News From The Matthews

November is “Loving Vincent” month | Nov. 1-19

It will be raining Vincents in Spearfish this November!
Along with the movie screenings of “Loving Vincent” Nov. 17-19, we have put together a fabulous array of “Loving Vincent”-themed activities throughout November until the final moving screening on Nov. 19. All ages will enjoy different creative activities in the art gallery, downtown Spearfish, and Grace Balloch Memorial Library.

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Larry Stearns


Larry Stearns was born and raised in northwestern South Dakota and has recently retired to the Black Hills. He has always enjoyed working with his hands and was inspired by his brother to start turning pens ten years ago. With further encouragement from his wife, Pat, he decided to try making decorative pieces such as vases and bowls as well as functional pieces like coffee mugs. Currently, he creates writing instruments and decorative items while continuing to hone his craft.

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Sylvia Cox

A dyed-in-the-wool Midwesterner from Ohio, Sylvia began creating jewelry late in life as a third career. She began intensely studying jewelry-making techniques about fifteen years ago at local classes in California. Her studies continued at the Revere Academy in San Francisco, followed by a one-year apprenticeship with a classic goldsmith in Santa Cruz, California. During this time, she exhibited and sold her work at several galleries on the Monterey Peninsula. After moving to South Dakota, she spent a year as the head goldsmith in one of the local Black Hills Gold factories.

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Stephen Mullins

Stephen Mullins resides in Wyoming where he is a high school art teacher. After traveling for some time, Stephen went to the University of Wyoming where he received his B.F.A. in Studio Art and his B.A. in Art Education.

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Oct. 2017: How’s it going? It’s the halfway point.

ArtCentral: How’s it going?

By Elizabeth Freer
Matthews Opera House, ArtCentral Manager

Elizabeth Freer, ArtCentral Mgr.
This month marks the halfway point for our Bush Foundation 2016 Community Innovation Grant, ArtCentral. A team of us have now been working together for a year to learn how the arts can be used a tool for addressing community challenges and opportunities, instead of just being viewed as entertainment.
Stemming from years of conversations in the community, it became clear that there was a need to create a more cohesive and inclusive model for community arts planning – one that works towards developing integrated programs across multiple platforms and organizations. 

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Ila Miller

Ila raises llamas, using their wool to design and handmake wearable art and clothing such as hats, scarves, gloves, and more. Her “Soap in a Coat” is made using either her homemade soap or soap purchased from the Vermont Country Store. She hand-felts the soap, creating an all-in-one washcloth and soap.

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Elizabeth Mattson

Elizabeth Mattson was raised in Buffalo, WY, where she was taught fiber crafts such as embroidery, quilting, garment making, and crochet. After graduating from Northwest College, she discovered her aptitude for entrepreneurship and began combining it with her artistic endeavors. She currently resides in Spearfish, SD.

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James Knutson

James Knutson is a retired Art Professor having taught 39 years at Black Hills State University. He began his series painting while in graduate school in Laramie, Wyoming. A strong supporter of The Matthews, Knutson lives in Spearfish with his wife, Paula. Both his wife and son, Michael, are painters and educators.
The work in this show is representative work that James completed in the last few months of 2017.

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Tracy Hergert

2017’s Best of Show, “Refuge” by Tracy Hergert
Tracy is from Lead, South Dakota. She has participated in shows and galleries in the Northern Black Hills, where she has received numerous awards in the past few years. Her most recent award was Best of Show at the Winter Art Show in the Spearfish Gallery in 2017.

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Jerry Green

A Native of SD, Jerry Green grew up in the rural foothills and plains surrounding Rapid City. Living close to Mt. Rushmore and the beautiful Black Hills gave Jerry generous opportunities to experience nature in its many forms.

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