American Art Awards Names Best Gallery Or Museum In South Dakota, 2022: South Dakota Art Museum

Thom Bierdz
5 min readJun 1, 2022


Each year the American Art Awards selects the 20 Best Galleries And Museums In America; only one museum or gallery per state per year. Among other criteria, selections are based on years established, industry reputation, online buzz, location, size, socially relevant exhibits, motivational and educational programs, represented artists as well as artist, client and visitor references.

American Art Awards: “We considered thousands of the most established art venues from Hawaii to Maine. This year we chose five museums, one with an impeccable reputation for 125 years, one about 80, one about 50, one about 40, and one fairly new. We selected a Mid-West art center doing important community work for 44 years, and a lively Southern gallery linked to a 5 day festival. Most the galleries we selected are heralded longtime landmarks with expansive interiors perfect for exhibiting today’s contemporary masters. Many have several locations and cater specifically to regional collectors with regional artwork, but just as many represent all genres of work from all levels of national and international artisans.

“We selected South Dakota Art Museum as Best Gallery or Museum in South Dakota, 2022, and one of American Art Awards 20 Best Galleries / Museums in America, 2022. For over 50 years, SDAM has excelled in delivering everything a top museum can — and consistently surpasses expectations. SDAM delights and educates regional and international visitors, featured artists, and especially the students and faculty at South Dakota State University who regularly incorporate its exhibits and collections into their course work.

“Its extensive permanent collection of thousands of rare artifacts impress all — in-house or on national traveling exhibitions. The shows and programs are always pertinent, relevant and educational.

“SDAM exhibits work from many artists with ties to South Dakota, including acclaimed painter Harvey Dunn, children’s book author and illustrator Paul Goble and noted Native American artists such as Arthur Amiotte and Oscar Howe, as well as many emerging Native artists. It also seeks out artists and traveling exhibitions that bring fresh and challenging perspectives from outside the state such as sculptors Richard Van Buren (Maine/NY) and Gisela Colon (CA), Ojibwe painter Rabbett Before Horses Strickland (WI) and many more. In fact, with 15–17 exhibitions per year rotating through its seven galleries there seems to always be something new to experience in person and online.

“Also of note is the museum’s groundbreaking collaboration with the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS) to deliver educational art exhibitions addressing challenging issues such as the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 and the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Contemporary Lakota artists, poets and musicians create works that explore these topics from a fresh and personal perspective that stimulates conversation as well as reflection.”


Since 1970, the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings has been a place for people around the world to enjoy the artistic legacy of South Dakota in all its diversity. Rotating exhibits feature Harvey Dunn, Native American art, Marghab Linens and Paul Goble; as well as exhibits curated from regional, national and international artists.

The museum has more than 7,000 objects in its collection including paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, textiles, and ceramics. The museum store features jewelry, pottery, and original works of art by local and regional artists in addition to books on South Dakota history and culture.

The South Dakota Art Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). This accreditation recognizes the Museum’s commitment and demonstration of the highest professional standards for education, public service and collections care.

The museum’s mission statement: As stewards of the state’s art treasures, the South Dakota Art Museum collects, preserves and exhibits visual art to provide access and education, to foster appreciation of the visual arts for the people of South Dakota and its visitors.


South Dakota Art Museum

On the South Dakota State University campus on Medary Ave at Harvey Dunn Street, next to the Campanile.

1036 Medary Ave., Brookings, SD 57007 / 605.688.5423



TWITTER: annually awards 20 museums and galleries in spring, and with their critique in autumn, awards 300+ artists (painters, photographers, sculptors and digital artists).



Thom Bierdz

One of Medium’s TOP ART CONTRIBUTORS, award-winning author, actor, film-maker, painter. 12 books: 6 on art. President of WAA & AAA.