ArtCentral: Something for Everyone
By Elizabeth Freer
Matthews Opera House, ArtCentral Manager
This winter is an exciting time to be in Spearfish!
ArtCentral Film Festival: Season One is underway, co-hosted by Northern Hills Rotary Club. The second film titled “Waste Land” is on February 20th at 6:30pm (free), at The Matthews Opera House.
On February 3rd, RE:Create – our creative community makerspace opened in The Matthews. For 7 weeks (Feb 3 – Mar 24), there is something for everyone in the space, and it is all FREE!
Kids are loving the return of Cardboard Chaos! Kids, with supervision, are invited to come in and explore their creativity or play in the cardboard castle. Come in anytime we’re open, but quiet play is required during scheduled workshops and events.
Coffee Talk & Tinker
Are you wondering what to do after your morning coffee shop visit? Come join us every Thursday morning (9:30-11am) for ‘Coffee Talk & Tinker’. We’ll have something fun and easy to explore each week – bring your coffee group or friends!
Saturday Artist Workshops
Our first ‘Artist Workshop’ was hosted by Becky Grismer and I was so impressed with the creativity and variety of “Earth Totem” or found object sculptures created. Northern Hills Training Center woodshop fabricated the sculpture bases for us.
Sculpture is not my usual form of creative expression. The sculptures created were beautiful, magical, and delightful; I was a little intimidated. But, I decided that if I am going to push others to test their creative limits, that I had to get over my fears and take a chance. I now have made my first sculpture, a fun “Earth Totem” to remind me of this lesson.
Workshops are every Saturday and upcoming themes include composing with found sound, bookmaking, weaving, collage, knitting basics, beadwork and screen printing.
Our first ‘Author Visit’ was presented by Jessie Taken Alive – Rencountre who was a 2017 Great Plains Emerging Tribal Writer Award Winner and recently published her first book titled “Pet’a Shows Misun the Light” (release date March 6). This was her first book presentation, and she touched us all with her storytelling and wisdom on the power of forgiveness, compassion, and understanding.
Every Tuesday and Friday (12-1pm) ‘Author Visits’ are informal gatherings with an opportunity to meet with different local authors, for our community to increase our connectivity, and to dialogue about writing and literature.
Art Happy Hours
We also had our first ‘Art Happy Hour’ (4:30-6pm, every Tuesday) this week and we were treated to the first public performance of our local Spearfish Balinese Gamelan group, with an opportunity for everyone to play the instruments from Bali.
Future ‘Art Happy Hour’ events include storytelling, fiber tiles, watercolor pencils, bookends, a knitting clinic, and cork trivets.
Get all the Events
To learn more about all of the RE:Create events, look for the Events flyers, Facebook events, visit the website (http://www.matthewsopera.com/recreate/), or just stop by. Sign-ups are recommended for most workshops, but walk-ins are welcome, space permitting.
We are excited to strengthen and connect our community through these offerings. The magic of the space for me is seeing community connections strengthened and learning about the depth and variety of talent in our community. What will RE:Create mean to you?
ArtCentral is a community collaboration, funded by a 2016 Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant, to centralize the arts as an integrated asset for inclusivity, economic development, and outreach in Spearfish. As this is a community-based project, we welcome feedback and suggestions, as well as volunteers. Please contact us by email at[email protected].
Lead by Elizabeth Freer, ArtCentral manager at The Matthews, the project brings together a committee of advocates, artists, and residents working together over two years to create a new model for arts planning and outreach, focusing on the themes of belonging, inclusion, equity, rural connectedness, cultivating creativity, imagining space, and the arts as a community development catalyst.
“I am excited for this opportunity to work in Spearfish with The Matthews on this innovative and important project to advance the arts in our community,” stated Freer. “I encourage local residents who are interested in participating in this process to apply to be a part of the committee.”