Sheryl Finch Named 2020-2021 Artist of the Year

May 21, 2024 | Black Hills Works Newsroom

Sheryl Finch’s art has been purchased from people around the country. Named Suzie Cappa Art Center’s 2020-2021 Artist of the Year, Sheryl is known for her colorful paintings of animals, especially llamas, owls, goats and most recently, roosters.

Yet, as recently as five years ago, Sheryl would have told you she was not creative. In 2015, a staff member with Black Hills Works suggested she give art a try at the Suzie Cappa Art Center.

“I was very nervous my first day at Suzie Cappa,” said Sheryl. “I was never very creative and didn’t know I could draw. But, then I thought ‘why not.’”

She started doing Mod Podge art, a process where paper or fabric is torn and layered on a canvas or object to create a textured, colorful look. She soon graduated to ink drawings and ultimately painting.

“Sheryl is always willing to challenge herself and has learned many new art techniques,” said Carla Julius, Studio Manager for the Suzie Cappa Art Center. “She is known for her paintings but she is always willing to try something new.”

Thanks to the possibilities opened up to her through art, Sheryl and her sister, Diane, started a business called Heart Works Crafts.

Sheryl meets a lot of people through their craft shows and is quick to sing the praises of the Suzie Cappa Art Center and Black Hills Works.

“I meet a lot of people with my business. I am always talking about Black Hills Works and telling them that I work at the Suzie Cappa Art Center,” she says with a smile. “I love it here. I love the staff.”

“Sheryl’s business with her sister, Diane, was inspired by her involvement in the Suzie Cappa Art Center,” said Carla. “She and her sister even went to Maine for the opening of the Road Ahead Show, a traveling contemporary art show featuring artists with disabilities from around the country.”

Family is very important to Sheryl. She has two beautiful grandchildren and a third on the way. Her young nephews have also “shadowed” her during a workday at the Suzie Cappa Art Center.

Sheryl enjoys using her imagination every day and learning new techniques in the classes offered at the art center. Sheryl’s kind and vibrant personality is reflected in each of her pieces.


Doing Our Part

May 21, 2024 | Press Release

EchoWorks, part of Black Hills Works and located at the Western Dakota Tech campus, is open for business after a brief closure in response to COVID-19. EchoWorks, which recycles old electronics and provides an integrated work environment for people with disabilities, while also utilizing Western Dakota Tech students in key aspects of the program. 

“We are delighted to welcome EchoWorks and its employees to our campus,” said Dr. Ann Bolman, President of Western Dakota Tech. “EchoWorks is providing an e-recycling option in our community and is offering our students with unique career building experiences that augment our instruction very well.” 

By law, the Rapid City landfill cannot accept electronics for disposal or recycling, even to hold for EchoWorks, yet there are more than 1,000 toxic substances associated with e-waste. Improper disposal can lead to soil, water, food and air contamination. E- waste is the fastest growing hazardous solid waste in the world. 

Open since the beginning of the year, consumer and businesses have already dropped off more than 10,000 pounds of old laptops, desktop computers, cell phones, office phones, flat screen monitors, flat screen televisions, printers, copiers, fax machines, cords and other items. EchoWorks is also able to shred hard drives to ensure privacy, offering a certificate of destruction.  EchoWorks does charge a modest fee for most items, to help cover the cost of recycling those items. 

EchoWorks is made possible due grants from the Black Hills Area and South Dakota Community Foundations. 

“We are very grateful to these Foundations for their support in making EchoWorks possible for the people we support and our community, and to Dr. Bolman for welcoming us to her campus,” said Dr. Serna. “And, we are grateful to area citizens and businesses for their willingness to recycle with us. The fees for most items are modest and cover our business costs, while also helping people with disabilities and our environment.” 

To find out more about what EchoWorks recycles and associated fees, visit https://www.blackhillsworks.org/programs-services/enterprises/echoworks/ or call 718-3000.

A Unique New Business Venture

May 21, 2024 | Press Release

In August 2020, BH Services, part of Black Hills Works, took ownership of Unique Auto Grooming at 127 Poplar Avenue and began providing car detailing services. Kelly Lambert, the original owner of Unique Auto, thankfully shared his knowledge and expertise prior to his leaving to provide a seamless transition. Services available include exterior and interior cleaning and detailing, headlight restoration services, and cleaning under the hood of the car. The business is open Monday through Friday from 8AM-4:30PM.   

To better assist people with disabilities in working at Unique Auto Grooming, some technology was purchased and installed, including a new floor mat cleaner and wall-mounted shop vacs. With these new tools, seven people supported through Black Hills Works are successfully working at Unique Auto, earning minimum wage, and work alongside five staff.  

Partnerships with community partners have been essential in the success of this new enterprise. McKie Auto contracts with Unique Auto to provide all the car detailing services for vehicles in their fleet. BH Services is also partnering with a class at South Dakota Mines. The students spent time researching and observing the work at Unique Auto in order to develop additional technologies to further assist people supported in being successful in their jobs.    

Due to the rapid success of Unique Auto, plans to expand into the adjoining building are underway, with the hopes to be operational by early spring 2021.  

Gift certificates are available and appointments can be made by calling 605-342-7222. For more information, check out Unique Auto Grooming on Facebook.