Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekend Reflections: Arrowhead Park

Due to a nasty winter flu bug this last week I had to pass on some fun photo shoots and reschedule  planned ones. Although sick my week did turn out to be a productive one, (learn more here) yet I do not have any new photographs to share. So instead I have decided to pull this beautiful reflection shot taken at Arrowhead Park a few years ago from my archives. 

For more weekend reflections visit Jame's Weekend Reflections meme.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

20th Annual Parade of Lights

Sioux Falls Parade of Lights is the official kick off of the holiday season for our city. I had such a great time at the parade Friday night and took so many photo's. Here are a few of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them.
 Preceding the parade was the Arthritis Foundation’s, Sioux Falls Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis.
The parade route was lined with excited viewer from all over the region. 
 Volunteers from the Siouxland Renaissance Association showed up in garb to add to the festivities. I had to laugh though when my son told me he overheard two adults in the audience talking and one asked the other 'Isn't that those people from the science fiction group?'
 There were so many wonderful floats it is hard not to post them all.

 I really loved the floats that made use of the flame throwers. Not only was it fun to watch they warmed the air as they passed by.
 Flame throwers and fireworks lit up the sky for a fantastic show.

 Patriotic groups and civil servants were met by loud cheers.
 The Grinch even showed up!
 And of course what is a parade without a fabulous drum line?
Santa made his appearance at the very end on this horse drawn float. Unfortunately I didn't get a clear shot of Santa. He kept waving in front of his face....LOL.

I hope you have enjoyed this little visit to my city. To go on a virtual tour of other cities check out Unknown Mami's Sundays In My City meme.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday In My City: RC Copter Zone

There are so many awesome kiosks in the Empire Mall these days. 
If your looking for a really cool remote control toy check out the RC Copter Zone

Right next to the RC Copter Zone is another great kiosk with the greatest flat irons. I swear the kind salesman let me test one and my thick curly coarse hair was baby soft and smooth in seconds!
If you are a Black Friday shopper you will be excited to hear that the Empire Mall is opening at Midnight for Black Friday!

Be sure to head over to Unknown Mami's to do a bit of virtual travel.

Unknown Mami

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winter Wear

Autumn is rapidly giving way to winter here in the Midwest. So far we haven't had any snow here in Sioux Falls but that may change in the next few days. Although the city will soon be blanketed in a sea of white if this scarf is any indication, I anticipate a very colorful winter.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mayor's Artability Exhibit

It is once again time for the Mayor's Artability Art Exhibit, and I am honored to have had six composite photographic art pieces accepted to the exhibit.  The exhibit is held in the historic section of down town at the Museum of Visual Materials.

Here is a peak at the pieces I will be showing at the exhibit. Prints of each of these art pieces are Limited Edition prints and are available at Artistix Network LLC. It took me almost two weeks to find just the right frames to accent each piece. Eventually I was successful, and they are now all nicely framed and hanging in the museum. If you are in the Sioux Falls area I invite you to stop by and see all the great art. The exhibit runs from Nov. 3rd through Dec. 30th.
Title: Longing 

Title: Across South Dakota

Title: Shakespeare 2

Title: Shakespeare's Garden

Title: Stargazers

Title: Freedom

Monday, October 24, 2011

Art, Improving the Quality of Life

 It is widely accepted that art enriches both the lives of the artist and the lives of those that are exposed to the art.
  • Imagine if you would slipping away from the noise of the city and the demands of everyday life to spend a long lunch in quiet solitude, meditating or just contemplating the beauty around you. 
  • Imagine the sense of accomplishment in learning a new skill. 
  • Imagine the joy and laughter that can be found in listening to a musical or theatrical performance. 
  • Imagine the pride and boost in self esteem of a child returning from their first time at camp. 
Music, poetry/literature, visual and preforming arts all provide both the artist and the individual exposed to the art with a means of emotional release and enrichment, which in turn improves the overall quality of life for both. 

As one of the top 100 places to live (according to RelocateAmerica) and 2nd on Forbes' list of best places for business and careers Sioux Falls obviously understands that lives are enriched through exposure to all forms of artistic endeavors.  A cursory look at the many cultural and artistic attractions makes it is easy to see the community's drive for artistic excellence. Yet since the closing of the Horse Barn Arts Center earlier this year venues for emerging artists are virtually non existent.

To meet this need The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge a non-profit arts organization is proposing the development of the regions first artist's retreat. "The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge offers a unique gathering place designed to stimulate imagination for individuals and organizations seeking to improve outcomes in life, health and commerce through artistic expression" *
This river creates one border of the property
Today I had the privilege of touring the proposed site for the retreat which is located less than fifteen minutes north of Sioux Falls. It was very exciting to see the potential the site has to offer. Nestled in a wooded area adjacent to the river this location offers a peaceful setting away from the distractions of the city in which to pursue and develop artistic talents. This former Jaycee Camp although overgrown and run down still holds a great amount of charm, beauty and potential.
Here is the A-frame and a view of the cabins, behind which are the woods.
With the renovation of the existing facilities the retreat will have eight cabins for overnight stays, an A-frame with loft and a large central lodge with fireplace, piano, restrooms, showers and a commercial kitchen as well as other amenities. In addition to these some of the improvements they hope to add are a contemplation garden, hiking trails, outdoor fire pit and playground.
Just past the cabins and to the right of the central meeting hall is this small playground area

Although they look small the cabins will easily sleep 4 to 6 campers
These photos show only a small portion of the 23 acre site which sits on a gently slopping hillside. I was happy to hear that there are plans to restore the many wall panels in the main lodge which contain artwork by staff and visitors from the 30 years it was in operation by the Jaycee's. Unfortunately I didn't take my tripod with me so the photos I took inside the lodge were blurry.  To learn more about the vision and plans for the artist's retreat please visit The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge on Facebook.

* Excerpt from The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge mission statement.

Linking up with Unknown Mami for Sunday In My City

Unknown Mami

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Empire Mall

The Empire Mall in Sioux Falls draws shoppers from rural communities in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota and even north western Iowa. Our Mall may not be as large as those found in the Cities but it offers something for everyone.
High End Department Stores

 Children Friendly
 Game Center For Young and Old
Interesting and Unique Kiosks
 Great Sales
 Trendy Clothes
Large food court with tons of yummy food!

 They even offer a touch of culture with an ongoing art exhibit.
Artist are not charged to display their work and can sell the work if they so wish. A percentage of the sales of displayed artwork goes to benefit The Retreat.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween Spirit is Alive and Thriving in Sioux Falls!

Just the other afternoon while on my way to pick my granddaughter up from school I saw this ship and had to stop and check it out.
Turns out it is part of the home owners Halloween decorations. As I approached more decorations caught my eye.
There were two gentleman working on installing even more decorations in the front yard. The owner of the home (whom I will call Mr. Halloween) offered to take me on a tour, saying they weren't done with the front yard but had finished the indoors. How could I pass up such an interesting tour.
 We headed for the front porch . . .
Through the front door, where I was met by the butler . . .
Mr. Halloween invited me in to get a better look at the other entryway occupants . . .
After a short preview of the antics of the entryway occupants, Mr. Halloween explained to me that they decorate the entire house and open it for trick-or-treating. 
Next we entered the livingroom . . .
 It was so hard to decide 'Witch' way to look. It was a Halloween extravaganza!
Even the bedrooms and basement were all decked out for a fun and spooky time . . .

Going from one room to the next I was met by so many different creatures and spooky characters  offering treats and surprises . . .
No room was left untouched, not even the bathroom . . .
From front to back and top to bottom Mr. Halloween led me through a wonderland of Halloween spirit  and then out to the back porch. . .

Just when I thought for sure the tour must be over he led me around to the garage to meet his wife. I do believe my eyes popped out and my mouth dropped open. I was being shown the heart and soul of their operation, the work bench where many of their creatures come to be . . .
Mrs. Halloween was putting the finishing touches on a pirate skeleton and told me about how opening their home for trick-or-treating has become a major tradition for their family.  Mrs. Halloween pointed out various objects in the garage and told me where they were to be placed this year. Some items she said would not be used, but they still had the front and side yards to finish. I thanked them for the tour and promised to stop by again to see it when all of the decorations were in place, hopefully this coming week.