All I Want for Christmas Is a Lot More Wall Space

Art SUX Gallery & Gallery 103
Ho-Chunk Centre, Sioux City
Saturday, December 14

I spent a couple of hours Saturday morning at the Ho-Chunk Centre getting to know the art and artists at Gallery 103 and the new Art SUX Gallery.  Gallery 103 has been open since April; Art SUX just opened its doors on Friday. 

There was a lot happening on the first floor Saturday morning.  The atrium was primed for the Little Yellow Dog auction and Morningside’s All-America band provided live Christmas music for what turned out to be a good crowd.  But the action won’t be limited to just the holiday season.  Both Gallery 103 and Art SUX will be open 10:00 am – 1:00 pm most Saturdays. 

Work from Gallery 103 artists.

Gallery 103 hosts 18 artists and Art SUX another 10 more, though some do show work in both spaces.  You can find all manner of styles and media: figurative or abstract; oil paint, alcohol ink, scratch board, and more.  Each space is bright and modern, a bit of a change from the Commerce and Benson buildings where many of these artists once made homes for themselves.  But don’t come for just the good space or great work.  In each of these galleries you can find a number of the artists themselves.  I cornered a few who were happy to tell me about themselves and their work.  None of them were put off by my frequent and entry-level questions.  At Art SUX, Kristin Vo explained to me a little about her alcohol ink and resin paintings.  Anne Marie McTaggert and I talked puffins, clowns, extinct birds and expressiveness.  Across the way in 103, I got the scoop from Paula Crandell and Brian Joel Damon. 

I did run into one big problem this morning, and it’s a deal-breaker: there just isn’t enough wall space in our house to make homes for all of the pieces I wanted to make homes for.  That’s a common enough problem.  As I was picking the brain of Gallery 103 artist Terri McGaffin, she walked me down the hallway to the women’s restroom to look at one of her larger paintings.  The women’s room, she explained, had some of the largest walls in the space. 

Whether you’re looking for yourself or a loved one this Christmas, whether you want a piece for your office or your mantle or your bathroom, check out these galleries and the local artists they are home to.  There’s work of all sizes and prices.  And conversation that may be even more valuable. 

Brendan Todt is a stay-at-home father who has no training, whatsoever, in the visual arts. His untrained, amateur appreciation of modern art dates to August, 2014, when he saw Jackson Pollock’s Mural at the Sioux City Art Center with his wife and his three-week-old son.