Lori Nonnast, owner of Jon Crane Gallery & Custom Framing in Hill City, has been championing local art in the Black Hills for decades. Nonnast explained a bit about Jon Crane’s legacy.
“John Crane has been here in the Black Hills for 47 years, painting his very highly detailed watercolors,” said Nonnast. “[He paints] a lot of the local scenes, which people love because they love to display their favorite places in their home, but he does do scenes from all over the country and loves to travel, loves to climb to the top of the mountain and see what he can see and find the next best thing to paint.”
Jon and Gale Crane opened the gallery on Main Street, Hill City in 1995, an ran it until 2005 when Nonnast purchased the space from them. Since 2005, Nonnast has expanded the gallery’s range beyond just Crane’s work, and it now features numerous artists from the Black Hills area.
“We do showcase a few different local artists. We have huge photography, which we’re very excited to showcase because it really has a dynamic presence for a home or office. Joel Billstein is our feature photographer. We also have Peggy Detmers, who is our bronze sculpture.
We have Barb Halberg from Nemo who does pottery, and we have several other different wood artists. We have Greg Radley who does amazing furniture, and then we have a local artist, Gary Anderson, who loves to do different things like trains out of wood, fun things like that.”
Another of Nonnast’s additions to the gallery is a custom framing shop.
“So, that [framing] is how I got into the business. I learned how to do custom picture framing in college— that was my part time job— and found out that I loved it, loved working with my hands. So, I’ve been doing that for 32 years plus.”
Nonnast’s love for art and curating the art gallery is evident in her work, and she believes the art of South Dakota is some of the best the country has to offer.
“I am a designer at heart, so I just absolutely love putting things together and making it look its best.” said Nonnast. “Vignettes, making it feel like what it would look like in a home and showcasing people’s art— for a rural state of South Dakota, we’re outrageously blessed with talent.
The gallery is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., but hours will reduce to 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in the fall. The gallery is closed every Sunday.
For more information, visit the Jon Cane Gallery and Custom Framing website here.