Capp becomes 34th SHS Fine Arts Hall of Fame inductee

December 14, 2017 GMT

SPEARFISH — Tuesday, the 34th inductee was welcomed into the Spearfish High School Fine Arts Hall of Fame: Jared “Cappie” Capp, Class of 1995, was inducted into the hall of fame under the visual arts, architecture, category.

Rosalie Aslesen, of the fine arts hall of fame committee, described that Capp joined the U.S. Air Force after high school graduation and would travel the world, seeing 61 countries and all 50 states by the time he returned to Spearfish 15 years later.

“He has been actively involved in various building projects in the area for several years,” she said.

Capp, who owns Pangea Design, a construction company specializing in natural building that also offers conventional building focused on reused, natural, and locally-sourced materials, is known for his experience with a variety of natural building projects. For example, his own home, a code-approved, off-grid, straw bale home, fondly referred to as “Granny Flats,” on Nellie Lane in Spearfish, required Capp to get approval from the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources to ensure everything met city and state requirements, and that project, along with his expertise and experience, earned him a spot as a speaker at the 2016 International Straw Building Conference in New Zealand. He was also recently featured on DIY Network’s “Building Off the Grid” program for his build of a home made of shipping containers, the first in Lawrence County.


“Wow. This is really cool,” Capp said during the induction ceremony. He described that growing up in Spearfish, he liked different things “than the traditional study things, and I was always able to be fortunate enough to work with my hands. I grew up building with my father and my grandfather, and you just always had to figure stuff out.”

“The biggest thing for me is just having the support structure to be able to try different stuff and make a go and not be afraid to try something; I think would be the most advice,” he added, encouraging young people not to be afraid to make mistakes.

He recalled how once, when he was young, his father told him to cut a piece of plywood. Capp was terrified he would mess up the cut and was taking a long time trying to perfect the process when his father checked to see what was taking so long, and when he realized his son was afraid to make the cut, he said, “They’ll make more plywood. Just cut.”

“And I did mess it up, and I cut another piece of plywood,” Capp joked.

He thanked Rachel Headley, his significant other, and his support system, especially recognizing the impact his father has had on his life.

“I’m grateful for my father and all the things he’s taught me: Building, how to be a good man, how to be a good husband and a partner. I love you, Dad. Appreciate it,” Capp said.


He added that while he never planned to return to Spearfish when he graduated from high school, “It’s just really cool to be in a town and in a community that lets me do what I do,” Capp said.

Tom May, of the fine arts hall of fame committee, explained that all inductees are recognized with a plaque permanently displayed in the back wall of the auditorium listing their achievements, and he encouraged people to nominate former students for the hall of fame.

“The list of honorees includes individuals from all facets of fine arts. … We like to say that our Spearfish High School graduates have excelled in many fields, and the fine arts hall of fame is one area where former outstanding students are recognized,” May said.

The SHS Fine Arts Hall of Fame was created to honor Spearfish graduates who have excelled in the fine arts, recognize their talent and success, and encourage involvement and inspire students and members of the community. Nominees must have attended Spearfish High School for at least two years; graduated from high school at least 10 years ago; and be achieved professionally in: music (instrumental and vocal), visual arts (painting, sculpture, pottery, photography, printmaking, graphic design, computer graphics, jewelry, drawing, fiber art, and architecture), theatre arts (opera, stage, movies, television, sound, lights, and directors), dance (ballet, jazz, and modern), or literature (playwrights, poets, and journalists).

Past SHS Fine Arts Hall of Fame inductees Mary Jo Blue; Johanna Meier; Bill Russell; William Vance; Debra Christofferson; Jim Langer; Gary (Miller) Mule Deer; Dick Termes; David Whitlock; Lora Anderson; Richard Dubois; David Velte; Janet Aman Burton; Martin John Garhart; Paul Higbee; Tim Sessions; Brett Ewing; Andrea Parker; Craig Whitlock; Beth Dean Armstrong; Lynette Asheim; Steve Williams; Douglas Dodson; Daniel MacNeill; Bonnie Halsey-Dutton; Joe Lovitt; Louis Schmeltzer; George Fassbender; Megan (Swisher) Sand; Mitch Fuller; Kyle Triplett; Nick Mundt; and Joe Chrisman. Plaques detailing each SHS Fine Arts Hall of Fame inductee may be viewed in the high school auditorium, and for more information, call the high school office at 717-1212.

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