveHeart, Roger Broer, Gratia Brown, Chad and Kiesha Dykstra, Dede Farrar, Jeff Freeman, Luke Gorder, Jim Green, Amber Hansen, Liz Heeren, Susan Heggestad, JoAnn Hoffman, Thomas Jones, Don Kates, Young Ae Kim, Cory Knedler, Andrew Kosten, Dale Lamphere, Carolyne D. Landon, Amy Lehman, Harriet Lievan, Klaire Lockheart, Christopher Meyer, Anthony Millette, Darcy Millette, Deborah Mitchell, Katie Munson, Safet Musinovic, Sandra Newman, Nancy Olive, Timothy Orme, Quintin Owens, Aaron Packard, Phyllis Packard, Wade Patton, Mike Paul, Paul Peterson, Tim Peterson, Jessie Rasche, Jerry Rawlings, Peter Reichardt, Camille Riner, Cristen Roghair, J. Desy Schoenewies, Jean Selvy Wyss, Robert Semrad, Eli Show, Barbara Sparks, Daniel Tackett, Lynn Thorpe, Tom Thorson, Lindsay Twa, Ray Tysdal, Jodi Vittitoe, Dwayne Wilcox and Anna Youngers.

About South Dakota Art Museum

South Dakota Art Museum is located at 1036 Medary Avenue in Brookings and is open daily except for the following holiday and winter closures: Jan. 21 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), Feb. 18 (President’s Day) and Sundays in January through March. Admission to the museum is free. Parking is also free in the museum’s reserved lot just west of the museum on Harvey Dunn Street. For more information, call 605-688-5423 or email the museum.