A broad-shouldered man’s silhouette uses a screwdriver to open a sewing machine, presenting for his minor audience the inner mechanical workings before a curtain closes as swifty as it opened.
Stark, black coated walls light up with neon splatter paintings, changing perceptions with a flicker of lights.
A 22-year old man wanders through a hallway covered in flashing, colored lights endlessly reflected by tinfoil covered walls.
This, is Art Maze II.
Last weekend, Sioux Falls artists gathered at Exposure Gallery & Studios to present a two-floor interactive series of installations, portraits, and paintings.
Roughly 40 local artists worked in collaboration to fill every hallway, studio and corner with creations, produced using graffiti, charcoal, photography, duct tape, performance art, and everything in between.
“Art Maze is a chance to do something weird, something different—something that isn’t really meant to sell, is more to be experienced,” Zach DeBoer, the owner of Exposure Galleries & Studios said. “It’s an opportunity for artists to try out different things that they might not get to on a regular basis”.
While primarily catering towards younger and contemporary artists, the event included numerous types of media and art styles. While galleries typically adjust to the installations or paintings of an individual artist, Deboer asked artists to react to pieces of Exposure not ordinarily open to the public.
“Art is a lot of things,” DeBoer said. “And I think that a lot of times, people think that art is paintings on a white wall in a quiet gallery—and that’s not true. This is an opportunity to show people what the bounds and depths of art can be. It’s exciting to see people react with art in a way that they maybe haven’t before”.
And react they did.
Nick Bell, a first-time vistor to Art Maze, said “it was a little less formal than other [art exhibits] I’ve been to. It’s pretty interactive, and just kind of says ‘hey, come chill and hang out’”.
Hannah Wendt, a Sioux Falls artist, created an installation to experiment with the “excitement of a child,” placing a modest desk, dresser, and chair in a dark room and leaving colored confetti, fabric wands, and pieces of chalk around the room for visitors to create with.
“All night I’ve been encouraging not only kids, but adults to come in and play with the confetti and grab the fabric strings,” Wendt said. “it’s really great to have that outlet, and even more so to see people just having such fun. It’s like giving a crayon to a little kid—more ofen than not, they’re going to start scribbling all over the place”.