Aberdeen Downtown Artists Awarded

By June 28, 2023 June 5th, 2024 No Comments

Four Aberdeen artists recently received awards and cash prizes for their artworks that appear on the windows of downtown businesses as part of the Downtown Art Project.

Award Winners Were:

First Place
Kyla Fesler forPalisades Campground, a watercolor/pen work displayed at Capitol Theater, 417 S. Main Street.
Second Place
Donna Marmorstein for Rhythmic Migrations, a digital work at the Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, 506 S. Main Street.
Third Place
Amy Heinz for her watercolor After the Rain, displayed at the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce, 514 S. Main Street.
Honorable Mention
Kelsey Hedlund for her acrylic work All Seasons, All South Dakota displayed at the Northeastern Mental Health Center/Blackstone Building at 14 S. Main Street.
People’s Choice Award
Kelsey Hedlund also won the Peoples Choice Award, which was voted on by people who visited the Aberdeen Area Community Foundation website.

The Aberdeen Area Community Foundation (AACF) created the Downtown Art Project with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Aberdeen Fund, which is held at the South Dakota Community Foundation. Artworks were transferred to vinyl clings and installed on a dozen business windows in downtown Aberdeen in mid-May. The artworks responed to a theme of “South Dakota Seasons.” A judging panel selected the artworks to be displayed and the prize winners. It is the third year in a row for the Downtown Art Project. The purpose of the project is to beautify downtown with local art.

Alexis Doerr, Lecturer of Art at Northern State University, serves as project director and oversaw solicitation of art proposals, judging, and installation of the artworks. Project judges were Megan Biegler, AACF board member, Alexa Sheldon, Aberdeen Downtown Association executive director, and Steve Thithavong, Aberdeen Area Arts Council executive director.

Other artists whose work is featured are:

  • Calvin Giroux, at Rhodes Anderson, 401 S. Main Street
  • Kayleen Hermans, at Brown County Health, 402 S. Main Street
  • Allison Kimble, at Anytime Fitness, 321 S. Main Street
  • Nadya Preszler, at 318 S. Main Street
  • Tia Swiontek, at Northeastern Mental Health Center/Blackstone Building at 14 S. Main Street

In addition to the individual artworks, a collage of works submitted by Aberdeen Achieve at Central High School is on display at Anytime Fitness, 321 S. Main Street.

“We’re thrilled to be able to continue the Downtown Art Project this year,” AACF president Heath Johnson said. “We’re able to display more art this year. We’re very grateful to Alexis Doerr for running the project and to the downtown businesses who’ve made their windows available.”

Professor Doerr added, “The Downtown Art Project is a great opportunity to showcase local artwork and generate visibility for artists and creatives in our area.”

About the Aberdeen Area Community Foundation

The Aberdeen Area Community Foundation was established in 1984 as a standalone 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with a goal of creating a long-term funding source for charitable causes in the local area. With careful investment, the fund will continue to grow and enhance quality of life in the local area forever. It has made more than $275,000 in grants. This fund is one of 80 CSAs in partnership with SDCF. For more information, visit

About the Knight Foundation Aberdeen Fund

In 2004, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation created the Knight Aberdeen Fund with the South Dakota Community Foundation to support Aberdeen. Funded with $2 million, it has made more than 80 grants totaling over $1.1 million to more than 50 area organizations.

About the South Dakota Community Foundation

SDCF is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. SDCF, with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen administers 1,200 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $30 million in grants in 2022 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit to learn more or call 1-800-888-1842.