Photography by Elizabeth Lucille Photography
Sitting down with South Dakota artist Altman Studeny at Exposure Gallery & Studios is refreshing for so many different reasons. His insatiable passion for art, history, and the state is constantly growing each week as he travels from town to town as a resident artist for the South Dakota Arts Council. Some also might recognize Studeny for his column in Plankinton’s newspaper, the South Dakota Mail – a column he’s written for since he was 12 years old.
Tell us about your history with Plankinton, where you grew up and currently reside.
Altman Studeny: I came back when I got out of grad school in Maine and started teaching at Aurora Plains Academy, so I was the art instructor at the treatment facility in Plankinton. I was doing that for three years, and while there was taking my vacation time to do projects for the South Dakota Arts Council. I feel really connected to Plankinton; my mom’s family has been around Plankinton for a really long time. The newspaper has been in her family for 85 of its 125 years. I’m the fourth generation to be involved with it. While I was growing up I really liked poking through the archives and reading – kind of yellowing –pages from the ‘30s and the ‘40s and earlier. There’s all sorts of these crazy stories about locust swarms and baseball teams entirely made of brothers…
AS: Right?! These bizarre little facts that were mentioned in passing that became almost mythological to me. I have liked being around Plankinton because of a connectivity to those stories. There’s always something inspiring to find out that can be the start of a project.
To read the full interview, click here.