South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Brookings Arts Council encourages community creativity

MIRANDA SAMPSON Roger Bommersbach paints a watercolor picture during the painting class March 5 in the basement of the Brookings Arts Council building. The “Thursday Afternoon Painting Group” meets from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays in the Arts Council Building.

Many kinds of art can be used as forms of expression. The Brookings Arts Council offers a variety of classes April and the rest of spring.

The Brookings Arts Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to aid emerging artists by hosting art classes and gallery showings. Its goal is to help promote art throughout the community.

Some classes include the Thursday afternoon painting group, and the pastel basics, acrylic pours and cartooning mad libs, which will be held throughout April.

Classes are taught by different instructors who have experience both teaching art and creating their own.

One of those instructors is Arts Council board member Linda Hoffelt.

“I used to be an art teacher at the middle school in Brookings,” Hoffelt said. “I love art, so when I retired 10 years ago I just became more involved in helping other people do art through the art council.”

She has taught 19 different classes in the past few years, and will instruct the acrylic pour class on April 19.

Hoffelt also helps with the painting group on Thursday afternoons, where people come to work on their projects and can share ideas with other artists in the group.

Julie Sperlich, who graduated with an art degree at South Dakota State University, has recently gotten back into her love for art through taking classes like a jewelry making, a pastel painting and the regular painting.

“You never know what you’re good at until you try… Working with different art mediums that the Art Council has, opens your eyes that there is more in the world,” Sperlich said.

Sperlich recently took a class on Japanese wood blocking. The class covered the history of the art form and provided all the materials needed before giving step by step instructions on how to make the wood carvings.

Heather Kuhlman, executive director, organized and scheduled the wood blocking class, along with many other classes. On top of scheduling classes, she has an array of responsibilities for the Arts Council.

She helps organize the classes and other special events and handles the council’s finances. She is also an artist.

“There is something about getting your hands wet, feeling the mess and feeling the movement of the brush across the paper,” Kuhlman said. “People need to disconnect and start involving all your senses into something like art.”

The Arts Council is located in the Community Cultural Center and just went through a half a million dollar renovation. It is completely updated to showcase different galleries and host the upcoming art classes.

“There are lots of opportunities at the Arts Council, we want to be that place where people come to play, like an art playground,” Kuhlman said. “We don’t care what you do here, it’s just all about the art.”

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