Simplified: Sioux Falls artists Melanie and Les Cotton are opening a hybrid art gallery and gift shop downtown. Their hope is to create a community and a space to highlight up-and-coming and mid-career artists from the region.

Tell me more

The shop is called Rose + Eugene Presents, a name that honors the couple's middle names. It's located in the Cascade building on Phillips Avenue.

It's opening Friday April 7 with its inaugural show, "Uncharted Territories: An Exploration of Risk and Creativity."

Why it matters

  • Owning a gallery is a lifelong dream, Melanie Cotton said, and after nearly a decade managing Sticks and Steel, she's hoping her experience with art wholesale, retail, consignment and marketing will help young artists try new things.
  • Sioux Falls has a strong art scene, and with Rose + Eugene, the goal is to create a niche for contemporary, youthful, out-of-the-box art, Cotton added.
  • She's also hoping the shop makes art more fun and accessible for people – noting that there's sometimes a misperception that art has to be "serious" or "elitist."
"We're making it really down to earth," Cotton said. "If you like something, it's for you. If you like it, it's good."

What can I expect when the shop opens?

Rose + Eugene is having a soft opening Friday to coincide with the opening of its first gallery show.

On the retail side, they've got everything from cards to stickers to original artworks.

And in the gallery, they've got 500-square feet of space dedicated to showcasing artists from the Great Plains, the Midwest and the Rocky Mountains.

The Uncharted Territory show features a number of well-known Sioux Falls artists, including Cameron Stalheim, Les Cotton and others.

  • In recognition of this new space, artists featured were all asked to do something they haven't before.
"The thing that’s on the back of their brain that they’ve wanted to try but been unwilling to try – they had to run with it," Melanie Cotton said.

What happens next?

The Rose + Euguene Presents gallery is expected to be updated every two to three months. Check out their website for hours and updates.