Arts & Culture Directory
Sioux Falls Arts & Culture Directory
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Aaron Packard teaches digital photography and is the Visual Editor (photographer) for the University of South Dakota. He earned his MFA in Photography and has over 25 years of experience in fine art and commercial photography. His clients have included Avera Health, Black Hills Ammunition, and the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. His images have been published by the New York Times, Huffington Post, and Family Circle. In addition to displaying his art in national and international exhibitions, Packard has won numerous regional and national awards.
Adam Beilke is a visual artist and designer born and raised in Sioux Falls. His psychedelic and nostalgic style is known for creating an abstract euphoria for your mind to lose itself in. Elements of humanity, nature, vivid colors, geometric shapes, and much more are found within Adam's collective project: Viable Psyche. Promoting a message of open-minded growth and interpretation, this entity can be spotted with its unmistakable trademark logo, Planter. Viable Psyche can be considered the necessary blend of art, clothing, culture, and ideology that has blossomed from South Dakota.
Although Adam loves to paint and draw, perhaps his most remarkable medium is giving birth to mind-melting VHS tapes. Spreading rapidly across downtown Sioux Falls, the optical phenomenon of his animated entertainment is displayed through retro CRT television sets. All of the visual media Viable Psyche produces can be witnessed in person at upcoming galleries or various local events. With a burning desire to create the unimaginable, it’s no wonder why Adam Beilke is one of the art world’s latest diamonds in the rough.
Al Berven has been a drummer for most of his life, receiving his first drum set by age three and never looking back. By age 15 he was playing professionally with people twice his age. Always looking to follow any opportunities that came his way has given him very diverse musical experiences.
In the more current phase of his musical life some of those opportunities include sharing the stage performing jazz with Polyphase, JAS Quintet, and the Jim Mckinney Quartet, Country with Dustin Evans and the Goodtimes Band, Rock Variety with Rewinder, and since 2002 has been the drummer in the popular group Kory and the Fireflies.
Other current and long time musical associations include playing live and in the studio with Dakota Road Music, doing recording sessions at Pulse River Studio for many diverse artists, and playing drums for Worship in Church.
For fun he started booking jazz gigs with some great musicians under The Al Berven Experience name, and hopes to continue building a musical experience that the audience as well the musicians will enjoy.
Aland Azez was born in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq and grew up in the Northern region of Turkey before he immigrated to the United States. His Kurdish roots prompt his artistic themes to revolve around the question of fragmentation, dependence, self-discovery, rejection, and belonging. Azez uses themes like death and rebirth to explore the meaning of life and generational trauma alongside the challenge of masculinity and gender expectations in society. He is self-taught and uses ink and pencil as his preferred mediums. Aland Azez hopes to find a space for self-expression and artistic innovation within the Sioux Falls arts community and further his career path through the sharing of art.
I am a multimedia artist. My practice is ever-shifting but, presently uses magazine collage, acrylic paint collage, and acrylic painting to explore psychological phenomena and the human condition more broadly.
Amber Hansen is a filmmaker, muralist, visual artist and musician who creates socially engaged and community-based artwork throughout the Midwest. Hansen’s work is a dialogue between her formal education and her rural upbringing. She promotes creative engagement for all ages while raising questions about the ethics of animal welfare and our relationship with food.
Hansen is the co-director & co-editor of the feature documentary Called to Walls. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Dakota where she teaches painting, and is the president of the board of the Community Built Association.
Amy Jarding is a visual artist living in Sioux Falls. She creates mixed media pieces, obscuring everyday objects into surreal visions with the use of collage, painting and sewing on her canvas. Bright pops of color and small hints of humor offer the viewer their own experience within each piece.
This exploratory nature extends to her work with textiles, in which she creates large scale weavings from yarn and found material. Hailing praise towards process, Jarding finds the creative development of her work just as important as the completed piece.
Andrew Reinartz is a musician and educator based in Sioux Falls, SD. Playing primarily upright and electric bass, he easily fits into a variety of styles including Jazz, Classical, Funk, R&B, Rock, and Folk. Andrew also does work as a producer, live/project studio recording & mixing engineer.
Also an avid educator, he teaches privately and as a guest clinician, as well as performing for over 50,000 students across South Dakota with the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society Jazz Diversity Project.
Amongst others, Andrew plays with JAS Quintet, Jazz Curators, Merry Martial, Dakota Jazz Collective, the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Hegg Brothers Band, and Holiday Jam with the Hegg Brothers. He has also recorded and performs regularly with Jami Lynn, Darin Kaihoi, and plays guitar with Habeus Porpoise.
Andrew also works as Community Development Director for Arts South Dakota, a statewide grassroots service, education, and advocacy organization.
I began learning the cello in 5th grade at Mark Twain Elementary School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I asked for a greater challenge, my parents arranged for private lessons, and my growth as a cellist progressed quickly. By my sophomore year, I knew that I wanted to teach in schools, teach from my own studio, and perform whenever possible. I attended the University of Connecticut in Storrs, studied cello with Mary Lou Rylands, and achieved a dual degree with a Bachelors of Arts in Music, and a Bachelors of Science in Education.
The next chapter in my teaching and performing journey was in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. I taught in the Clark County School District for seven years, maintained a ‘travel-to-you’ music studio, and performed with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and other groups in the surrounding area for eight years. During the last years in the Moapa desert I was exposed to two ideas that greatly inform my philosophy of music education: Suzuki Method, and El Sistema. During the last 15 months in Las Vegas, I completed my Masters in Music Education from Boston University. This masters program further enhanced my desire to advance social justice in our world based strongly on the work of Paulo Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
I returned with my wife Maria and our son Liam to Sioux Falls in 2010. I began working in an Early Childhood Suzuki violin program that fall and developing a private studio from my home while substitute teaching the Sioux Falls School District. By the Spring, I interviewed successfully to teach as a Middle School and Elementary School string teacher. I also began as a section cellist with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, and as acting principal in the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra.
In 2015 I attended my first Suzuki Summer Institute in Chicago. This institute was founded by Gilda Barston and is a cello mecca. The campus of Trinity College provides facilities and a beautiful backdrop for indoor and outdoor music-making. I took the first course required for book training, Every Child Can! and Book 1 training with Barbara Wampner. I returned in 2016 to take book 2 and 3 training with Barbara Wampner. I took a one year break before doubling my efforts and attending the Suzuki Association of the Americas Conference in Minneapolis in May, and book 4 and 5 training with Pamela Devenport in July. I plan to continue my book training by returning to CSI for book 6 and 7 training in the summer of 2020.
I highly recommend that all families read Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki. I first read this book at the time of Liam’s birth in Las Vegas. The themes and ideas shared by Dr. Suzuki were overwhelming as I considered my role as a father and my greatest hopes for my first born. That I can share the process of building noble spirits through music with you and your family is my artistic profession and my personal passion.
Suzuki Association of the Americas Bio Page
I perform with acoustic and electric cello under the name Phaedra. I like to incorporate live looping techniques with familiar and original compositions. I am quite comfortable jamming in myriad idioms of music alone or with others. My time living in Las Vegas provided many opportunities to perform. The Las Vegas Philharmonic afforded me the opportunity to perform with Andrea Bocelli, Vanessa Williams, Matt Haimovitz, and Clint Holmes to name a few. Additionally, I performed with Wayne Newton’s Show for a week’s run, and The Lion King Las Vegas for several weeks, as well as more weddings than I can count or remember. While now my main performing gigs tend to be classical concerts with the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra or the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, I am always interested in collaborating with other musicians. Please check out the Psalm project with Shane Heilman, and the Covid Cello Project with Tony Rogers for recent performance work.
Poet and artist Angelica Mercado-Ford inhabits the borderlands in between two cultures, two countries, and two identities. She explores a way out of the in-between through poetry and mixed media artworks both playful and powerful. Mercado was born in Jalisco, Mexico, grew up in Fremont, NE, and now resides in Sioux Falls, SD. She earned her BA in Fine Arts from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, IA. She is currently pursuing her Master of Education in teaching from the University of Sioux Falls. Her work touches on topics such as immigration, feminism, diversity, and cultural awareness. She has work published in the Briar Cliff Review, Cream City Review, Acentos Review, Roanoke Review, Glass Poetry Press, Z's Publishing House's "America's Emerging Poets 2018," among others. Her artwork has been exhibited in Clausen Gallery, Sioux City Art Center, Washington Pavilion's Visual Arts Center, Exposure Gallery, Post Pilgrim Gallery, Arc Gallery, among others. She is the author of "Todo Revoluciona," a book of poetry published in March of 2019 by Harsan Publishing.
Follow Angelica on social media @amercadowrites