Sioux Falls Arts Council to Honor Recipients of the 2018 Sioux Falls Awards in the Arts

Sioux Falls, SD – (March 7, 2018) The Sioux Falls Arts Council will honor the recipients of the 2018 Mayor’s Awards for the Arts on Thursday, March 15th at Augustana University’s Humanities Center, 2001 S Summit Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57197, with a social hour starting at 6:00 pm and the awards presentation at 7:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

The Sioux Falls Arts Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Sioux Falls Awards in the Arts:

Individual Excellence Awards for Artists – Robert Wendland

Robert Wendland received a degree in Theatre and another in Communication Studies from Augustana College in 2010. He now serves as the Dakota Academy of Performing Arts Coordinator, as well as the Artistic Director for The Good Night Theatre Collective. He has performed with Augustana Theatre, Bare Bodkins Shakespeare Company, Accidental Genius Theatre Company, South Dakota State University Theatre, Sioux Empire Community Theatre, Arlington Community Theatre, The Good Night Theatre Collective, and the Dakota Academy of Performing Arts. He has directed for DAPA at the Washington Pavilion’s youth productions and Plays for Living Troupe, Augustana College Theatrical Society, Sioux Empire Community Theatre, Arlington Community Theatre, and for his own local theatre company, The Good Night Theatre Collective.

Robert’s “commitment to theatre and his passion for the arts drive his students and co-workers to greatness. As a program facilitator, he has continued to choose shows that generate will provide an amazing experience for students as well as challenge them to grow in their craft. As a director, he has continuously provided a safe and exciting environment for children and adults alike to create incredible art.”

Individual Excellence Awards for Artists– Doosook Kim

Doosook Kim is the Concertmaster of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and First Violinist of the Dakota String Quartet. Since she accepted the position of Concertmaster in 1995, Kim has appeared as a soloist for the SDSO, as a chamber musician, and as a music educator in South Dakota, the neighboring states, and abroad in Europe and Korea. Kim, a native of Korea, started her musical training by beginning to play the piano at the age of four and the violin at seven. Kim has taught at Augustana University, the University of Sioux Falls, and the Lutheran Summer Music Camp.

Currently, she dedicates her energy to exclusively teaching students privately in the Sioux Falls area. Doosook Kim is an invaluable asset to the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, to the Sioux Falls community, to the state of South Dakota, and the region. She has tirelessly given of herself as a musician and teacher for over 20 years, enriching the life of thousands. She leads the string section of the SDSO with authority and grace. Her students, many of whom have gone on to wonderful musical experiences after learning from her, receive not just first-rate musical instruction, but her love and humanity as well.

Individual Excellence Awards for Artists– Scott Parsons

Scott Parsons received his M.F.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and his bachelor’s degree in art from Augustana University where he teaches printmaking, architectural art glass, and drawing. He is an international award-winning artist. He has received numerous public art commissions across the United States and Canada. His portfolio includes percent-for-art and private commissions for churches, museums, airports, hospitals, research facilities, university buildings and transportation centers. Scott was recognized by Art in America for creating one of the most significant works of public art in the United States in 2002. He has received national and international awards for his art, including multiple awards from the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA), a Knowledge Community of the American Institute of Architects, and multiple National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association Honor Awards. Parsons’ work is reviewed in more than 100 publications, including Architectural Record, Sculpture, Art in America, Stained Glass Quarterly, Public Art Review, Leonardo, the European Journal of American Culture, High Performance, and Museum Anthropology.

Scott approaches all of his projects with a mind of what his artwork can say and bring to enhance a space that is grounded in that particular project’s culture, community, spirituality. It is not about accruing accolades for himself, winning commissions, or forwarding ego-driven aesthetic goals. Parsons undertakes each commission as an opportunity to enhance the livability and spirituality of a community. “Scott Parsons’s achievements in these projects enhances Sioux Falls; it is phenomenal that this art and this artist could spring from southeast South Dakota!,” says the nominating individual.

 Innovative Project Award– Ka-Chunk at Ipso Gallery

 Ipso Gallery serves the creative culture of Fresh Produce and downtown Sioux Falls, SD by offering a place of artistic expression where artists and the community can actively engage in a visual dialogue. “If there’s a collective local group who completely understands the importance of creating an exciting and unique environment by applying the arts, it’s the folks at Ipso Gallery and Fresh Produce,” says the nominating individual. The team has worked with local, regional and national artists to produce engaging and memorable events for years, which not only bring together the arts community but the community at-large, helping to draw parallels between fine art and real life. “I have personally attended more shows than I can count, but found the most memorable, engaging and innovative show to be November 2017’s Ka-Chunk. It was far and away the most highly anticipated, best promoted and well attended show I’ve seen over the years.”

It featured an exciting interactive element by encouraging attendees to get uncomfortable by interacting with the life-size vending machines in extremely tight quarters. The crowd was incredibly diverse, everyone had huge smiles on their faces, the art tokens were sold out within an hour of the show opening, and people are still talking about it. Ipso has a knack for presenting and celebrating art and artists in a completely non-intimidating unique way that appeals to the masses, and has helped reach thousands in our community and beyond.

Innovative Project Award- Paladino Hohm Sculpture Garden

 For years, Jack Paladino and his wife Marsha Ann Hohm-Paladino, enjoyed tending to the grounds at the Washington Pavilion Paladino Hohm Sculpture Garden, which they had named in honor of their parents. After Marsha’s death in 2014 from early onset Alzheimer’s, Jack wanted to honor his wife’s memory; enhancing the Garden seemed the perfect way to do it. A fountain at the center of the sculpture garden was put in place specifically with Marsha in mind. It is adorned with bronze elements inspired by a sketch Jack found in one of Marsha’s journals.

In partnership with the City of Sioux Falls and through continued financial support from Jack Paladino and his family, the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion undertook a complete remodeling of the Paladino Hohm Sculpture Garden during the summer of 2016. The design team for the project was Confluence Landscape Architecture with local architects Chad Kucker and Jon Jacobson spearheading the process. The Paladino Hohm Sculpture Garden’s footprint at the intersection of 11th Street and Main Avenue has now expanded to include the entire northeast corner of the Washington Pavilion property. The sculpture garden features several new sculptures, a water fountain, native South Dakota plants and grasses, casual seating and an area for small outdoor performances. By removing a large stone wall that had surrounded the garden, the new Paladino Holm Sculpture Garden is open and accessible to the public throughout the year. “The Paladino Holm Sculpture Garden has become a beautiful and welcoming entrance to the Washington Pavilion and is now home to permanent sculptures and has room to add more through the coming years. It has been transformed from a dark and hidden space to a stunning and shining gem.”

Forward Arts Award- South Dakota Writes

South Dakota Writes is a non-profit organization created to help encourage and support writers in South Dakota, based in Sioux Falls. It offers encouragement to aspiring authors through education workshops and networking opportunities. It also strives to assist published and non-published authors as they continue to build their careers via local author book fairs and seek out promotional support. They have built a rich online and face-to-face writing community, and bring attention to local writers on both a local, state-wide, and national scale.

South Dakota Writes was founded by Jason Kurtz in April of 2016 and became a non-profit in July of 2016. Jason Kurtz is the current Executive Director. In the past two years, South Dakota Writes has hosted over 100 events. The latest endeavor was the Winter Local Author Book Fair, which took place in Sioux Falls. This event brought together over 30 South Dakota writers under the same roof and had over 500 attendees! This event has been the biggest book fair thus far for this organization. South Dakota Writes has created a climate of support in the literary arts as well as literacy in South Dakota. This organization has given local writers a forum to find their passions and voices. Jason Kurtz has provided them with countless opportunities to let them rise to their potential.

Charlotte Carver Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts – Brian & Kaija Bonde

 Kaija and Brian Bonde have been active arts advocates and performers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and all across the Midwest for a combined total of over 75 years. After successfully performing together and apart for years,  Kaija and Brian shifted their focus to what may be considered the longest running and most successful musical in the history of South Dakota. The duo’s production of Always, Patsy Cline performed over 500 times across the tri-state area for over a decade. Partnered with friends, Jill Johnson, Boyd Bristow, Kevin Brick and the Poker Alice Band, Always, Patsy Cline became a household name among theater and music fans across the state. Upon closing the show in 2009, the show has returned for brief stints but when they closed the production for good, the Bonde’s joked that “they’d been playing Patsy Cline longer than Patsy did.”

Brian and Kaija still find their way to the stage on a regular basis. They perform alongside Bristow and Al Slaathaug in their band “East of Westreville,” an Americana-Folk group. Kaija also regularly performs with Gene McGowan in a jazz combination and Brian found his way back to the stage of the Orpheum in 2014 while playing Jean Valjean in the Sioux Empire Community Theatre production of Les Misérables. And in the fall of 2013, the duo found themselves performing in a production of A Prairie Home Companion alongside Garrison Keillor. As time goes on, the Bonde’s continue to be one of the most influential arts pairings in Sioux Falls. Brian has served on the Board of Directors for the South Dakota Arts Council for over six years and helped form the non-profit arts advocacy group, Arts South Dakota. Kaija still finds her artistic expression by performing regularly, painting and guiding their four children and two grandchildren through life with art always on the forefront. The individual who nominated the pair says, “What Kaija and Brian have done to continually improve our community’s arts presence has helped make Sioux Falls into one of the most glowingly artistic areas in the country.”

For any questions or comments, contact:

Angelica Mercado
Communications Coordinator
(605) 271.6696

Or visit,

The Sioux Falls Awards in the Arts (formerly known as “The Mayor’s Awards for the Arts”), started in 1999, is a significant means to honor those in the creative industry. The following original statement continues to be its vision: We believe the arts, heritage and culture make a real difference to the people of Sioux Falls, to our neighbors, and to our businesses. Arts and culture help individuals find and reach their potential and help the City achieve its community-building and economic development goals. Arts and heritage help build understanding and bridge differences among our increasingly diverse communities. A vibrant arts and culture helps attract visitors and encourages them to extend their stay. A creative community also attracts entrepreneurs and workers and helps retain our youth. This is the only event that brings all the art and culture groups together under one roof for an important event in art and culture hosted by the Sioux Falls Arts Council.

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