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Celebrating Art in Siouxland, Art Splash in Sioux City

6 Sep

Each fall around Labor Day the Sioux City Art Center puts on an art celebration in Siouxland known as Art Splash. A juried group of various types of artists from around the region set up booths to display their wares for people to buy. And most people, depending on the weather, come out to enjoy what’s there and some go home happier with newly acquired pieces of art.

Visitors browse the artists’ booths during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Joseph Murray of Jefferson, Iowa sits among his paintings during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The location of the event has changed over the years. Up until 2011 it was held in a park along the Missouri River, when during that year the hundred year flood forced a relocation. Then it was held in Grandview Park, where the hills may have presented a challenge for people to walk up and down to view the artists.

Now in its 25th year, the event is at Riverside Park, nestled among a flat woodland area that later hosts the community’s Riverssance Festival as well. I enjoy going each year just to see what people are doing. At this point in my life I have fewer needs for more things, and the ability to afford art now is prohibitive for me personally. But it doesn’t mean one can’t draw inspiration and enjoy a day out and see what creative people are doing. And the artists are not limited to just visual arts. One artist, Paul Imholte, bills himself as a stringman and plays a variety of instruments.

Artists’ booth sit among a grove of trees during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Stringman Paul Imholte performs on a hammer dulcimer during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And different people take away from the event different experiences that may be portraits or time spent with family. Even during those years of inclement weather, people can still enjoy what is offered.

Chun Wang of Shawnee KS works on a sketch of Ben Honomichl of Jefferson, SD during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A mother and son enjoy a bit of lunch along with a number of their closest friends during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Art Splash makes for a nice Labor Day weekend activity both for the artists and area residents who are supporting people who also labor, but in a creative manner adding another oft times needed dimension to life.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Sioux CIty Growth Organization decorated their booth with balloons to draw attention to themselves during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Two young artists due their best to add to an already colorful pickup truck to make an overcast and rainy 25th anniversary of Art Splash more memorable which was held at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Vvian Miller of Akron, IA talks with a couple interested attendees during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Nature around Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE

13 Jul

Visitors enter a formal garden at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s always with a bit of anticipation when one enters a new area what a person will find on the other side. Laurtizen Gardens in Omaha, NE has a number of gardens to visit within its 100 plus acres of landscape. From formal and informal gardens to other little gems with artwork.

Visitors explore a formal garden setting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A visitor could spend 2-3 hours just wandering and enjoying the beauty that unfolds before one’s eyes.

Light play illuminates a plant at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A rose garden at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While the time of day, mid to late morning when I visited in June might not be an ideal time to photograph a perfect garden scene, it was still pretty spectacular. I especially enjoyed the Lithuanian and Baltic folk tales garden area one walks into just strolling down a path.

One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The interpretive signs are handy in putting into perspective a visual artist’s rendition of the folk art one encounters.

A Baltic myth tells of a young sea-goddess who lived in the Baltic Dea and fell in love with a young fisherman. One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Egle is the Queen of Serpents who was a young girl who married a serpent prince. One garden pathway revisits Lithuanian folk tales and Baltic mythology at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And after walking a few trails there are places to take a break and just view the activity or scenes of beauty that surrounds, astounds and trail into another area for more exploration.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Pathways lead visitors through wooded areas and into garden settings at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Benches in shaded areas give visitors a feeling of seclusion when stopping to rest or admire the view at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A brick fence sets off a formal garden setting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summertime and finding fun in and around Siouxland, Omaha, NE

29 Jun

On an earlier outing this summer south of Siouxland traveling down to Omaha, NE I came across a street fair that has been a recurring event there, Summerfest. Sioux City where I live also has an arts festival, generally occurring in early September. As I walked about it also happened to be an extremely hot day, but that didn’t seem to deter people from checking out what was there.

Artists stalls line a street at the Summer Fest arts festival in downtown Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A family poses for a street artist during the Summer Fest arts festival in downtown Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I found myself more interested in the canal flowing into the downtown area, maybe because it was shaded and I had already spent a good part of the day visiting the Lauritzen Gardens.

The Summer Fest arts festival borders a canal located near downtown Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A duck quietly sits in a canal that parallels Summer Fest arts festival in downtown Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

However it didn’t escape my notice that a couple of guys demonstrating black smith technique were taking a break working in the heat and putting their portable furnace to a different use, getting in a bit of lunch.

 

Workers demonstrating black smith techniques take a break during the Summer Fest arts festival to grill some lunch in downtown Omaha, NE Saturday June 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

That is the nice thing about traveling, even just down the road, one can always find something new, to oneself, and enjoy the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Angles and lines in Siouxland, Sioux City Art Center

22 May

I like visiting art museums. Everyone of them offers something to a person, at different times, depending on the current exhibit. And there are a few throughout Siouxland. The Sioux City Art Center like many of its counter parts also provide a visual feast if a person takes the time to enjoy the surroundings as well as the art within the facility. And it’s probably with purpose that many museums are built, to reflect a community or vision of the founding personages responsible for the push to include an art center within a community. Although the history and initial reason for a particular design may get overlooked or even forgotten after a few decades as people come and go, including museum personnel. But the visual eye candy is still apparent and changes daily, especially if the play of light and the sun is involved.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing shapes and patterns during on a sunny day at the Sioux City Art Center Wednesday, April 25, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Seeing shapes and patterns on a sunny day at the Sioux City Art Center Wednesday, April 25, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shapes and patterns during a sunny day inside the Sioux City Art Center Wednesday, April 25, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shapes and patterns during a sunny day inside the Sioux City Art Center Wednesday, April 25, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Art in Siouxland, Sioux City Art Center

6 May

I recently attended a reception for area artists, some professional, others students and still others falling somewhere in between, at the Sioux City Art Center. It’s always a pleasure to attend art functions in Siouxland, as it seems art always gets the short of the stick and little recognition for those producing it. The reception was for the Briar Cliff Review, a literary publication produced by Briar Cliff University located in Sioux City. An entire exhibition hall was filled with art and probably 100-120 people attended to see the work and to also listen to some readings produced by writers who are published in the magazine. Area residents are asked to submit work for inclusion and an exhibit is held to celebrate that.

An artist makes a statement about his work during a reception for the Briar Cliff University Review art exhibit in the Sioux City Art Center Thursday evening, April 19, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors enjoy a reception for the Briar Cliff University Review art exhibit in the atrium of the Sioux City Art Center Thursday evening, April 19, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A couple gentlemen I know who belong to the Sioux City Camera Club also had work included in the publication.

Doug Conrad stands in front of his two photographs during a reception for the Briar Cliff University Review art exhibit in the Sioux City Art Center Thursday evening, April 19, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Randy Williams stands next to his print at the Briar Cliff University Review art exhibit in the Sioux City Art Center Wednesday, April 25, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always find it fun to walk around and view the work. And many times will go back when it is less crowded to spend some time and look over the art that somewhat runs the gamut of media. And people attending reveled in the chance to see their work celebrated and to share that with friends or document their participation.

Friends, family and interested parties attended a reception for the Briar Cliff University Review art exhibit at the Sioux City Art Center Thursday evening, April 19, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A visitor for the reception for the Briar Cliff University Review art exhibit takes a photo of one piece of art at the Sioux City Art Center Thursday evening, April 19, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even in small communities there are most times a vibrant art scene, that maybe, just not seen. But people can still go out and celebrate the work, the artists and community that surrounds it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Attendees listen to artists talk about their work during a reception for the Briar Cliff University Review art exhibit at the Sioux City Art Center Thursday evening, April 19, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A visitor stops and contemplates a piece of art during a reception for the Briar Cliff University Review art exhibit in the Sioux City Art Center Thursday evening, April 19, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Artist Mark Kochen, right, talks with Sioux City Art Center director Al Harris-Fernandez at the Briar Cliff University Review art exhibit during a reception, Thursday evening, April 19, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing Art in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

4 May

It’s been a few months since I had visited this part of Siouxland, traveling to Vermillion, SD. I attended a performance by a musical group that I will write about in a later post, but then went to the downtown area to eat some lunch. And it’s always a pleasant surprise to find or notice something I had not seen before. And this time it was sculpted art pieces in the downtown area. It was sweet and nice to see a community have pride to showcase something visual that adds to the ambience of the area, and to let others visiting to also enjoy.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

On display is sculpted art in downtown Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

On display is sculpted art in downtown Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring Siouxland in Winter, downtown Sioux City

13 Feb

After being snowbound and wanting to avoid below freezing temperatures, I finally exited my home to explore a bit of Siouxland via downtown Sioux City. Previously I had been out for a walk when temperatures were milder and the temps in a reasonable 30 degree range. And it was nice to look at some sculpted art pieces that sit next to the Sioux City Art Center.

Two sculpted art pieces sit outside the Sioux City Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A sculpted piece of art sits outside the Sioux City Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

But this last walk downtown was after a 12 inch snowfall and temperatures that again reached into the teens with overnights near or below zero. A blue, sunny sky added to the Art Center’s sculptures that sit on its grounds. On the overcast day which I later chose to walk about downtown enhanced these less colorful pieces of art that adorn the downtown streets. And in a way the colorless sky and overcast added to the effect of these pieces by helping declutter the background for the most part and let the pieces stand alone to be admired.

jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Art sculpture displayed in downtown Sioux City, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Art sculpture displayed in downtown Sioux City, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Art sculpture displayed in downtown Sioux City, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Art sculpture displayed in downtown Sioux City, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

Art sculpture displayed in downtown Sioux City, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

 

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