Help Deborah Mitchell rebuild her studio

On December 6, 2020, an arsonist set several fires in the West Boulevard area in Rapid City, SD., causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages. One of those fires was on Deborah Mitchell’s property.

Deborah Mitchell is an established artist and retired art professor in Rapid City. The Dec. 6 fire destroyed a building on her property that housed an art studio where she had planned to create a teaching space for aspiring printmakers. The building was not only a studio, but also a building on Rapid City's historical register. This building housed art supplies, printmaking equipment, teaching materials from her years as a professor, collectable art books and periodicals, and some of her early works. 

The studio was in the back of her garden and accessible with a door directly adjacent to the yard which was convenient for classes and other art related events in the lovely outdoor “Garden Gallery”. This past summer, she worked tirelessly to create the Garden Gallery where she hosted the reception for the Virtual Fall Colors Studio Tour as well as conducted open air classes in watercolor, drawing, and mosaics. These classes gave the community a taste of what was planned for the post Covid 19 future.  

Since her retirement, the studio had become an important part of her artistic life where she experimented with diverse media and created her yearly Christmas cards. Her hopes to supplement her income through small classes and letterpress products were dashed by the fire.  She has lost the studio and equipment in the fire,  important assets that were to facilitate those dreams.

Insurance will not completely cover the rebuilding of the structure to make it a functioning studio and unfortunately will only pay $20,000 for the building and $1000 for the contents which covers only a fraction of replacing what was lost.

This studio building was not only important to Deborah’s artistic life but has also become an important part of our community’s artistic life. She needs help to rebuild and re-establish this environment for artistic growth.

Preliminary research on replacing the building:
Estimates for excavating and concrete work are well over $10,000.
A garage kit alone is between $15,000 - $17,000. Not including construction.
Construction $15-20,000
Interior workspace:
 Shelving and cabinetry: $10,000
Electricity, lighting, and  heat: $5,000
Water, plumbing, and utility sink: $5,000-10,000
Flooring: $2000

  Article by Rapid City Journal:


  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 19 hrs
  • William Fleming 
    • $200 
    • 1 d
  • Ernest Grafe 
    • $50 
    • 1 d
  • Deanna Pfeifle 
    • $100 
    • 4 d
  • James Sheehan 
    • $50 
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See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Deb Lux 
Rapid City, SD
Deborah Mitchell 
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