Using the chain link fences that typically divide us to forge new connections

The Matthews and ArtCentral are excited to announce our second community project, “Connecting Our Community Through LINKING FENCES.” Through this project, we are inviting the community to join us in creating community art projects on chain link fences throughout Spearfish. We encourage the community to partner with neighbors, friends, organizations, and strangers alike to take part in LINKING FENCES.

Our Goal

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 chain link fences that typically divide us to forge new connections. LINKING FENCES offers an opportunity for everyone to express their creativity and make new connections.


Through this CALL FOR COMMUNITY ARTISTS, ArtCentral is seeking to identify up to three (3) artists to win a cash prize of $250 for each artist/team for the selected designs to be installed in prominent locations in our community. Themes of the proposed projects will address our ArtCentral themes of belonging and inclusion, rural connectedness, cultivating creativity, and arts as a catalyst for social impact in Spearfish. Submitted proposals will be displayed in the Matthews Art Gallery in May or June for public viewing.

Proposals are due before 4 p.m. on May 2, 2017 at the Matthews Opera House and Arts Center. Selected artists will be notified by email no later than May 30, 2017. Fences will be installed this summer.

Proposal requirements and full details can be found in the Call for Community Artists. 

CLICK to DOWNLOAD Linking Fences Call for Artists

“We are excited about LINKING FENCES and seeing the creativity, connections, and innovation in our community” said Elizabeth Freer, ArtCentral Manager. “Students in our community are also starting their own LINKING FENCES projects this month which we’ll see springing up around town.”

More “Linking Fences” projects coming this summer

We will also invite the entire Spearfish community in joining LINKING FENCES this summer with neighbors and friends to decorate fences throughout Spearfish. Note that prior approval will be required for non-privately owned fences. More detailed information including how to register individual projects will be provided later this spring.

The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center was selected in 2016 as a recipient of a $200,000 Bush Foundation Community Innovation grant for ArtCentral, a community collaboration to centralize the arts as an integrated asset for inclusivity, economic development, and sustained outreach in the Spearfish community. Community Innovation grants support organizations, working in collaboration with others, to use problem-solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions for challenges that face their communities.

About ArtCentral
ArtCentral is a community collaboration to centralize the arts as an integrated asset for inclusivity, economic development, and outreach in Spearfish. ArtCentral was made possible through a 2016 Community Innovation Grant from the Bush Foundation.


The Matthews Opera House & Art Center
[email protected]

About the Bush Foundation
The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. We encourage individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area. Since it was established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, the Foundation has invested nearly one billion dollars in grants to thousands of organizations and individuals. Website: www.bushfoundation.org.