Tag Archives: Sioux city art center

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)

 

Being Inspired in Siouxland, Oaxacan Wood Carvings, Sioux City

23 Jan

Recently I saw an exhibit at the Sioux City Art Center of Oaxacan wood carvings from Mexico, commissioned by the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

An exhibit of Oaxacan wood carvings brought an unique perspective and stylized art works to the Sioux City Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

It’s nice to be able sometimes to be inspired by art and not have to travel too far within Siouxland, Information provided says wood animal and figurative sculptures have been made for more than 2,000 years from clay and stone. This folk art is attributed to people with no formal artistic education and previously was anonymous and made by indigenous folk and crafts people from small towns and villages. It was in the 1950’s and ’60’s that the creation of wood sculptures was for pure artistic pleasure rather than as objects for the Catholic Church or for religious celebrations.

Rabbit Nahual, 2005 by artist Manuel Jimenez and sons Angelico and Isaias of Oaxaca, Arrazola, Mexico is an example of the exhibit of Oaxacan wood carvings at the Sioux City Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

An artist responsible for popularizing these wood sculptures is Manuel Juan Jimenez Ramierez. He was from the small town of Arrazola in the foothills near Monte Alban. After the popularity took off and other villagers and people from neighboring communities saw the potential from buying tourists and art collectors, more people began creating these fantastical wood sculptures. Sometimes created by one individual and sometimes by groups of people, to the point where it became a family affair. All members doing their part in either making the sculpture or painting them. Information provide states that 80 families along in Arrazola create alebrijes. The sculptors use wood mostly from the copalillo tree, carving while the wood remains wet, then left to dry, which can take weeks or months and finally adding a base coat of paint before applying the final painting scheme.

An example from the exhibit of Oaxacan wood carvings at the Sioux City Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

It’s amazing to see the different creations up close and personal, and to enjoy these creations without traveling very far. It’s said that inspiration can come from anywhere, anytime. Being inspired by seeing art done by others certainly gives me goose bumps and makes me want to pause, take stock and see what I might be able to do myself down the road.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An example from the exhibit of Oaxacan wood carvings at the Sioux City Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Sioux City Art Center Art Splash

3 Sep

This past weekend the Sioux City, Iowa, Art Center held its annual Art Splash festival which is a yearly event that helps raise money for the center as well as gives artists, locally and across the region, an opportunity to sell work to those attending. This year marks the second time the event is held at Grandview Park. It was moved to that location last year after the Missouri River flooded the Sioux City river front, a location that Art Splash graced for several years.

Art Splash gives local art lovers a chance to see a variety of medium, involving various painting genres, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, wood working, photography, glass, and there are a number of food vendors and activities for children as well as different performance acts that can include music, comedy, skits and audience participation. This is a small look at the annual festival and something worth the time and $5.00 entrance fee to spend a few hours forgetting about current events and enjoying the visual beauty that is art. Reprints are available here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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