New artist studio building going up near Kyle

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KYLE, S.D. (KOTA TV) Artists on the Pine Ridge Reservation will soon have new state of the art studio spaces. The new building to be put up near Kyle was announced Wednesday.

The nearly $3 million project will break ground this fall right next to the Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce and across the road from Oglala Lakota College. The 8,500 square foot building will house studio space, classroom as well as film production facilities. It's a partnership in part between First Peoples Fund and Lakota Funds which have focused on the economic impact Native Artists can bring to reservation communities.

"In one year we'll be really a live active space with studio space for artists, film space for artists, working space for quilters. Just whatever the artists want to be in that space," said Lori Pourier, president of First Peoples Fund. "We're going to be doing some exciting things in that space down there."

And the new art space isn't the only thing happening in the Kyle area where there is a certain bustle in the air.

Just down the road at Sharp's corner the Thunder Valley projects are picking up steam. The first homes in the development are nearing completion and families are expected to move in this spring. And a new Quilting Cooperative is opening ups shop just outside Kyle.

And now comes the announcement of the new multi million dollar art space.

"I think this will be a tremendous addition to what we've already got going on in this area," said Ivan Sorbel, executive director of the Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce. "This is just going to be an added boost to the area in economics. It's just a really good thing for our area of the reservation."

Sorbel said he hopes all the activity builds on itself and spurs additional growth.

"We hope that it probably will, especially in the area of tourism," he said. "The chamber of commerce developed the visitor center here and we've put a lot of emphasis on the arts and we think this new addition will increase the emphasis on the arts and local artists and have a very good impact."

And perhaps that impact can spread for years and decades to come.

"So the future generations will be able to see the world through a different lens than we saw growing up," said Pourier.

The quilting coop grand opening is scheduled for this Friday at 1 p.m. just outside Kyle.