Prairie Star Gallery Closing After Nearly 20 Years In Downtown SF

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 From the outside looking in, one could not tell that the Prairie Star Gallery in downtown Sioux Falls will be closing up shop.

“We are saying goodbye to so many people,” says owner Linda Boyd, “but we want the artists and the crafts people and all the native families and others who have supported us for 20 years to be able to come in and want to be able to talk about memories.”

Sunday afternoon people all across the Sioux Empire came to final open house. This time no sales or purchases of any kind, but rather a time for those who frequented the store to reflect on its time.

After nearly 20 years of selling Native American artwork, and teaching the culture, Boyd has decided it was time for her to retire.

“We are leaving because we are almost 70,” says Boyd, “it is time to spend time with our son and daughter-in-law, grandchildren, friends and some time to ourselves.”

But the decision to close the gallery didn’t come easy.

Glenn Janis has sold his artwork at the gallery since the business opened. He says the city is losing much more than just a business.

“The native people have been here for ages,” he commented, “to lose something like this they will be losing a lot, too.”

Boyd says she tried to sell the business to another passionate curator, but financial strains made it impossible.

“I started at 62, to look for a possible owner of the gallery. [Someone] who would support native art upfront, buy upfront,” she added, “but we have a terrific investment in the art and artists and it’s an investment at risk.”

Boyd then turned to the city for a bailout, but says she received push back.

“We tried to form a foundation, but people in the city talk the talk of culture and diversity but they do not really, when it gets down to it, walk the walk.”

She hopes that someone in the community will step up to keep this cultural landmark in downtown.

“I just think it’s a big loss for the city of Sioux Falls,” says Janis.