Community of Artists: Celebrating Local Creativity
Artists are found in and integrated into every pocket of our community. It is the honor of the Matthews to provide the space, opportunities, and momentum for this community of artists to thrive. The Matthews hosts an annual Community Art Show where amateur and professional artists alike are encouraged to submit their work. Imagine the surprise when visitors to the Matthews Gallery read a gallery placard and realize their neighbor or co-worker possesses such an impressive talent.
Local musicians and artisans are featured at the Festival in the Park which draws more than 20,000 people each July. Events like the NEA Big Read Writing Contest provide prose aficionados the opportunity to compose written pieces. For several summers in a row, the Matthews has produced “The Phantom of the Matthews Opera House,” a melodrama written by local writer Paul Higbee that includes several roles for community members. “The Phantom” shows-off the beauty of the historic theatre and offers a level of heckling unique to Spearfish’s close-knit community.
View the Events Calendar to take part in the Matthews next community artist opportunity!
Community Conversations: Starting Conversations through Artistic Experiences
A local musician, a host, and a conversation. The Spearfish Songbook Series is one example of how the Matthews brings art into the local community for education, discussion, and change. During the Songbook Series, a musician/songwriter talks about their inspiration, meaning, and hope for what their songs may spark in the audience.
Community members also gather over the lunch hour each month to explore ideas, history, literature, art, and culture during the Bellman Brown Bag series and hosting Film Series discussions. The Matthews also provides leadership for community-wide engagement programs like the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read, broadening the understanding of the world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.
Community Collaborations: Creating a more Connected Community
In surprising and unexpected ways, the Matthews enriches lives through diverse visual and performing arts experiences. Creating an artistic linkage from the historic city area to city’s new developments, a public art installation for the Spearfish Exit 8 recreation path will capture community artist stories with permanent framed art centers.
The Matthews and Black Hills State University are constructing a new mural with pieces created by individuals of all ages and abilities, including at-risk populations in our area. Through work with ArtCentral (a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant), the Matthews completed a series of fence art installations inspired by the imagery and landscape of South Dakota. The Little Houses project will raise awareness about homelessness in South Dakota with displays of tangible houses placed throughout the community and painted by area artists.