- Associated Press - Sunday, October 11, 2015

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A sculptor is gradually unveiling gray granite pieces of his public art project in downtown Rapid City.

Masayuki Nagase has completed about two-thirds of the $2 million project titled “The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water.” He already has finished 14 of 21 stones, with the project expected to be completed in about two years, the Rapid City Journal (https://bit.ly/1JUjbhS ) reported. The artist recently revealed five of the stones he completed this summer.

Nagase said visits from passers-by are “a great honor” and don’t “happen as much in other places” where he’s worked. Rapid City residents are “very creative,” he said, and they “understand the progress and process” of the project.

His commitment to the Rapid City community was one of the main reasons why he was chosen for the project, according to Tyler Read, who has been an instructor in Rapid City elementary schools through the Teaching Arts Program. Nagase is giving $15,000 of his commission to support the program so artists can teach in the city’s classrooms.

Anna Huntington, sculpture project coordinator and Arts Rapid City director, said she hopes Nagase’s art project will inspire a new direction in the Rapid City community because it’s very different from existing public art in the city.



“He’s making this project useful and at the service of the community in a way that we haven’t really thought about -of art being a tool for community building in the way this project has been,” Huntington said.

She said everyone who’s involved in the project is excited to see how it’s coming to life.

“We’re all so happy we have the exact right artist creating this work here that will be meaningful for our entire community for generations to come,” she said.

Nagase will return to Rapid City next June to carve one of the 35-foot-high spires for the project, as well as four additional sculptures.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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