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New downtown business combines art galley with retail store

April 21, 2023

Part gift shop, part gallery and fully artist-driven is the vision behind the newest addition to downtown Sioux Falls.

Rose and Eugene Presents opened this month on the first floor of The Cascade at 701 N. Phillips Ave.

“I always wanted to do this,” owner Melanie Cotton said. “I have sketches in my high school notebooks of what this could possibly look like, and I just didn’t have the experience that I needed.”

She gained that experience for years working at Sticks & Steel, where she said owner Terri Schuver “was a huge mentor to me. She taught me so much, and I just finally felt comfortable and felt the time was right — the spirit of the city and where I was at in my evolution seemed good,” she said.

“Throughout the entire space, there are so many ways for creatives to take their career, and we want to be able to support them in all those avenues and maybe even educate them a little bit.”

The name of the business reflects her and her husband’s middle names, which also came from family.

The retail side of the business features about a half-dozen categories of merchandise, from bath and beauty to stickers and pins, digital prints, original prints and ways to display arts, as well as candles, jewelry, games and other gift items.

Many of the artists represented are from the Midwest.

“They’re doing really cool, original things,” Cotton said, adding the store also represents a chance for local artists to explore selling wholesale as they “hope to keep it authentic and genuine and provide to a bigger audience.”

The hope is to keep pricing accessible for many.

“This provides anybody, absolutely anybody, the opportunity to have an original piece of artwork for under $30. It is for everybody,” Cotton said. “I would say that’s the big space we’re filling.”

The other side of the space is dedicated to a rotating gallery for local artists. The current show, “Uncharted Territories,” was meant as “a challenge to those creatives to actually do … the thing they want to do … even if it’s just a sketch, just taking the next step.”

That will be up through the end of April, and then there will be a show from Walter Portz that explores the use of artificial intelligence in creating art.

“I’m super excited about it,” Cotton said. “We’re having this dialogue super early in the space. He’s combining AI with his photography and his street art, and I think it’s really amazing the way the work is going to be presented.”

There also will be special events, including one Saturday for Earth Day where guests can craft “seed bombs” for $2 each or three for $5.

“You make these little seed balls — it’s literally wildflowers, clay and dirt — and when you see space that needs beautifying, you throw them in,” Cotton said. “We want to combine a lot of different creative communities. It could be art, it could be fashion, it could be music. If you’re a creative in the Midwest, we’re here to support you.”

She chose the space in The Cascade for its natural light and proximity to other galleries.

“I like that Ipso is down the street and Rehfeld’s is down the street and the Museum of Visual Materials,” she said. “I like that there’s a neighborhood forming.”

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

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