Every year, a group of artists gather a selection of their works to share and sell to the public. The group itself -- Siouxland Artists Inc. -- has “probably been around since the 1940s,” according to member Connie Luhman. I thought she was joking.
Fellow artist Susie Rodriguez chimed in to clarify. “Well, we haven’t been it for that long.” she laughed. “Although some of us probably could be.”
Siouxland Artists Inc. consists of about a dozen or so local artists. Four of them -- Luhman, Rodriguez, Debi Beem and Michael Gibbs -- sat in the main room of Rodriguez’s studio last week. Hanging on the walls were small paintings; the shelves were stocked with handmade jewelry, Rodriguez’s specialty. She motioned toward her collection of wallet-sized, water color paintings paired alongside a pair of earrings – a perfect item to share at the Siouxland Artists Inc. Annual Holiday Show and Sale.
Gibbs entered the studio holding a collection of his own paintings, all of varying sizes – cows made with colorfully swooping paint strokes, a dynamic portrait of a Clint Eastwood-esque cowboy and a piece resembling an old Midwestern barn.
“I’ll also have greeting cards,” Gibbs said of the upcoming holiday show. “I make greeting cards of all my paintings.”
The event is to take place at 10 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 7) on the fifth floor of the Commerce Building. Artists will be given a chance to sell their one-of-a-kind pieces as well as any prints, cards and other oddities that guests may find appealing for the holiday season.
“It’s a good chance for people to purchase presents for the holidays,” said Beem. “We try to have things that are more geared toward the holidays.”
“You’ll find unique things that you’re not going to get at Walmart,” said Rodriguez, noting some items may be perfect stocking stuffers.
But in addition to providing Sioux Cityans with unique gift options, the artists are able to present their work in an almost gallery-like setting at the Commerce Building.
“It’s also a good way to meet local artists,” said Rodriguez. “If people are interested in art, this is a group of local artists that they can come and talk to and see what we do.”
The artists will also conduct a silent auction. A piece that’s up for auction is a collaborative painting made by members of Siouxland Artists Inc. called “Blue Velvet.” Works of all styles can be expected at the event.
“You will see some abstract works, as well as realism,” said Luhman.
“Watercolor, acrylic, oil – everything!” said Rodriguez.
Gibbs will also be providing his musical talents -- piano and voice -- during the Holiday Show and Sale. But what about those Joe Schmos out there that aren't even close to being art experts? (Like us at the Weekender). Will they still enjoy the art show?
"People can just come and look and have an appreciation for the art Siouxland has to offer," said Beem.
"It's a way to get into art without having to pay a huge amount, too," said Rodriguez.
"And it's a good reminder that there are a lot of working artists in Sioux City," said Gibbs.