ArtCentral: Spring into Creativity

By Elizabeth Freer
Matthews Opera House, ArtCentral Manager

Elizabeth Freer, ArtCentral Mgr.

Spring is the season of hope, renewal, and possibility. We open our windows to allow the fresh spring air to cleanse our home and mind. We clean out our home and put away the winter gear, hopefully including the shovels, and make room for summer. It is time to bring out the porch chairs, bicycles, and grilles. We welcome the warm breeze and the longer days.

There is a hope that comes with the change in seasons. We anticipate the end of the school year marking another year of growth; having more time for play with longer daylight hours; a fresh routine full of summer activities including casual visits with neighbors, walks through the park, sitting outside, and meeting friends for a hike. There are hopes and dreams of what summer will look like even though we know that there won’t be quite enough time for everything.

Spring also brings hope and anticipation of the yield from the gardens, with tender spring vegetables and the fresh flavors of summer. Many in our community have spent the winter planning their garden, anticipating the bounty and beauty that yields from hard work, resilience, and creativity.

Creativity, like Spring, needs us to be open to new ideas, new possibilities, and change. The change in seasons is a reminder for us to remain open to learning, to explore the unknown, to grow, and be open to solving problems in different ways.

Linking Fences is back in Spearfish for 2018

Are you looking for a way to kick-start your creativity this Spring? We had such a positive response last year to our “Connecting our Community through Linking Fences” project, that ArtCentral is bringing it back again for another year!

The goal of  Linking Fences is to engage the community in a creative project that not only adds visual interest to our town but also uses the fences that typically divide us to forge new connections. Linking Fences offers an opportunity for everyone to express their creativity and make new connections.

Call for Artists

CLICK for Artist Application

We are inviting our community artists and creatives to respond to our Call for Artists. Submissions are due by May 14th. You could be one of three artists selected to install your project on a City fence. Selected artists will win a cash prize as well as funding for materials. See the web link, or visit the Art Gallery, for details. Put those doubting wintery thoughts away and try something fresh and new this Spring!

Community Linking Fences

Additionally, everyone is welcome to be a part of this community project. We are open to a wide (and creative!) definition of “fences.”  We look forward to seeing how creative Spearfish can be this summer. Individuals and groups are invited to complete projects at their home or business. To register your own project or if you have questions, simply send an email, or stop by the Art Gallery. We will provide a sign and include your project on the roster of fences.

Creativity emerges when we collaborate and build on ideas and try new things. How will you embrace creativity in the season of possibility, hope, and renewal?

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] if you are interested in volunteering or have suggestions.


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.”