Category Archives: Natural Selection 2.0

Chris Champion to Join Us…

We just added the incredible acoustic jazz guitar of our neighborhood friend Chris Champion for the Natural Selection 2.0 After-party at The BrickHouse this Monday Night.

Be sure to make it a night, as the reception for Natural Selection 2.0 starts at 4:30pm and runs till 7pm at Dakota State, followed by the After-party starting at 7pm.

Yup, this is great. Enjoy!


Come on out for the reception for Natural Selection 2.0 on Monday night, and then follow the pack over for the After-party at The BrickHouse.

That should be easy, huh?

New life for antiques at art show..

Emmeline Elliott

It’s the Flintstones meets the Jetsons. That’s one way Steve Bormes describes his sculptures.


Bormes Studio in Sioux Falls


Bormes’ work, along with pieces by Laura Smith and Amber Pate, is featured at this month’s Double Header art show, a one-night event hosted by the Madison Area Arts Council. The public is welcome to attend the free event March 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The BrickHouse Community Arts Center, 106 S.E. 2nd St. Music will be provided by Tim Jewel of The Union Grove Pickers.

Bormes makes sculptures from antiques he finds in the U.S. and Turkey. He began making semiannual trips to Turkey 10 years ago to find carpets, and opened the Rug & Relic store in Sioux Falls seven years ago.

“As I traveled the countryside, you see all these fantastic antiques,” Bormes said.

The items were utilitarian in nature. He didn’t always know what the objects were used for, but bought it based on its look. Later, he would match it with other antiques – usually items that were never meant to encounter each other – to make a sculpture.


'Sandbox Series, Vol 6'


“I like to kind of trick destiny that way,” Bormes said.

Bormes said he likes to make contraptions that, theoretically, can do something. All of his pieces light up, and some can fly or swim, he said.


Bormes work


Bormes finds much of his inspiration from his childhood, such as two of his favorite cartoons previously mentioned, Dr. Seuss and the swag lamps of the 1960s and ‘70s. He made a similar styled lamp from an old wooden Turkish bucket.





Bormes looks through antique stores for fascinating objects that he can later use in an artwork. Numerous miscellaneous materials sit in his workshop waiting for their time to fit into a sculpture, such as straps for work horses, Turkish logs and bowls, kitchen strainers, doll parts and lots of metal objects.


Bormes Studio in Sioux Falls


“The main intent is to have some fun and elicit a smile,” Bormes said, adding that he loves to hear people laughing together as they look at his art.

Not only does he create art, Bormes works to bring artists and the community together by hosting monthly gatherings of regional artists at his Rug & Relic shop, called First Fridays.

In recent weeks, Bormes partnered with another Sioux Falls business owner on the Telestory Booth project. People can go into an old phone booth and record into the phone a story, joke or whatever is on their mind. He said participating in the Telestory Booth is a unique experience for the different generations.


Bormes inside of Telestory


“People my age step in, and it’s quiet and it’s a real familiar feeling,” Bormes said. “A lot of young people have never been in a phone booth.”

Forty-one stories were recorded during the soft launch of the Telestory Booth, Bormes said.

“It’s fascinating what people are saying,” Bormes said. “Some are really funny and make you laugh, and some will pull at your heart.”

The Telestory Booth is portable and can be rented for events, Bormes said.

Bormes’ work is also part of the Natural Selection 2.0 exhibit at the First Bank & Trust Gallery in the Karl E. Mundt Library of Dakota State University. The exhibit runs until April 1.

More about Bormes’ work and his projects can be found at and

MAAC meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at The BrickHouse Community Arts Center. Visit MAAC on facebook for more community art news and events.

Steve sends a few along…

We’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of regional artist Steve Bormes for our next Double Header this March at The BrickHouse, so we thought we’d check in with the man behind the lamps and under the rugs, take it away Steve:

My work is comprised almost entirely of vintage and antique items I have found throughout America and Turkey.  Of very disparate background, they come together to create whimsical pieces intended to give light to our childhood imaginings. The pieces I’m bringing to Madison are comprised of the following:

Sandbox Series:  Volume 3

Pressed steel fire truck, Turkish yogurt churn

Sweater Babies

Art deco speaker boxes, composite doll parts

Light Years from Here

surveyor’s tripod; Turkish yogurt churn; coffee maker parts


Turkish yogurt churn; slope-meter; gumball machine dispenser slot; car window crank; pressed metal oil funnel; meat tenderizer blades; egg white separators; composite doll parts

Wow, huh?

It’s alright, we thought the same, and we’re still looking for our jaw too, it dropped around here somewhere. Actually, Steve is currently showing as part of Natural Selection 2.0 at Dakota State, so if you’d like to get your ‘Bormes-fix’, head on over, and look for the pink light!

Double Header returns to The BrickHouse on Thursday, March 10th, from 7-9pm, along with Laura Smith, Amber Pate, and the acoustic music of Tim Jewell from The Union Grove Pickers. Check back with us in the coming weeks for a little more Steve, and a lot more from all of our featured artists.

Natural Selection Profile #20, Curator Destry Sparks.

‘My contribution (apart from curating) to Natural Selection 2.0 at Dakota State University is the 2009 painting: Things Goin’ On That You Don’t Know. It’s a modest 16″ h x 16.5″ w. Attached to burlap are worn made things like bottle caps & from nature a crushed pine cone. Our affairs work within the context of forces beyond our grasp’ – Destry Sparks, Curator.

This is the last of our artist profiles for Natural Selection 2.0, for more about Destry’s work and projects, visit Natural Selection remains on exhibition through April 1st at Dakota State University, here in Madison.

Natural Selection Profile #19, Angela Behrends

‘Angela Behrends is a mixed media sculptor & installation artist. Her materials include human hair, blood, wood & stones. She gets to the heart of what living in the physical world means to the whole person. From the mundane to the sacred she asks us to wonder about our place amidst it all. A mainstay on the Madison, SD art scene she teaches at Dakota State University’ – Destry Sparks, Curator.

For more, look for her work at Natural Selection 2.0 at Dakota State University, here in Madison, from February 1st – April 1st, 2011.

Natural Selection Profile #18, Milbert Whitley

‘Outsider artist Milbert Whitley from Pantego, NC has won numerous awards showing in NC & Richmond, VA. Prominent dealer Heather Russell & Glenda Kotschish of Art Works Studios & Galleries in Richmond included one of his works in their 2010 Recycled Art Exhibit. Whitley uses raw natural materials such as tree barks & grasses to create abstract landscapes. No one else does what he does.’ – Destry Sparks, Curator.

For more look for his work at Natural Selection 2.0 at Dakota State University, here in Madison, from February 1st – April 1st, 2011.


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