Robert J. Aldern An Artist Life Revealed

Join us for the opening reception of An Artist Life Revealed. Friday November, 2nd from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The Exhibition will be open from November 2nd to December 29th. Works include never-before-exhibited paintings, still life, liturgical and figure studies. All pieces will be available for purchase from multiple price points. Part of the proceeds will go to the Robert Aldern Art Scholarship at Augustana University.


Robert Aldern was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1929. He received his BFA from the University of Hartford, Hartford School of Art, Hartford, Connecticut. Aldern also has a BA from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Throughout his career, Aldern received numerous awards for his art and is listed in “Who’s Who in America.”

Sioux Falls, SD, January 16, 1929

Joey Grunwald, Sturgis, SD, 1951
Four children: Brad (deceased), Marlys, Noreen, Jared Seven grandchildren, nine great – grandchildren


1954-57 -BFA,HartfordArtSchool,UniversityofHartford, Hartford, CT, Ruth Cheney Memorial award for “Special Achievement,” Gedney Bunce Award in “recognition of outstanding accomplishments”

1947-51 -BA,AugustanaCollege,SiouxFalls,SD
1950 – Summer study with Jean Charlot, San Diego, CA 1947 – Graduated, Washington High School, Sioux Falls, SD


1957-2011  -Owner/operator of Aldern Art Studio, working as architectural and liturgical artist-consultant and producing own work

1991- 2011  -Artist-in-Residence, Dir. of the Center for Liturgical Art, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD

1980-91  -Professor of Art, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD

1980-88  -Chair, Art Dept., Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD

1982  -Directed SD Arts Co. 5-week drawing workshop for professional artists, Sioux Falls, SD

1981. -Lecturer, “Artist as Mural Painter,” USD, SD College Art Assn. Painting Seminar, Vermillion,SD

1968-80  -Professor of Art, University of SD, Vermillion, SD

1968-73  -Chair, Dept. of Art, USD, Vermillion, SD

1975  -Conducted drawing workshop for SD Arts Co., Winner, SD

1968. -Art Director for International Peace Gardens, Bottineau, ND

1966-68  -Artist-In-Residence, SD State University, Brookings, SD

1964-66  -Served as Artistic Consultant to the Catholic Diocese of Eastern SD

1961-64  -Director of Sioux Falls Civic Fine Arts Center, Sioux Falls, SD

1960-61  – One-year teaching assignment at Augustana College

1954-57- Worked as draughtsman for mechanical engineers (Van Zelm & Assoc)., Hartford, CT

1958-61  -Worked as draughtsman for architect (Harold Spitznagel), Sioux Falls, SD

1951-54  -Worked as draftsman in United States Air Force

1951-52. -Taught evening art class, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH

1957-2011. -Juried numerous shows


2008 -Triptych , Our Savior’s Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD

2007 -Red oak panel – Dougherty Hospice House, Avera Mckennan Hospital

2006  -Narthex triptych (oak panels) Messiah New Hope Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD

2005 -Narthex triptych (oak panel) Augustana Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD

2005  -Restoration of altar painting, Benton Lutheran, Crooks, SD

2004  -Narthex Triptych (oak panels) St. Mark’s Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD

2004  -Laser cut steel Christ figure, Good Samaritan Chapel, Sioux Falls, SD

2004  -Restoration of Eide fresco, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD

2003  -Four large paintings (oil on masonite) “Wedding at Cana”, Knutson home, Iowa

2003  -City, IA Decorative cross, Brakke home, Dallas, TX

2003  -Restoration of altar painting, West Nidaros Lutheran, Crooks, SD

2002  -Restoration of altar paintings, First Lutheran Church, Sherman, SD

2001  -Red oak stained cross, Gloria Dei Lutheran Chapel, Sioux Falls, SD

2000  -Eight large laser cut steel panels, SD Rest Stop, Chamberlain, SD

2000  -Three large paintings (stained wood) front wall, Great Room, Jerstad Center, SD

1999  -Good Samaritan Offices, Sioux Falls, SD

1999  -Stained glass window, Christ the King Catholic Chapel, Sioux Falls, SD

1999 -Three large paintings (stained wood) Jerstad Center, (back wall) Good Samaritan Offices, Sioux Falls, SD

1997 -Four paintings (oil on masonite) Corporate Office, Sioux Valley Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD

1997 -16 paintings (oil on wood), Reredos, Gloria Dei Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD

1997 -Design of Monument for Mark Jerstad, Sioux Falls, SD

1997 -Triptych, St. Elizabeth Anne Seton Catholic Church, Groton, SD

1996  -Painting (oil on masonite), “Trinity” – Trinity Lutheran Church, Arlington, SD

1996  -Design of furnishings and cross, Southern Hills United Methodist, Sioux Falls,SD

1996 -Stained glass window, Messiah New Hope Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD

1995 -Landscape painting, Dacotah Bank, Sioux Fall, SD

1995-96  -Choir screen (oil on wood), Eucharistic panel, and design of furnishings, Christ the King Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, SD

1994 -Lobby stained red oak mural, McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD

1993  -Triptych (stained wood), Good Samaritan Corporate Office, Sioux Falls, SD

1992 -Design of exterior brick relief wall for Washington High School, Sioux Falls, SD
Four large paintings for lobby wall, Commercial National Bank, Mitchell, SD

1991  -Processional cross, First English Lutheran Church, Lennox, SD

1990 -Two large paintings (oil on masonite), Northwest Bank (now Wells Fargo), Sioux Falls, SD (donated to Augustana College)

1990 -Stained wood mural, Sioux Valley Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD

1989-90  -Furnishings design and liturgical consultant, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, SD

1988 -Sanctuary wall, gold leaf on wood, King of Glory Lutheran Church, Dallas, TX

1986  -Color consultant to West Nidaros Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD

1985 -Painting of St. Michael (wood stain), St. Michaels Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, SD


1984  -14 reredos paintings (oil on wood), Augustana College Chapel, Sioux Falls, SD

1982  -Restoration of paintings, Grant Co. Courthouse, Milbank, SD

1981  -Artistic consultant, design of sanctuary furniture, St Michael’s Catholic, Sioux Falls, SD

1980  -Consultant to Storla Lutheran Church, Letcher, SD

1979  -Color consultant for USD Dakota Dome, Vermillion, SD

1979  -Wood stain panel for narthex, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, Watertown, SD

1976 -Lobby wall (oil on canvas) (destroyed) Plains Clinic, Sioux Falls, SD

1974 -Chapel wall (oil on brick), Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD

1973  -Sanctuary wall (stained wood), Luther Center, Vermillion, SD

1970 -Wood stain panel for narthex, Trinity Lutheran Church, Madison, SD

1969  -Consultant for and design of sanctuary furnishings, St. John’s Catholic, Arlington, SD

1969 -Consultant for and design of sanctuary furnishings, Centerville Catholic, Centerville, SD Wood stained relief, narthex wall, First Congregational Church, Rapid City,

1969  -Consultant for and design of revisions to sanctuary, UCC, Yankton, SD

1967 -Reredos art forms, (block prints) International Lutheran Youth Conventions, Dallas TX, and Seattle, WA

1967  -Sanctuary furnishings, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Montrose, SD

1967 -Consultant for and design of sanctuary furnishings, St. Magdalene Catholic, Lennox, SD

1967 -Paintings and altar for Meditation Room, Brookings Hospital, Brookings, SD

1966  – Lobby wall (oil on wood), Vermillion High School, Vermillion, SD

1966  -Two oil paintings for narthex wall, Danebod Lutheran, Tyler, MN

1966  -Nave doors (stained wood) Episcopal Church, Watertown, SD

1966  -Stations of the Cross and sanctuary furnishings, Newman Center, Vermillion, SD

1965  -Sanctuary wall (brick), First Lutheran Church, St. Peter, MN

1965 -Portrait of Bishop Roberts, All Saints School, Sioux Falls, SD

1965  -Wood stain, Chapel Sanctuary Wall, Jehovah Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN

1965  -six panels (oil on plaster) for Town Club, Sioux Falls, SD

1965  -Wood stain, Pius XII Student Center, Brookings, SD

1965  -Three mosaic tile murals, School of Mines, Rapid City, SD

1965  -Stations of the Cross, Christ the King Catholic Church, Sioux Fall, SD

1964. -Reredos art forms (stained wood) & sanctuary furnishings, International Lutheran Youth Convention, Detroit, MI

1961 -Reredos art forms, (oil on masonite) International Lutheran Youth Convention,
Miami Beach, FL (Given to Augustana College, now used in the Elmen Center
Rogness Memorial

1961  -Mural (stained wood) (destroyed), Home Federal Savings and Loan, Sioux Falls, SD

1960  -Chancel wall (oil on brick), Grace Lutheran Church, Sturgis, SD

1961  -Mural in lobby entrance (destroyed), Western Surety Co., Sioux Falls, SD

1960  -Chancel wall (oil on brick), Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD

1959  -Mosaic tile pool and porcelain enamel doors, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, SD

1959  -Design on sound baffle, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, SD


Served as artistic consultant for numerous churches and public buildings.
Served as juror for many organizations and shows.
Represented in many public and private collections.
Restored paintings, Grant County Courthouse, Milbank, SD; West Nidaros Lutheran Church, Baltic,

as well as privately owned paintings.
Invited lecturer, “Artist as Mural Painter,” USD, SD College Art Assn. Painting Seminar, Vermillion, SD Directed 5-week drawing workshop for 12 professional artists working from the human figure.
Taught at International Music Camp, Bottineau, ND
Designed numerous bulletins, programs, brochures, etc. for area churches.


 2007   -Article on work in Thrivent magazine

2005   -Represented in “A New South Dakota History”, published by Western Studies, Augustana College,Sioux Falls, SD

1997   -“South Dakota” Magazine – article on work by John Day (July/August)
1997   -Tape interview for SDPB
1970  -AIA Journal
1969  -15-minute tape on work for SDETV
1969  -13 posters accompanying 56 page religious instruction booklet, The Writing on the Wall”, published by the ALC curriculum of Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, MN “Time for Renewal,” a half-hour taped television interview project in 8 states, taped on Channel 1, Minneapolis, MN

1968   -Photo of sanctuary wall, First Lutheran Church, St. Peter, MN, reproduced in Art in Architecture by Louise G. Redstone, F.A.I.A., published by McGraw-Hill Publishing Co.

1967  -Reproduction of works published in “Liturgical Arts Quarterly”

1967  -Article published in Northwest A.I.A. Journal, “Art and Architecture”

–  March issue of Great Plains Observe

–  Tape “Time for Renewal”, KTCA TV, St. Paul, Channel 2

1963  -Work reproduced in “One” for Lutheran Youth (December and April)

1963  -“Lutheran Teacher”

1962   -September issue of The Lutheran Standard

            -May issue of The Lutheran Teacher

-Photos of work in “Northwest Architect”

1961    -Article published in A.I.A. Journal of the American Institute of Architects

1960   -Photo of work in “Picture Magazine”, Minneapolis Sunday Tribune

1959   -Liturgical Arts Quarterly


Festival of Art, Dayton, Ohio (first award); Connecticut Academy Show; Art USA Show, Madison Square Garden, NYC; Salzburg Biennial, Salzburg, Austria; National Small Painting Show, Omaha University, Omaha, NE; Southwest Minnesota Touring Exhibition; Southwest states’ touring show, Oklahoma State Arts Council; Museum of American Craft, NYC; Pillsbury Show, “The Challenge of the Land,”

(purchase award), Minneapolis, MN 1981; numerous regional and traveling exhibitions and purchase awards. Curated “Religion, Legend, Lore, and Myth” Exhibition for Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City, IA., 1990. Lutheran college faculty art exhibit (purchase award) Lutheran Brotherhood, Minneapolis, MN. (1990) Two-year traveling retrospective exhibition (covering 40 years of work) 1997-1999; Retrospective, Washington Pavilion and Augustana College, 2008


Suite of drawings completed via a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the SD Arts Council.


South Dakota Memorial Art Center, Brookings, SD Visual Arts Center, Sioux Falls, SD
Sioux Falls Beautiful, Sioux Falls, SD


1998- 2001  -Who’s Who in America

2008     -Cambridge Who’s Who

2004     -Emeritus Board Member Award, Visual Arts Center, Sioux Falls, SD

2003     -First place in Schoolhouse Drawing competition by Spitznagel & Asso., Sioux Falls, SD

2000     -Mayor’s Award for Achievement in the Arts, Sioux Falls, SD
2000     -Who’s Who in the World

1997     -Spitznagel Award for Artistic Achievement, Sioux Falls,

1997     -Governor’s award in the Arts for Distinction in Creative Achievement, Pierre, SD
1985    -SD Arts Council Senior Artist Fellowship – $5,000
1997     -Alumni Achievement Award, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD

1972     -“Personalities of the West & Midwest”

1967    -Honorable Mention – Liturgical Conference

1959    -Silver medal by the New York Architectural League for design on sound baffleat St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, SD

1957   -Gedney Bunce Award by Hartford Art School, U of Hartford, Hartford, CT,
given to outstanding student

– Numerous purchase awards