The HeART of the Matter
“Untitled” by Robert Bruce
“Untitled” is one of the art pieces being auctioned at the event.
The Avera Behavioral Health Center has proven to be a haven of dignity for those with mental health conditions and their families. Striving to break the stigma of fear, shame and hopelessness, Avera Behavioral Health Center offers many services and programs in an effort to care for the whole person; body, mind and spirit.
The assessment center at Avera Behavioral Health has provided over 6,600 face-to-face consultations, free of charge. Urgent care services also provide those without means to pay with transportation services, much needed medications and lodging for families if their loved one should require hospitalization.
Caring for the whole person often involves integrative therapies. The Arts in Healing program is an innovative treatment that uses creative processes to help patients increase insight, develop coping skills and learn to effectively communicate their emotions and inner conflicts. Arts in Healing has brought music, movement and receptive therapies to patients, offering them a tranquil environment in which to heal.
Funds raised through HeARTS in Healing will go to support urgent care services and the Arts in Healing program at Avera Behavioral Health.
Auction Art Pieces and Artist Details
Specific art pieces auctioned at the fundraiser event are featured below.
by Robert Bruce
Medium: Mixed Media, 30" (w) x 30" (h) and 22" deep
Robert Bruce, the artist behind the striking yet unnamed aluminum and copper sculpture, created the piece with the intention to instill a sense of peace in others. “I enjoyed using my skills and talents to hopefully evoke peace in others,” he says.
The sculpture, which resembles a tree with bowing branches, has a solid foundation made of aluminum as well as a copper finish. “The tree represents many things to many different people. However, to me it represents knowledge. The forward shape of the tree signifies the future, and the branches that are shaped backwards symbolize the past.”
A human figure is also positioned among the branches. “I placed a human figure in the sculpture because humans are continually seeking something.”
Antigua Classic Yacht Race
by Barbara Sparks
Medium: Watercolor, 22" (w) x 30" (h)
“The piece reflects me in the sense that I enjoy painting as a process, rather than a product,” says Barbara Sparks, the artist responsible for “Antigua Classic Yacht Race.” This image was the final work of five studies.
“This piece means a lot to me. I painted the first study while we were on our own boat in Grenada, using ocean water to mix paints. My husband and I have been sailing in the Caribbean for over 25 years, and the Antigua Classic Yacht race reflects how much people love boats and the ocean. The boat in this painting is over 100 years old, and is art in itself.”
by Chad Lubbers
Medium: Painting, each panel is 80" (w) x 12" (h)
Originally from Burke, S.D., Chad Lubbers says his inspiration for “Bello Blu” comes from his interest in colors and textures created by the elements of nature. “I photograph a lot of natural scenes while hiking,” he says. “This painting was inspired by the color patterns of faded driftwood with a rust colored moss growing on it. I love the color combination of rust, blue, black and white. The blue and white represent the sky and clouds.
As an artist, Lubbers gets his inspiration from other artists such as Michael Kessler. “His techniques and process of building a painting have always interested me greatly. I’ve developed my own style from watching his work over the years. The ‘process’ of building a painting means more to me than the finished work.” However, Lubbers says his own artwork is his style. “I think my works all represent my love for the natural world around us and the color combinations that we sometimes take for granted.” Lubbers says he is motivated by music, getting outdoors, hiking, and fishing.
by Jay Bachmayer
Medium: Photography, 31.25" (w) x 10.25" (h)
“I’m inspired by how and why abandoned objects are left behind,” says Jay Bachmayer, an Aberdeen, S.D. native “It’s a series of questions that lead my interest into taking pictures of this subject matter as both a record case study of the result.” Bachmayer says this is very typical of his work and reflects his own curiosity of how the past plays into our future. “I find it fascinating how abandoned objects change when disconnected from the human element. It’s a symbol of how we as people are too. When we don’t interact with others, we lose emotion and passion and soul.”
Story Of A Girl
by Jennifer White
Medium: Oil on Canvas, 16" (w) x 20" (h)
“Being surrounded by media constantly bullying women to better themselves in some way, is what inspired this piece,” artist Jennifer White says. “In the piece itself there are images of body parts that are beautiful, comparable to any woman who likes certain things about themselves more than others. Again referring to the imposed idea that women should always have something to improve when it comes to their image.”
White says this piece directly reflects her in the way of creating a new way of thinking as a woman. “My work is evidence that the invisible boundaries of art are comparable to that of the invisible boundaries of our abilities as people.”
by Paul Schiller
Medium: Photography, 40" (w) x 24" (h)
Paul Schiller, the artist behind “Prairie Blessing”, says he was shooting stills in the Badlands and some of the remarkable landscapes in the region when he turned and saw “this massive thunderstorm developing behind me.” Never one to shy away from a good shot, Schiller started pointing and shooting. Schiller says he loves to storm chase and has been chasing storms with KELO-TV over the past eight years. “But on this day, I was on my own and this storm developed quickly with little warning. Fortunately, the vast prairiescape gave me some time to observe the development of this storm and then capture this panoramic image.”
To Schiller, this image truly reflects life. “We see an approaching storm in our lives and tend to focus on this troubling event, but up in the righthand corner of the image is a little blue sky reflecting a little hope. We always need a little hope in our lives to get us through any situation,” he says.
by Christi Schwebach
Medium: Metal, 36" (w) x 17" (h)
Christi Schwebach, the artist behind “Divine,” has always taken great pleasure in showcasing her creativity through her artwork. “Divine,” which stands 17 inches tall, is a unique metal sculpture. The piece exemplifies Schwebach’s talent, love of art, and developing personal style. “I think my work keeps evolving over time,” she says. “I’m continually influenced by my passions and desires.”
Schwebach, a Brandon, S.D. native, has been making art for the past twenty years. She hopes people will see “Divine” and take away a different point of view.
Scenes From The Dreams Of A Fortune Teller
by John Banasiak
Medium: Collage Photo, 32" (w) x 24" (h)
The “Scenes from the Dreams of a Fortune Teller” project involves the creation and design of environments, characters, and scenes using cross-cultural fortune telling materials, techniques, and games of chance to present a visual script of mythical and archetypal scenarios, says John Banasiak. “When a body of this work is exhibited I include the ‘fortune’ next to each print and invite the viewers to look only at the prints, and read only the fortune that is next to the image that they have been drawn to most strongly.”
Banasiak, a professor at the University of South Dakota in Vermllion, says this piece is not especially typical of his work. However, he was inspired by his Polish and Ukrainian grandparents who lived with his family on the south side of Chicago when he was a child. “On the tops of their dressers and cabinets, and on tables in various rooms of the house, were a variety of ‘shrines’ to various saints, gods, and goddesses, decorated and embellished with holy cards, icons, braided palms from Palm Sunday, snapshots of grandkids, portraits of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, as well as statues of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pez dispensers, votive candles, rosaries, and other gifts that they had received from their grandkids. I would get lost in the potential stories and mythic tales that they presented. I really began making art, I believe, in those early days of childhood.”
by Ben Suga
Medium: Pottery, 16" (w) x 11.5" (h)
As a ceramicist, Ben Suga creates clay sculptures which require sensitivity to touch, balance and limits. His work embraces tradition and play. “The movement from one to the other has given me insight into the nature of each,” he says. “Each shares the potential to bring the other to a deeper, more profound level of integration. Play resides in the rhythm and movement of tradition, in the dance of the body and the clay. Tradition infuses play with a deep, almost unconscious understanding of the material, supporting a fluency and precision in the ability to react without hesitation.”
Ben apprenticed for two years at the St. John’s Pottery Studio in Collegeville, Minn. “I worked with clay for many hours a day, recreating hundreds of traditional forms, with only a small percentage fired after a high standard of consistent proficiency had been attained,” he says. Ben currently works at Augustana College Ceramic Studios in Sioux Falls, S.D.
New and Past Horizons
by Nancyjane Huel
Medium: Oil Painting on archival canvas panel, 16" (w) x 20" (h)
“New and Past Horizons” is a landscape built from two experiences. The composition is based on a Cheyene River landscape and a second view from the Sioux River Valley. It is a fleeting glimpse of a quintessential South Dakota landscape.
Nancyjane is a painter whose style can be defined as falling within the school of classic American Impressionism. She has painted the South Dakota landscape for 22 years.
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