South Dakota. It is such an incredibly rich and diverse state…

Water Window by Rebecca, 10th Grade, 2011 Youth Art Show submission
Water Window by Rebecca, 10th Grade, 2011 Youth Art Show submission

South Dakota.  It is such an incredibly rich and diverse state (and I don’t just say that because I live here!). It is so much more than grasslands, buffalo and presidential monuments.  While those are very important aspects of our Great Plains state, it is more often the small things, those places, people and events just a short drive from the travel artery that is Interstate 90, or tucked away in the corners of our communities that can really make an impact on visitors and residents.

The Dakota Discovery Museum is just one of those many places.  During March, the museum is celebrating National Youth Art Month with over 190 works of art submitted by 138 students throughout the state of South Dakota.  The exhibit is not a judged event, there is already enough (maybe too much) competition in youth activities.  At our show every child has the opportunity to express their own creativity for all to see, from simple crayon and pencil drawings on copy paper to complex mixed media works.  The show is open to all students, grades K – 12 in the state and each student can submit up to two entries.  The works of art are exhibited in a gallery setting with a public reception. Professional area artists provide feedback and encouragement for the students.

It is often a teenage or childhood experience that triggers a life-long interest in the arts.  An acquaintance recently told me that if it had not been for a high school class in photography he would likely have never thought to pursue a rewarding career as a professional photographer.  Another told me it was her participation in the city’s Summer Arts programs that taught her to look more closely at the prairies and the everyday things around her. She is now completing her Fine Arts major at the University of South Dakota.

The Dakota Discovery Museum is pleased to be part of the Mitchell, and broader South Dakota community in supporting the arts and culture of our region and in preserving its astonishing history.  Visit us to experience it all for yourself.