Forty local artists will line Seventh Street to display their works in a festival-like atmosphere for the First Annual Art Affair.
Food trucks and buskers will join them by the new Pearl Street Park and the Benson Building, where several artists have studios. It’s an area of downtown that’s seen more development and activity in recent years with the start of Sioux City Food Truck Fridays, the opening of LaunchPAD Children’s Museum and the coming future home of LAMB Arts Regional Theatre.
The Benson Building, at 705 Douglas St., has been home to several Siouxland artists for a number of years, and recently, they’ve gotten some new neighbors as artists migrated from the historic Commerce Building, which is being renovated into 76 apartments, plus office and retail space.
One of those artists is Susie Rodriguez, who welcomed the opportunity to display her jewelry during the Art Affair on Saturday, August 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m
“It’s definitely a way to showcase the local artists which don’t always get a chance to do that,” she said. “I’m just excited that we’re doing more art in Sioux City, giving the local artists a chance.”
The event, organized by Downtown Partners, replaces the Art Walks from years past, which was set up kind of like a bar crawl. But instead of drinking copious amounts of beer, people could go from place to place downtown to appreciate art.
For the Art Affair, most artists will be outside in tents and booths, but Ragen Cote, executive director of Downtown Partners, expects some artists in the Benson Building will open their studios to the public that day.
“We hope that people outside of the community—artists that maybe just have a studio in their home and want to get their work exposed to the community—would come and participate in an event like this,” Cote said.
Chaeli Kohn, owner of Shady Grove Pottery, makes mugs, bowls and other serving ware, along with raku vases and wall hangings at her home studio. She was able to leave her job to make art full-time, and shows like the new Art Affair are a way for her to see people outside the studio.
“I’m really thankful for all the support and the community when they come out to these shows,” she said. “I get to meet a lot of new people that way. That’s been great.”