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Art SUX preps for first fall collection in its new location

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The holidays are the perfect time for paintings of space mutants or otherworldly creatures with a few too many arms and legs.

At least, that's what Jessica Hammond is hoping for. The artist, who goes by the name "Brutal Doodles," is best known for her kitschy, science fiction-inspired graphic art.

Hammond is one of the nearly 20 artists who will be participating in the Art SUX Gallery's Fall Collection Show.

From 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, art lovers can buy art pieces or chat with their favorite artists at the 515 Fourth St. gallery.

According to Hammond, this is the first major show since Art SUX relocated to its current address in July.

"You very seldom see all of the artists in their studios all at the same time," Hammond said. "So, the fall show will be pretty cool.'

Indeed, many first-timers may be surprised to see the century-old former home of T.S. Martin & Co. Department Store transformed into an urban art space.

That's especially true since up until a few years ago, the building was used by Karlton's Men Clothiers where men could fill their closets with plenty of Ralph Lauren dress shirts and Tommy Bahama apparel.

Artist Amy Thompson knew the historical importance that the three-story Martin Bloc building has in downtown Sioux City.

This is the reason why she and her engineer husband Matt Thompson wanted the space for Art SUX, which they had founded in a few years earlier.

"We started Art SUX in the Ho-Chunk Building in 2019," Thompson said. "But we quickly outgrew that space."

When 515 Fourth St. hit the market, she knew the building was perfect.

"We were within walking distance of Gallery 103, Vangarde Arts, the Sioux City Public Museum and the Sioux City Art Center," Thompson explained. "All of a sudden, downtown Sioux City had its own little art district."

That was exciting news for Hammond, who enjoys being a part of a thriving community.

"Artists tend to keep to themselves a lot," she said. "Spaces like Art SUX allow us to interact and learn from other artists."

The twentysomething Hammond said she values the wisdom of artists like Thompson, who've been involved in the art scene for many years.

Plus she is looking forward to interacting with the public at Friday's Art SUX Fall Collection Show.

"The response I get is always positive," Hammond said. "I really benefit from it."

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