In March, Yankton Area Arts hosted a fundraiser at the G.A.R. Hall Art Gallery for the Yankton RiverWalk organization. We collaborated with RiverWalk and opened the “Aerial Imagery” show along with the unveiling of their 2010-2011 sculptures on a beautiful spring Friday evening; and were rewarded with a standing-room-only crowd. The show was a breathtaking collection of aerial photography captured by Dave Tung, who creates some of the finest aerial photography most of us will ever encounter. Dave graciously donated all the proceeds from the show to the Yankton RiverWalk project and everyone was thrilled to attend!
This got our Exhibition Committee thinking they would like to recreate some of that excitement with every exhibit opening. Shortly after, “First Fridays” was introduced, bringing a monthly evening of art, entertainment and fun to the downtown area! It has been great seeing the art galleries and local businesses come together to promote the arts and our local community. I feel lucky to be in an area where the gallery owners, non-profit groups and businesses were receptive to trying something new and jumped right into the spirit of the event! I want to be sure and call out these entities and encourage our friends to support them: Yankton Area Concert Association, Lewis and Clark Theater, The Studio Art Gallery, OneTen Gallery, The Art House Gallery, The Pantry, LilyCrest Cottage, Rexall Drug and Ben’s Brewing Company. Thank you for supporting First Friday!
On Tuesday evenings throughout the summer, Yankton Area Arts sponsored the Summer Band Concert Series. It was fantastic seeing local performers come out week after week to join the all-volunteer ensemble; and wonderful seeing the seats at the Riverside Park Amphitheater nearly full an hour before each performance. Thank you to Todd Carr who spends a lot of time and energy putting together the band concerts! We were grateful to be a part of it!
Once the Summer Band concerts wrapped up, we were pleased to present a slate of professional performers throughout the remainder of the season as part of our Summer Pops Concert Series, then we moved right into the Summer Arts Festival held in conjunction with the Riverboat Days celebration. Despite some extra-warm weather, we had a great time in the park and it was a wonderful way to close the summer!
We were proud to feature nine exhibits at the gallery during the year, representing an amazing range of artists and styles. Although space precludes listing all the wonderful individuals we welcomed during the year, I have to at least mention some that received such rave reviews from our patrons. These included the wonderful collaboration of Kory Knedler and Shannon Sargent, amazing wood turned vessels by Frank Denton, gorgeous oil paintings by Sean Conrad, hand pulled prints by Susan Heggestad, and beautiful native artwork by the Szabo Family.
In addition to these artists, we were fortunate to bring several collaborative exhibits to the area. These included Youth Art Month, featuring art from our Yankton Middle School students, a collection of works from our local artist affiliation, the Connecting Artists; and our annual “Mighty Mo Photo Show” photographic competition — which received nearly 40 submissions. Finally, we topped things off with our recent Crimson Door Holiday Show!
It was indeed a great year for trying new things at the G.A.R. Hall! There were so many wonderful art opportunities and I am grateful to have been a part of them. But none of it would have been possible without the support of our members, corporate sponsors and the local community. Thank you all! A list of sponsors can be found on our web site at YanktonAreaArts.org and I encourage you to thank them for their support. They really deserve it!
YAA Calendar of Events:
(Please note that G.A.R. Hall Art Gallery will be closed both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.)
• Jan. 7 — First Friday Art Night: Local art galleries and businesses open from 5-7 p.m.
• Jan. 7 — Reception and Gallery talk featuring the works of Wanda Veltkamp, 5-7 p.m.; open to the public
The G.A.R. Hall Art Gallery and Yankton Area Arts office are located at 508 Douglas Avenue in Yankton. The gallery is open to the public free of charge from 1-5 p.m. weekdays and from 1-3 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information contact Pam Meylor, executive director, via e-mail at Pam@YanktonAreaArts.org or at (605) 665-9754 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (605) 665-9754