The Aberdeen Area Community Foundation (AACF), in partnership with the Knight Aberdeen Fund of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is installing artworks on a dozen business windows in downtown Aberdeen in mid-May. The artworks were submitted in response to a Call for Art with a theme of “Wildlife and Wildflowers of South Dakota. A judging panel selected the artworks to be displayed. It is the second year in a row for the Downtown Art Project.
Alexis Doerr, Lecturer of Art at Northern State University, serves as project director and has overseen solicitation of art proposals, judging, and installation of the artworks. The Call for Art invited original art in various media, photographs of which will be installed as window clings. The AACF received a grant from the Knight Aberdeen Fund for the project. The purpose of the project is to beautify downtown with local art.
The project will award four cash prizes. Project judges Stacy Braun, Aberdeen Area Arts Council Executive Director, and Crystal Harper, Cultural Arts Program Coordinator for the Aberdeen Recreation & Cultural Center, chose first, second and third prizes, which will be announced in June. In addition, a People’s Choice award will be presented for the artwork that receives the most votes in a poll that will be conducted through the AACF website. Voting will be open June 1-15.
The 10 artists’ whose work will be featured are:
In addition to the individual artworks, two collages of works submitted by the Creative Expressions program at Aspire and Aberdeen Achieve at Central High School will be displayed. Both programs responded to the Call for Art as a class project, and some individual works are also among the 10 chosen for individual display.
“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, and we believe using clings makes it easier for more artists to be involved. We’re very grateful to Alexis Doerr for running the project and to the downtown businesses who’ve made their windows available.” He added, “We encourage everyone to walk downtown to check them out and to vote for their favorite in our People’s Choice Award.”
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. This fund is one of 80 CSAs in partnership with SDCF.
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 over 1,100 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $18 million in grants in 2021 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 https://sdcommunityfoundation.org/giving to learn more or call 1-800-888-1842.