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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©)

A look into Nature in Siouxland, Alex Wiles at the Betty Strong Encounter Center

2 Sep

Photographer Alex Wiles talks about his Flood Plain Project involving the Missouri River at the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Alex Wiles is a very accomplished photographer and spent part of a recent Sunday in Siouxland at the Betty Strong Encounter Center sharing his passion of photography which he uses to help illuminate the need for conservation. He has traveled the world seeking to shine a lot on endangered species and share that knowledge with others.

Photographs by Alex Wiles fill an exhibit space as attendees listen how he photographed the animals for his Flood Plain Project involving the Missouri River while giving a demonstration at the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Photographer Alex Wiles gives a demonstration to attendees about how he photographed the animals for his Flood Plain Project involving the Missouri River at the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Wiles not only explained his project about the Flood Plain, but had also set up a demonstration to share with photographers attending the talk how he goes about photographing these creatures. Working as a freelance photographer and from some grants, he is a bare-boned, simple equipment photographer focused on results and not name brand gear. It was refreshing to see such work being done with minimal dollars invested. Although in recent years third party photography brands have produced some gear that rivals some of the larger known brands but don’t break the bank. So if it’s damaged in the field, it’s easy enough to replace. Although having done freelance work for a few years one tries not to damage gear in the field.

Photographer Alex Wiles explains to attendees how he photographs animals for his Flood Plain Project involving the Missouri River at the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And it’s nice to see someone pursue their passion attempt to make a difference, and share that and their knowledge with others along the way.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Photographer Alex Wiles explains to attendees how he photographed some of the animals for his Flood Plain Project involving the Missouri River at the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Another Sunday in Siouxland, the Sioux City Municipal Band

17 Jul

I attended another local concert by the Sioux City Municipal Band. I was looking forward to seeing them play in another outside venue at Morningside College, the Buhler Outdoor Performance Center where during the summer the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series are held. Except, in the advent of questionable weather.

Storm clouds hover over the area including the Buhler Outdoor Performance Center where the Sioux City Municipal Band was going to perform before moving indoors to the Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Again it had been storming in and around the immediate and other Siouxland area. And for caution, the event was moved into the Eppley Auditorium which is just around the corner from the outdoor venue.

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As always the band did a very nice program that included a solo performance by member Richard Bogenrief who did a trumpet solo, but also performed on a bugle a piece titled “The Bugler’s Lament” and accompanied by the band.

Solist Richard Bogenrief plays a bugle whie playing tHe Bugler’s Lament accompanied by the Sioux City Municipal Band as it performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Sioux City Municipal Band perform at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Sioux City Municipal Band perform at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the set is never complete without their announcer, emcee Dave Madsen who reminds everyone who attends that he is keeping his day job, as his jokes generally receive the snare drum tribute that occurred in many burlesque routines of the day. With a loud cymbal thwack for resonance and exclamation. But combined these local folk present a couple of hours of listening melody and respite from the daily goings on that we all need an escape from time to time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Emcee and host Dave Madsen introduces the next song as the Sioux City Municipal Band performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (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©)

Winter Hangs on in Siouxland at Bacon Creek Park, Sioux City

14 Apr

Talking with friends and acquaintances everyone is agreed that winter is overstaying its welcome a bit too much. Another storm push with maybe 3-8 inches depending on where one lives could show up. On a walk at Bacon Creek Park recently I experimented a bit with a Holga plastic lens again. Personally, I am getting tired of the colors white and brown. But what can one say, just a day at a time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Winter clings to the area around Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A local resident takes a walk as snow stills covers the ground at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Geese an over extended visit by winter at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Lingering Winter in Siouxland, Stone State Park

6 Apr

Winter is hanging out much too long this year in Siouxland. And it’s not only in Siouxland, but sometimes being selfish, I only care that it is lingering too long here. There have been brief moments of sunshine, and actual sun shining, but those seem to be few. Recently there was another snow fall. And the sky is grey and hazy.

I began looking at images as black and white, trying to see the possibility of grey tones.

Walking on a cold grey day at Stone State Parkin Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On a recent hike before the snow in Stone State Park the browns and greys of this past winter still loomed large and didn’t create any excitement on my part. And with hazy, grey and overcast skies it’s sometimes hard to create images that have any kind of spark to them.

Walking on a cold grey day at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it was nice to get out of the house, go for a walk and breath some fresh air without the intake freezing one’s lungs, or walking, again, through snow drifts. I like winter, being outside and enjoying what it offers, but it’s time to move on, climb new hills and see what a reawakening or rebirth can is in the offering from spring. I just hope it shows up before summer is here, maybe in June.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Walking during a grey cold day at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, April 1, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a Lingering Siouxland Christmas, Sioux City

17 Feb

While out for a walk recently during a snow fall I saw a neighbor still had some Christmas lights up. People in Siouxland like their holidays. Many decorate their homes around a holiday theme with some already putting up red stringed lights for Valentines Day. But I was glad to see these Christmas lights as I neared home. Reminding me of the season and the phrase of “leaving a light on in the window” so as to guide a traveler to a destination. And to add a little light to a somewhat dreary day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Even though it’s after Christmas, some neighbors have left a few outdoor lights up and it adds a nice ambience while walking around the neighborhood in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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