Eyob Mergia’s art featured at First Friday

Positively KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When you see art, do you ever wonder, who painted that? In many cases, you’ll never get to meet the artist.

That’s why an event may be a unique opportunity. Eyob Mergia has art all over Sioux Falls, including at the airport, Sanford Health and Avera Health. He doesn’t live here anymore, but he’s back Friday night to showcase some new pieces at First Friday.

It takes a combination of things to complete one painting.

“I’m mixing charcoal with a black Indian ink,” Mergia said.

Just like the abstracts on the canvas, Mergia’s inspiration comes from a lot of different sources, like books, music, movies, and culture. Basically, the things that make up everyday life.

“Sometimes I don’t have an idea, but I like to paint paintings,” Mergia said.

Mergia is from Ethopia, but became a fixture in the local art community. He lived in Sioux Falls for nearly 20 years and attended Augustana University. He’s since moved to Las Vegas, but is back to showcase his art at Rehfeld’s Art and Framing.

“This is home for me. This is a good home,” Mergia said.

“To have him back and to have his artwork shown, is a real feather in the cap for Rehfeld’s,” owner Matt Jorgenson said.

Rehfeld’s is featuring Mergia as its main artist for First Friday on August 2nd. You have a chance to see his creations he created for the event, and actually get to meet him in person.

“People love to be able to talk to the artist, to be able to think of what’s going on when they’re making the artwork, to get inside their head a little bit. To truly just interact with the artist in a special way,” Jorgenson said.

Mergia may be the star of this show, but he’s a pretty big fan of his creative peers.

“I think there are so many good artists here. It’s truly, I like the movement here,” Mergia said.

Just like his wonderfully eclectic paintings, every experience Mergia has had has helped color his world view. Sioux Falls maybe home, but he urges other artists to venture out — at least for a little bit.

“It’s good to see something that’s different. Our minds needs “different-ing,” too,” Mergia said.

It takes a combination of things to make one complete artist.

“Everywhere you go, you have the knowledge and then you apply that knowledge together. You put it together,” Mergia said.

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