6th Biennial Governors Art Exhibition

By: Abby Schoenwald

The South Dakota Art Museum is the first stop for the South Dakota Governor’s 6th Biennial Art Exhibition.

Artists could submit up to three artworks each in hopes of being featured in this exhibit. With images of their artwork on a CD, artists sent their applications and CDs into the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings for consideration. Jodi Lundgren, South Dakota Art Museum Curator and Coordinator of Exhibitions, said that there was no age limit for artists to participate.

“It was an open call to all artists in the state of South Dakota,” Lundgren said. “There are some faculty that are in the show and I think there are eight people from Brookings in the show.”

This year there were 420 works of art submitted by 156 artists but only 53 artworks were selected the exhibition. To narrow down the artworks, a juror was responsible for the selection of the artworks.

Chris Atkins, the Minneapolis Artist Exhibition Program Coordinator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, was the juror that selected the artwork on display for the South Dakota Governor’s 6th Biennial Art Exhibition.

According to Atkins, he received a spreadsheet that included all of the images, without the artists’ names, so he could make the selections in his Minneapolis apartment.

The artworks selected by Atkins come from artists all over the state. There are eight artists currently living in Brookings that are featured in this exhibit. The other artists also live in South Dakota. Artists from Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Madison, Buffalo Gap, Black Hawk, Hermosa, Spearfish, Rapid City, Springfield, Mellette County, Volin, Chamberlain, Sturgis, Burbank and Hill City.

Based on what was submitted, there is a great diversity of work being made in South Dakota: photographers, painters, sculptors, weavers and ceramicists, they’ve got it all covered,” Atkins said. “After seeing the final installation at the South Dakota Art Museum, I think the show represented a solid portion of that variety. And if people look closer they’ll be rewarded by seeing more specific themes including abstraction, line, still-life/death and creative labor.”

Diana Behl had two works selected in the 6th Biennial South Dakota Governor’s Art Exhibition. Atkins selected one of her works for the Honorable Mention award.

“I was surprised and delighted to learn of the award,” Behl said. “Mr. Atkins has worked with many artists during his career, and it’s truly an honor that my graphite drawing was given this award.”

The art exhibition will be on display in Brookings at the Art Museum until Jan. 4, 2015. After it leaves Brookings, the exhibition will travel across the state. From Jan. 16, 2014 until May 30, 2014, the display will be featured in the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City. From June 12 until Oct. 4, 2015, the traveling exhibit will return to eastern South Dakota at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls. The exhibit will then travel to The University of South Dakota’s John A. Day Gallery in Vermillion from Oct. 22 through Nov. 20, 2015. The last part of the trip will be Dec. 10, 2015 through Jan. 23, 2016, at the Dacotah Prairie Museum in Aberdeen.