BROOKINGS – A new mural went up on The Brookings Register’s east wall Tuesday. The design and painting were done by Pandr Design Company from San Diego, incorporating local elements. The mural is part of the South Dakota Department of Tourism’s “State of Create” campaign and they are working with the Brookings Arts Council, according to the Brookings Chamber of Commerce.

The state Department of Tourism announced on Oct. 1 it was partnering with the South Dakota Arts Council to launch the fall social media campaign called “State of Create,” according to the state Department of Tourism’s website. 

“The focus is really to put a spotlight on our arts in South Dakota and all the wonderful things that all of our communities from east to west have to offer,” Jim Hagen, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, told the Register Tuesday. He added they wanted a better way to tie arts and tourism together.

Out-of-state social media influencers “will be invited to South Dakota to learn about the state’s arts scene and to create their own individual art pieces based on their experiences traveling through the state,” according to the website.

“One of the communities that we knew we wanted to try to partner with is Brookings because it’s such a vibrant city and has such a great art scene,” Hagen said.

They wanted to do something in the eastern half of the state, “especially on I-29, what we call the ‘cultural corridor.’ And we’re all such big fans of Brookings,” he said because of the “dynamic” downtown and local Arts Council. 

The Brookings Arts Council was all for a partnership and said right away they knew of a spot for the mural, Hagen said.

The Register building is the only place in Brookings that is getting artwork through the State of Create program. “And Brookings is the only community in the state that is getting a mural,” Hagen said. 

Murals have become an attraction for visitors, he added.

“They love to go to these murals, love to take photos of them, like to be photographed in front of them and put a hashtag on it and then place it on their social media platform. And it really becomes a draw,” Hagen said.

The new mural isn’t as large as the one on the Register’s west wall. 

“We didn’t want to take up the entire space,” Hagen said, adding there is still room for other artists to come and add to that wall.

Launched in late September, “State of Create” will span the fall and early winter months, according to the website. This campaign will feature a muralist, illustrator, motorcycle enthusiast, and creative podcaster. Local artists will be from several different counties and regions across South Dakota.

It’s a great way to partner with other artists, bring them into the state and introduce them to locals who can share the great things about South Dakota and their communities, Hagen said.

The mural and other works created across the state are funded by the Department of Tourism’s marketing funds, which are used to promote South Dakota.

So far, the campaign has been doing well.

“I think there’s great pride in being able to showcase the art in your own community and allowing visitors to experience that art,” said Katlyn Richter, director of global media and public relations with the state Department of Tourism. “We’re just really looking forward to how this campaign will run for us.”

“So far, we’ve just been so pleased and the reaction has just been wonderful,” Hagen said, and they are already considering how they will proceed in the future. 

“The arts are in our fabric here, in everything we do, so we want to keep extending this into the future, years into the future,” he said. 

COURTESY OF: The Brookings Register

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