Open the doors to a Rapid City experience highly recommended by everyone who visits – Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries. Located in Downtown Rapid City, this shop spans half a block and stands two stories high. Inside you’ll be greeted with the soft sounds of a Lakota flute and sweet smells of sage and sweetgrass as you browse a collection of locally made products, Native American artwork, and more.
How it started:
Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries is a store and art gallery all in one. It was established by Ray Hillenbrand in the early 1980s with two primary purposes:
- Educate the public about and preserve the heritage and culture of Northern Plains Indians.
- Provide Northern Plains Indian artists an outlet for their finest work.
The building itself is also something to marvel at. The 1886 Clower building was restored in the early 1990s with the historic details being refurbished or accurately recreated.
What it is:
Prairie Edge is not your everyday souvenir shop. Instead of selling mass produced items, its filled with high-quality, handcrafted, unique items that will blow you away. The store is divided into sections which makes touring it a real pleasure and something you could spend hours doing. They sell blankets and quilts, herbs and botanicals, books and music, craft supplies, and of course a large selection of fine art. If you’re a big lover of organization, head to the bead library located on the second floor. It’s extremely satisfying to witness these glass cabinets display an impressive collection of beads all organized by color.
Why You Should Visit:
Not only is Prairie Edge a great place to view stunning artwork and find the perfect souvenir or gift for someone else, but they also offer other unique opportunities to visitors. They often host artists who sell their artwork at Prairie Edge in the store for you to meet, and occasionally even watch them create. It’s one thing to see the impressive final product, but when you get to have a conversation with the artist and maybe even watch the technique and time poured into a piece it’s powerful.