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South Dakota Arts Council announces grant and fellowship recipients

Several faculty and programs from South Dakota State University and the Brookings community have received grants or fellowships from the South Dakota Arts Council (SDAC).

The South Dakota Arts Council, established in 1966, is a state agency “serving South Dakotans and their communities through the arts.” Funded by the South Dakota State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, council members are appointed by the governor.

Recipients of the SDAC grants and fellowship awards include:

  • Brookings Chamber Music Society: $1,625 Project Grant
  • Mark Stevens: $2,000 Artist Career Development Grant
  • Brookings Community Theatre: $2,232 Arts Challenge Grant
  • Diana Behl: $5,000 Artist Fellowship
  • Klaire Lockheart: $5,000 Artist Fellowship
  • South Dakota State University: $5,000 Project Grant
  • South Dakota State University Civic Orchestra: $5,000 Importation of Musicians Grant
  • Brookings Arts Council: $5,330 Arts Challenge Grant
  • Prairie Repertory Theatre: $15,745 Arts Challenge Grant
  • South Dakota Art Museum: $29,199 Arts Challenge Grant

Artist Career Development Grant: Mark Stevens

Headshot of Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens, an assistant professor of piano and director of keyboard studies, received a $2,000 artist career development grant.

The grant will be used toward a project already in motion. The goal of this project is to “commission a collection of pieces for solo piano, composed by a wide range of American composers, and written at a level accessible to a serious undergraduate piano student.”

Stevens plans to record the works, perform them in concert and eventually, serve as an editor for a published collection. “Through these activities, I aim to platform a diversity of composers, create avenues of accessibility for students and teachers to connect with this music and enhance my own creative activity.”

Stevens said the support of the project will benefit audiences throughout the state. “This grant, along with a generous award from the Griffith Foundation Fund, will serve as seed money for this project, funding several substantial pieces from American composers.”

Stevens is currently seeking further funding to complete the commissioning stage of the project and to support future recording costs. Contact Stevens for further information.

Artist Fellowship Grant: Diana Behl

Diana Behl, an associate professor and visual artist, received an artist fellowship award of $5,000.

Diana Behl working in the studio

Behl is using the funds to support the creation and presentation of a project, “Line is a Thread.” The project centers on the “conceptual, emotional and visual aspects of line” throughout Behl’s practice.

The project will incorporate a set of 28 new works using “traditional etchings and relief prints, drawings, collages and text-based works celebrating the everyday, documenting time and the potential of abstraction.”

The number 28 is not a coincidental number. It holds great meaning to Behl. “The number 28 is representative of the birth month of both my mother and grandmother,” she explained. “Methods to share my brainstorming process with others to provide deeper context and understanding will be developed alongside this work.”

Behl said the fellowship will have a direct impact on art in the state. “My creative activities and projects shape my teaching philosophy, impacting School of Design majors and non-majors pursuing an art elective,” stated Behl. “Being an active participant and mentor helps contribute to a higher standard for and understanding of the arts in the state and region. I strive to challenge and contribute to the evolution of art within the state and beyond through experimentation and sustained commitment to my artistic and educational practices.”

More details on Behl’s work can be found on her website.

Artist Fellowship Grant: Klaire Lockheart

Headshot of Klaire Lockheart

Klaire Lockheart, Miss Art World South Dakota, is an alumna of SDSU and the School of Design. She earned her B.S. in art education and visual arts from SDSU in 2007 and her M.F.A. in painting from the University of South Dakota in 2016.

Lockheart received a $5,000 artist fellowship award. By the end of the fellowship, she will create two academic-style oil paintings as part of her series, “Brodalisques.” Lockheart originally invented brodalisque as a “combination of ‘bro’ and ‘odalisque.’”

“My realistic paintings of dudes in man caves permits me the ability address the inequities women traditionally face within the art world while incorporating my sense of humor,” she explained.

Exhibits with Lockheart’s brodalisque paintings can be found in Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Omaha and Sioux City.

While the funding will not fully cover the expenses of creating the paintings, Lockheart said the funds are still extremely valuable. “Funding like this is necessary for artists to acquire materials and equipment so they can create impactful works of art.”

More of Lockheart’s work can be viewed on her website.