CWS in the News

Current Newsletter: Spring 2014

Previous Newsletters: Archive

The Center for Western Studies news room features press releases about current and upcoming exhibitions, collections news, programs, events and announcements.

For interviews or additional information, including hi-res images for your publication or news agency, please email the CWS or call 605.274.4007.

calendarDiscover what special events, gallery exhibitions and receptions we're sponsoring by visiting our upcoming events page.   FacebookLooking for a way to stay posted on what's happening at the CWS? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.


Recent News

In the News: BOE FORUM SPEAKER TALKS DATA SECURITY

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Robbie Bach at 2014 Boe ForumFormer Microsoft executive Robbie Bach had a lot of advice for technology users in the Elmen Center Tuesday night at the 2014 Boe Forum on Public Affairs, presented by the Center for Western Studies.

His topic, "Privacy at Risk: Challenges to Protecting Personal Identity and Data" dealt with the current issue of privacy online and as Bach said, "it is not black and white." He explained that there are criminals online who will steal your information if you aren't careful and cases where the government does not use it properly, but data can also help solve real-world problems.

Unfortunately, for those who want all of their online data to be private, Bach has some news: "Digital information flows like water, and it's very difficult to control."

But he does encourage everyone to think about policy changes that should be made in this country. Bach encouraged Augustana students who were interested in this subject to form a group on campus for privacy rights and charged educational institutions to come up with real solutions to these problems.

Read the reaction to his address from the Argus Leader:

Boe Forum speaker: Protection from hackers a top priority
By Steve Young, Argus Leader

A former top executive with Microsoft briefed a crowd at Augustana College's Elmen Center Tuesday evening on computer security and told them that protecting themselves has to be a priority.

Speaking at the Boe Forum on Public Affairs, Robbie Bach said consumer education needs to be a top priority as America moves forward on cyber security.

Read more ►


In the News: unique art show at cws observes south dakota's 125th anniversary

Monday, August 25, 2014

Detail of “Straddling 125 Shadows of Years Gone and Past While Looking Ahead Towards the Light of Future Dust" by Chris Francis.A juried art exhibit and sale of original works by South Dakota artists at the Center for Western Studies this summer celebrates the state's quasquicentennial. On display from June 10-September 27, “South Dakota 2014 Art Exhibit and Sale: Observing the State's 125th Anniversary" includes the work of 38 artists reflecting on the meaning of South Dakota's statehood. Visitors from as far away as England, Norway, Washington, Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, California, Missouri, Florida and as nearby as Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota, have all visited the Fantle Building to view the display.

The following story about the exhibit, and the grand prize winning entry by Madison artist Chris Francis, was published by the Argus Leader on August 23, 2014. Francis will be at the Center for Western Studies on Saturday, September 6, at 10 a.m. to discuss his work. This event, like the exhibit itself, is free and open to the public.

Arts Q&A: Artists Honor S.D. Anniversary
By Dorene Weinstein, Argus Leader

Area artists have created 38 pieces of artwork to celebrate South Dakota’s 125 years of statehood.

Themes range from maps, the Old West, New Age cowboys, iconic images, landscapes and various other traditional, modern and eclectic takes on the milestone. Ideas are expressed through photographs, acrylics, oils, multimedia, carvings and three-dimensional works.

Read more ►


In the News: 2014 Boe forum speaker announced

Monday, August 4, 2014

Robbie Back, 2014 Boe Forum speakerFormer Microsoft executive Robbie Bach has been announced as the speaker for the 2014 Boe Forum on Public Affairs. The topic of his October presentation, “Privacy at Risk: Challenges to Protecting Personal Identity and Data," is both a timely and important one for consumers in the digital age. Bach was influential in the launch and expansion of Microsoft Office and led the creation and development of the Xbox and its eventual successor, the Xbox 360, as Microsoft’s chief Xbox officer. He joins a long list of distinguished speakers in the annual lecture series.

The following story about the announcement was published by the Argus Leader on August 1, 2014.

Microsoft Exec is Boe Forum Speaker
By Austin Ashlock, Argus Leader

The Center for Western Studies at Augustana College announced Thursday that former Microsoft executive Robbie Bach will be the speaker for the 2014 Boe Forum on Public Affairs Oct. 28.

In his presentation “Privacy at Risk: Challenges to Protecting Personal Identity and Data,” Bach will speak about challenges faced in cyber security, data breaches and government surveillance.

Read more ►


In the News: Collections Assistant Liz Thrond Discusses History of Orphan Trains

Monday, April 28, 2014

Orphan Train by Christina Baker KlineFor seventy-five years in American history, the orphaned, abandoned, and neglected children of New York and other overcrowded eastern cities were placed on "orphan trains" and sent west to find new homes in rural settings. Many thousands of these children became plainsmen and women.

Dorene Weinstein of the Argus Leader recently interviewed Collections Assistant Liz Thrond about the history of the orphan trains and her presentation on the subject at the 2014 Dakota Conference on the Northern Plains. The following story was published by the Argus on April 20, 2014.

Q&A: 200,000 Kids Went West Via Orphan Trains
By Dorene Weinstein, Argus Leader

At the turn of the 20th century, as many as 30,000 children were living on the streets in New York City.

From 1854 to 1929, a movement hopeful of finding them a good home and better future rounded up 200,000 children and sent them on trains, many to the Midwest.

Liz Thrond, collections assistant at the Center for Western Studies at Augustana College, will give a talk at next weekend’s Dakota Conference on the sensitive topic based on the novel “Orphan Train,” by Christina Baker Kline.

Read more ►


In the News: Always a Regional Asset, CWS Has Evolved Quickly in Recent Years

Monday, February 10, 2014

Center for Western Studies Fantle BuildingFounded in 1970 by Augustana Writer-in-Residence Herbert Krause, the Center for Western Studies began as a collection of books and historic regional materials in the lower level of the campus library. Many things have changed since the Center's humble beginnings.

Argus Leader writer Peter Harriman recently visited the Center's Fantle Building and spoke with Executive Director Dr. Harry F. Thompson and Education Assistant Kristi Thomas about the institution's varied programming. The following story about the Center's regional value and rapid evolution in the last fifteen years was digitally published by the Argus on January 11, 2014.

Center for Western Studies Preserves Regional History
By Peter Harriman, Argus Leader

Place matters.

About 15 years ago, the Augustana College Center for Western Studies was a grand title for a collection of books on the American West stored in the lower level of the Mikkelsen Library.

“The big change was when we built this building in 2001,” says Harry Thompson, the center’s director for the past 28 years. “It made the center a player in the community in a way it hadn’t been before.”

Read more ►


In the News: Returning CWS Board Member Recognized for Dakota Conference Presentation

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Harry Thompson presenting Teagarden Award to Richard MullerThe 2012 Dakota Conference observed the upcoming fortieth anniversary of the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, with two days of speakers, an autograph party, and a one-time art exhibition.

The following story about returning CWS Board Member Richard Muller’s experiences at the event appears in the Fall/Winter 2013 edition of Business Connections, a publication of the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business.

Muller’s Award Demonstrates Business Curriculum Can Cross Disciplines
By Kim Lee, University of South Dakota

Richard Muller, instructor in the Beacom School of Business, was recently presented with an award that demonstrates how different academic disciplines can merge.

Read more ►


In the News: Huntsman Discusses Geopolitics of China and U.S.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gov. Jon HuntsmanFormer U.S. Ambassador to China and Singapore Gov. Jon Huntsman discussed the "Geopolitics of China and the U.S." before a crowd of nearly 2,000 at the 18th Boe Forum on Public Affairs Monday night in the Elmen Center.

The following story on the event, presented by the Center for Western Studies, appears in the Tuesday, Nov. 5, edition of the Argus Leader:

Huntsman: U.S. reaction will be key to change in China
By Nick Lowrey, Argus Leader

The biggest story of this century will be the rise of China to superpower status and how the United States reacts to it, according to former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman.

Read more ►


CWS Partners with All Souls Church to Observe Native American Day

Poster for 'Journey toward Justice' to honor Native American DayMonday, September 16, 2013

TheIn partnership with All Souls Church, Unitarian Universalist, Sioux Falls, the Center for Western Studies is sponsoring a series of events to honor Native American Day. Responding to an expressed need in the community, All Souls Church has organized a series of events leading up to and following Native American Day, October 14, 2013. Spirit of Peace United Church of Christ is also sponsoring the series.  Financial support is provided by the South Dakota Humanities Council, South Dakota Arts Council, Unitarian Universalist Association, and the CWS. The public is invited to attend as many events as possible.

October 27 (2-4 p.m.): Author Joseph Marshall III will discuss his book The Lakota Way at Kresge Auditorium, Humanities Center, Augustana College.

Read more ►


Through Dec. 7: Carl Grupp Retrospective Exhibit

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Carl Grupp self-portraitThe Eide/Dalrymple Gallery and the Center for Western Studies presents  “Why Are We: Carl Grupp – A Retrospective of a Life Half Finished.”

The installment opened on Thursday, Sept.12, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 12, in the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery; works will be on view Thursday, Sept. 12, through Saturday, Dec. 7, in the Center for Western Studies. A gallery reception was Friday, Sept. 13, at the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery (artist's talk was at 7:30 p.m.) with additional viewing at the Center for Western Studies.

The exhibition celebrates the prolific life of Professor Emeritus of Art Carl Grupp, one of South Dakota's preeminent living artists. On view will be 120 works, many of which have never before been displayed.  While including some of Grupp’s most iconic works — from large-scale watercolor mountains to surrealist still-lifes — the installment will also feature works that Grupp had heretofore considered “half finished” or too experimental to show. These works most reveal Grupp’s development, working methods, and his relentlessly searching mind, which will add to a fuller understanding of this significant artist.

Read more ►


Through Sept. 7: "Dakota Territory Plains and Mountains" Art Exhibit

Friday, June 14, 2013

Robert Kolbe Collection poster

The Center for Western Studies (CWS) is excited to present "Dakota Territory Plains and Mountains: Images from the Robert Kolbe Collection." This remarkable gallery exhibit, on display through Saturday, Sept. 7, celebrates our heritage through a series of historic photographs from the private collection of Robert Kolbe.

The exhibit features more than 20 historical photographs of the Dakota territory from the 1866-1889 time period.

According to the CWS Education Assistant Kristi Thomas, all images featured were carefully selected by CWS staff from Robert Kolbe's collection of historical photographs.

Read more ►


June Event to Feature 'Early Views of Dakota Territory'

Monday, May 20, 2013

24th annual CWS June EventThe Center for Western Studies will host its 24th annual June Event, “Stepping into History: Early Views of Dakota Territory,” featuring dinner, entertainment and the premiere of the "Dakota Territory Plans and Mountains (1866-1889): Images from the Robert Kolbe Collection." Proceeds from the event will benefit the redesign and expansion of the Center's museum exhibits.

The June Event is the Center’s annual fundraiser and will be held in the Center's Madsen/Nelson/Elmen Galleries. Guests will be treated to a gourmet meal and music, featuring Ana Olivier at the piano. The evening begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and a presentation by Robert E. Kolbe. The event is sold out

Read more ►


May 11: "Saturdays at CWS" to Discuss Native Soul: An Insight into the Artwork of Jerry Fogg

Tuesday, May 1, 2013

Saturdays at CWS logo"Native Soul: An Insight into the Artwork of Jerry Fogg" is the topic of the upcoming “Saturdays at CWS” workshop event at 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, May 11. Hosted by the Center for Western Studies, the workshops are designed to bring additional educational opportunities to the Sioux Falls area.

The workshops are free, but registration is required. To register, contact Kristi Thomas, education assistant for the Center for Western Studies, at 605.274.4007. The Center for Western Studies is located in the Fantle Building at 2121 S. Summit Ave.

Read more ►


Apr 26-27: Dakota Conference on the Spanish Northern Plains

Monday, Apr 22, 2013

Detail from "Moonlight" by Gutzon BorglumEighty presenters from 15 states will gather to present papers and participate in panel discussions for the 45th annual Dakota Conference on Northern Plains History, Literature, Art and Archaeology, set for April 26-27 at the Center for Western Studies. The Conference will focus on Spanish exploration of, and Hispanic/Latino immigration to, the Northern Plains.

The Spanish were the first Europeans to explore and establish settlements on the Great Plains. Today, large Hispanic/ Latino populations live in the Northern Plains, especially in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado. In metropolitan Sioux Falls, for example, the Hispanic/ Latino population is now the largest minority, with more than 22,000 residents, the majority of whom come from Central America.

Read more ►


Through May 18: CWS Galleries Feature Artwork of Jerry Fogg

Poster for Native Soul: The Artwork of Jerry FoggMonday, March 4, 2013

The Center for Western Studies' newest exhibit features works by Native American artist Jerry Fogg. "Native Soul: The Artwork of Jerry Fogg" will be on display from Monday, March 4, through Saturday, May 18. A gallery reception including a gallery talk is set for 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20.

Yankton Sioux Oyate artist Jerry Fogg, Wanagi Tatanka (Bull Ghost), is a mixed-media, pencil and ink, acrylic and watercolor tribal artist. He is an advocate for Blood Run, Hiawatha Indian Insane Asylum and Pé Sla and a multi-mentor at Hawthorne Elementary in Sioux Falls.

Read more ►


April 13: "Saturdays at CWS" to Discuss Digital Photography

Monday, Feb 4, 2013

Saturdays at CWS logoGene Smith will discuss "Digital Photography" at the upcoming “Saturdays at CWS” workshop event, set for 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, April 13. Hosted by the Center for Western Studies, the workshops are designed to bring additional educational opportunities to the Sioux Falls area.

The workshops are free, but registration is required. To register, contact Kristi Thomas, education assistant for the Center for Western Studies, at 605.274.4007. The Center for Western Studies is located in the Fantle Building at 2121 S. Summit Ave.

Read more ►


Feb. 15-17: 33rd Annual Artists of the Plains Art Show & Sale

Monday, Jan. 28, 2013

Maple Leaf by Karlys WellsThe artwork of 26 local and regional artists will be on display Feb. 15-17 at the 33rd annual Artists of the Plains Art Show and Sale, sponsored by the Center for Western Studies at Augustana College.

The show will be held at the Holiday Inn City Centre, 100 W. 8th St., in downtown Sioux Falls and will feature artists representing four states. The event is free and open to the public. Hours are:

  • Friday, Feb. 15: 5-9 p.m. (premier showing and reception; awards ceremony will begin at 8 p.m.)
  • Saturday, Feb. 16: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 17: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Read more ►


Feb. 2: "Saturdays at CWS" Workshop to Discuss Art Collecting

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013

Saturdays at CWS logoKara Dirkson of Artísia Fine Art Services will discuss "Building Your Art Collection" at the upcoming “Saturdays at CWS” workshop event, set for 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2. Hosted by the Center for Western Studies, the workshops are designed to bring additional educational opportunities to the Sioux Falls area.

The workshops are free, but registration is required. To register, contact Kristi Thomas, education assistant for the Center for Western Studies, at 605.274.4007.

Read more ►


Presenters, Authors Sought for 45th Annual Dakota Conference

Monday, Jan. 14, 2013

Center for Western Studies Fantle BuildingThe Center for Western Studies (CWS) at Augustana College has issued a call for presenters and authors for the annual Dakota Conference on the Northern Plains, to be held April 26-27, on campus.

Now in its 45th year, the Dakota Conference seeks to examine issues of contemporary significance in their historical and cultural contexts through history, literature, art and archeology. Recent topics of interest have been water use, urbanization, the Black Hills and railroads, and Wounded Knee.

The theme for the 2013 Conference is “The Spanish Northern Plains.” The Center is seeking papers about Spanish exploration of and Hispanic/Latino immigration to the Northern Plains. Papers and sessions on all aspects of the Northern Plains are also welcome.

Read more ►


Through Feb. 2: CWS Gallery Feature Art of Russ Duerksen

Monday, Dec. 10, 2012

The Art of Russ DuerksenThe Center for Western Studies' newest exhibit features works by wildlife artist and South Dakota native Russ Duerksen.

"The Art of Russ Duerksen" will be on display from Monday, Dec. 10, through Saturday, Feb. 2.The gallery reception on Wednesday, Dec. 12, included a gallery talk.

Duerksen grew up in eastern South Dakota where he spent most of his youth on his grandparent’s farm and exploring the outdoors. His love for nature gave him inspiration to sketch the wildlife that he saw. This led Russ to a commercial art career and then to his dream of becoming a full-time professional artist.

Read more ►


Center for Western Studies Named Repository for Blue Cloud Abbey

Monday, Nov. 26, 2012

American Indian vest from CollectionAugustana College and the Office of the Abbot at Blue Cloud Abbey announced that the Center for Western Studies (CWS) has been named the repository for more than 4,000 books, 40,000 photographs and various artifacts from the Blue Cloud Abbey-American Indian Culture Research Center (AICRC) collection, previously housed at the Benedictine monastery near Marvin, S.D.

Founded in 1950 and once called “an oasis of spiritual peace and beauty in the midst of our overly busy and distracted world,” Blue Cloud Abbey officially closed on August 5.

Read more ►


In the News: Boe Forum speaker sees 'good, ill in digital frontier'

Friday, Nov. 9, 2012

Jared Cohen speaking at the 2012 Boe ForumMore than 2,000 people filled the Elmen Center last night to hear Jared Cohen, former advisor to Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, author, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and director of Google Ideas, speak at the 2012 Boe Forum on Public Affairs, presented by the Center for Western Studies.

Read and watch reaction to his address from the Argus Leader and KELO-TV:

Boe Forum: Seeing Good, Ill in Digital Frontier
Google Guru Says Nations Must Ready for Change
By Cody Winchester, Argus Leader

Institutions need to prepare for the promise and peril of the digital age, a public policy expert said Thursday night at Augustana College.

“Technology empowers people both for good and for ill,” said Jared Cohen, a former U.S. State Department adviser and director of Google Ideas (a “think/do” tank), speaking at the annual Boe Forum.

Read more ►