Downtown parking ramp could soon add to Sioux Falls art scene

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The City of Sioux Falls is hoping to add some art to the blank side of a downtown parking ramp which was initially part of a project called The Village on the River.

The parking ramp, which was originally meant to be connected to a hotel, event center and restaurants, could soon include a new addition to the downtown art scene.

“We’ve had some businesses come forward, with even some concepts they had come up with, which were pretty cool. I mean, they were murals,” said Jeff Eckhoff, City of Sioux Falls director of planning and development services. “These people need to understand that it doesn’t have to be one big mural. It could be smaller ones or a larger one with smaller ones on the bottom. There’s a lot of different ways they could look at it and again, we saw that interest and thought, we really need to get this out there. Let the collective, creative, spirit of the city and see what they come up with.”

The art project could consist of multiple different murals painted on the side of the parking ramp, as well as some changes to the space just south of the ramp along 10th Street.

“There’s the vertical wall, which is 15,000 square feet,” Eckhoff said. “Obviously leads itself to a mural or a variety of them. And then there’s this horizontal space that you see here too and as we were looking at it, we think there might be something they could do in that space too, because that’s about 10,000 square foot.”

The City of Sioux Falls is doing a request for proposal (RFP) to enhance the side of the Mall Avenue Parking Ramp while they wait for the development project to move forward.

“That’s kind of the sad part. Part of the RFP talks about, once the project is complete, we’ll guarantee it for six months, but then after that depending on what happens with the development, they will have to know that it’ll get covered up someday,” Eckhoff said.

Kellen Boice, executive director of the Sioux Falls Arts Council, said the project could add a lot to the art scene in Sioux Falls.

“Public art is one of those things that anyone can walk up to,” she said. “Anyone can approach it. It’s not in a museum. There’s no closed doors, so for those things in our community, those are really important, and that particular project is really important because it’s kind of had a bad history and for the community to come together around something that was a negative, I think is an amazing opportunity.”

“I think anytime you can enhance your downtown, you can make it more interesting, you can engage people,” Eckhoff said. “One of the things that we would hope this would do, would engage people that would want to come up, take selfies, take pictures of it. Just another reason to spend some time downtown. I think it just shows pride in your community.”

Proposals for the art project are due on November 10th, and the city plans to have an entity under contract by the end of the year. The paintings will likely be done in the spring.

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