Each year, the Yankton Area Arts Board of Directors recognizes a person or persons who contribute to the arts, advocate for the arts in their everyday lives, and have made a significant contribution to the arts in the community. This year, we were pleased to honor the Art Advocates of the Year award to the Yankton Community Library Staff for the innovation and creative community building during a year of much adversity. Congratulations and thank you for your efforts this year!

Our current exhibit, “Life Suspended: The Abstract Work of Amy Thompson,” is on display through Oct. 9. Don’t miss this extraordinary display of unique paintings. Amy Thompson is an abstract artist from McCook Lake who works with many mediums. Most recently she has begun experimental pieces in resin, ink and cold wax with oils. Her current work in oils has been a welcome return to her painting roots. The pieces she is now creating have been her most challenging, yet most enjoyable to create and exhibit. A working artist for over 10 years in Siouxland, Amy Thompson has been published and exhibited locally and nationally. The gallery is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:00-5:00pm. Anyone interested in a private viewing may call the gallery at 665-9754 to make a request.

Following Amy’s exhibit, YAA welcomes back to the gallery the Connecting Artists, an area art organization dedicated to the support, connection, and encouragement of beginning through professional visual artists. The Connecting Artists are invited to display their work every two years. Their work will be on display Oct. 12-Nov. 13, 2020 with a special reception honoring the artists on Friday, Nov. 6, from 5-7 p.m. This is an opportunity to meet the artists and find out firsthand what inspires them and how they create their work. We ask anyone interested in attending the reception to reserve a spot by calling the YAA office at 665-9754. YAA will stream the reception live. Our goal is to use YouTube to stream, but we need your help in getting 1000 subscribers. If we don’t get enough subscribers in time for our November reception, we will stream on our Facebook page.

Do you or your neighbors go all out when decorating for Halloween? This year get noticed and win prizes! Yankton Area Arts is hosting Yankton’s first ever Halloween Home Decoration Contest. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: The Big Pumpkin Award (Judge’s Choice), Most Likely to Be Haunted (Scariest), and the Overachiever Award (Most over the top). Sponsoring the event with prizes valued over $200 is South Dakota Magazine, Pied Piper Flowers and Gifts, and The Boat House. All homes in Yankton and the lake area are eligible to participate. All entries must be submitted by Friday, Oct. 16, and include a non-refundable $10 entry fee. Judging will take place Oct. 25-28, and winners will be announced Oct. 31. A full list of rules and a link to the entry form can be found under Harvest Halloween at YanktonAreaArts.org.

Although we have opened with limited hours, YAA continues to provide virtual options for our community. An online gift shop, found on our website, features wood turned items, jewelry, books, home décor, greeting cards and much more! Support local artists while shopping from the comfort of your home. All items are available for curbside pick-up.

We want to assure the community we have taken steps to ensure your safety by increasing sanitizing and cleaning procedures. Additionally, during open hours, our staff is wearing masks and we encourage patrons to do the same. For your safety and the safety of our staff, only 10 people are allowed in the gallery at a time. Anyone high risk may contact the gallery at 665-9754 to request a private viewing of the exhibit. A full list of our reopening plan, including sanitation practices, can be found on our website.

We greatly appreciate your support during this time. If you can, please consider making a one time or monthly donation, becoming a member at https://YanktonAreaArts.org, or simply following along on our social media Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and now YouTube! Thank you for your support. Be well and safe, friends!

Yankton Area Arts is a non-profit arts organization located at 508 Douglas Avenue in Yankton. The G.A.R. Hall Art Gallery is open with limited hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1-5 p.m. Staff is holding limited office hours. For more information or assistance, call the YAA office at (605) 665-9754 or email info@yanktonareaarts.org.

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