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ON THE BLOG:

Artist's Reflections on the Sculpture Project

October 2017
By Masayuki Nagase

This September I completed the Rapid City sculpture project, The Passage of Wind and Water. It almost seems like yesterday that I was working on the initial application, and it's hard to believe that was six years ago. I have always felt honored and grateful to have been selected as the artist and to have had the opportunity to work in this community. I feel very satisfied to have completed the work on schedule and to have learned so much from so many people here who shared their experiences and perspectives of this region.

The project was a true collaboration between many groups. It was part of the vision of the original Main Street Square design. It is very special when a community can come together and bring forth such a project. It was like a light that was lit from collective energy. And having finished this project, it is my hope that this light will continue to shine in the community.

A part of my original vision for this project was to support the local arts in the community. I have found that some of the greatest potential of public art is the building of new channels of communication across diverse groups. I am so pleased with the following collaborative efforts by artists in Rapid City, most of which were supported in part through Destination Rapid City: 

I am also grateful that we successfully developed and launched the Teaching Artists Program, TAP, through the Rapid City Arts Council. A part of my original proposal was to offer arts education by local artists in the elementary schools. I am so pleased to see after five years this program has began to grow and spread in the schools. And importantly, TAP will continue after this year with new funding from the Rapid City Public School Foundation and the Black Hills Community Foundation.

In addition, I deeply appreciate all of the people of the Rapid City and surrounding communities who offered their support, friendship and assistance. I am grateful to my Lakota friends who shared with me their culture and their deep understanding of nature. I will always remember this special time here and I hope this positive energy of the project will continue to grow in the community.

I would like to express my appreciation for the following organizations and individuals who supported the Rapid City sculpture project:

  • Destination Rapid City and Main Street Square staff and board; Dan Senftner and Megan Whitman
  • The John T. Vucurevich Foundation[Hillenbrand Family
  • Patrick Wyss, Project Manager from Wyss Associates, Inc. and staff
  • Anna Huntington, former Community Arts Coordinator for the Sculpture Project
  • Rapid City Arts Council and Dahl Fine Arts Center: Pepper Massey and staff
  • Alex Johnson Hotel
  • Journey Museum
  • First Peoples Fund
  • Steve Babbitt, photographer for project documentation
  • Sara Olivier, choreographer/dancer and her dance students who participated in Echoing Passages Collaborative
  • Randal Iverson, cinematographer for Echoing Passages Collaborative
  • Benjamin Lemay, composer for Echoing Passages Collaborative
  • Christine Stewart Nunez and contributors to the choral poems that are part of the Echoing Passages Collaborative
  • Gabrielle Seeley, Art and language teacher at Rapid City High School
  • Jhon Goes in Center (Oglala Lakota), artist
  • Deane Rundell, Landscape architect for Main Street Square
  • Sculpture Project Advisory Committee 
  • Rapid City Sculpture Project Selection Committee 

In addition, I am very grateful to the following local companies who gave valuable support for the work on site:

  • Rausch Granite and Life Song: Charles Rausch and his fabrication team Richard Niko Suchil, Josh Hansen and all other staff who helped with the sandblasting the spires and polishing on site
  • SECO Construction, Inc.: Neal Schlottman, president and Dale Grim, supervisor and staff who helped with set up and create the safety barriers at the work site
  • Red Letter Sign Company: Andrew Hade, owner who helped with the stencil work for the two spires
  • Main Street Square maintenance crew for their ongoing support at the site 

Read the artist's description of his work during the summer of 2017 on the blog. (You'll find his descriptions of previous years work, interviews and other stories on the blog here.) See photos of the project from beginning to end on Facebook

 

 

Local dancer and choreographer Sara Olivier approached Yuki not long after he had been selected as the artist for The Sculpture Project about creating a cross-artistic performance collaboration. This was a first for Yuki. He agreed, and now Echoing Passages, which includes original dance, film, poetry and music inspired by Passage of Wind and Water, is unfolding alongside Yuki's work over five years.

Sara, 30, works with me as a Collaborative Strategist for Arts Rapid City and she teaches at Academy of Dance Arts. She and her husband, Austin, have a son, Henry, 5. Sara often says Echoing Passages is "for and about the community." Read more her process in the Q&A below and find out how you can get involved. Find more information about the projec, the artists and see more photos here.

- See more at: http://www.rcsculptureproject.com/blog/on-the-blog-q-and-a-sara.html#sthash.T7QNM7Tm.dpuf

Local dancer and choreographer Sara Olivier approached Yuki not long after he had been selected as the artist for The Sculpture Project about creating a cross-artistic performance collaboration. This was a first for Yuki. He agreed, and now Echoing Passages, which includes original dance, film, poetry and music inspired by Passage of Wind and Water, is unfolding alongside Yuki's work over five years.

Sara, 30, works with me as a Collaborative Strategist for Arts Rapid City and she teaches at Academy of Dance Arts. She and her husband, Austin, have a son, Henry, 5. Sara often says Echoing Passages is "for and about the community." Read more her process in the Q&A below and find out how you can get involved. Find more information about the projec, the artists and see more photos here.

- See more at: http://www.rcsculptureproject.com/blog/on-the-blog-q-and-a-sara.html#sthash.T7QNM7Tm.dpuf

Q: Please describe how getting students into their communities affects learning?

A: Passage to Schools lessons use a current community project to connect students' classroom learning to their wider community. When teachers link community events and projects to what their students are learning in the classroom, students are motivated to think at high levels because the learning feels relevant.

Q: Do these lessons stretch or go a little deeper than traditional lessons? How are they different than traditional classroom lessons?

A: These lessons are innovative in several ways.

- See more at: http://www.rcsculptureproject.com/blog/on-the-blog-gabrielle-q-and-a.html#sthash.mWx4WOx0.dpuf

Q: Please describe how getting students into their communities affects learning?

A: Passage to Schools lessons use a current community project to connect students' classroom learning to their wider community. When teachers link community events and projects to what their students are learning in the classroom, students are motivated to think at high levels because the learning feels relevant.

Q: Do these lessons stretch or go a little deeper than traditional lessons? How are they different than traditional classroom lessons?

A: These lessons are innovative in several ways.

- See more at: http://www.rcsculptureproject.com/blog/on-the-blog-gabrielle-q-and-a.html#sthash.mWx4WOx0.dpuf

Q: Please describe how getting students into their communities affects learning?

A: Passage to Schools lessons use a current community project to connect students' classroom learning to their wider community. When teachers link community events and projects to what their students are learning in the classroom, students are motivated to think at high levels because the learning feels relevant.

Q: Do these lessons stretch or go a little deeper than traditional lessons? How are they different than traditional classroom lessons?

A: These lessons are innovative in several ways.

- See more at: http://www.rcsculptureproject.com/blog/on-the-blog-gabrielle-q-and-a.html#sthash.mWx4WOx0.dpuf

Are you percolating an original art project that needs seed money to get off the ground? Apply for a Sculpture Project Arts Programming Grant.

The grants, up to $5,000, are for art projects of all kinds that connect to The Sculpture Project. Projects need a downtown Rapid City connection, special consideration is given to proposals that include partners and collaborators, and a funding match is required. The final 2014 deadline is June 1.

The application is simple (really!) and can be found here. If you have questions about whether your project fits the criteria or about how to complete the application, please don't hesitate to contact anna@destinationrapidcity.com.

- See more at: http://www.rcsculptureproject.com/blog/on-the-blog-grants.html#sthash.iCHw0Jt5.dpuf

Are you percolating an original art project that needs seed money to get off the ground? Apply for a Sculpture Project Arts Programming Grant.

The grants, up to $5,000, are for art projects of all kinds that connect to The Sculpture Project. Projects need a downtown Rapid City connection, special consideration is given to proposals that include partners and collaborators, and a funding match is required. The final 2014 deadline is June 1.

The application is simple (really!) and can be found here. If you have questions about whether your project fits the criteria or about how to complete the application, please don't hesitate to contact anna@destinationrapidcity.com.

- See more at: http://www.rcsculptureproject.com/blog/on-the-blog-grants.html#sthash.iCHw0Jt5.dpuf

Are you percolating an original art project that needs seed money to get off the ground? Apply for a Sculpture Project Arts Programming Grant.

The grants, up to $5,000, are for art projects of all kinds that connect to The Sculpture Project. Projects need a downtown Rapid City connection, special consideration is given to proposals that include partners and collaborators, and a funding match is required. The final 2014 deadline is June 1.

The application is simple (really!) and can be found here. If you have questions about whether your project fits the criteria or about how to complete the application, please don't hesitate to contact anna@destinationrapidcity.com.

- See more at: http://www.rcsculptureproject.com/blog/on-the-blog-grants.html#sthash.iCHw0Jt5.dpuf

Christine Stewart shared a first draft of Part One of Passage of Wind and Water: A Choral Poem.

Christine writes that this draft is, "Inspired by the work of Mrs. Garrett's sixth-graders (Southwest Middle School) as well as several of the adult participants who have sent me lines, poems, and bits of prose. I have drafted the "wind" section of the choral poem. Several parts seem to be shaping up: stars, water, wind, stone, prairie. I'm eager to collect more submissions, so please send yours as soon as possible."

A choral poem is a poem designed to be read aloud by two or more people in a group setting. This first draft is crafted for three readers. To read the poem,

- See more at: http://www.rcsculptureproject.com/blog/on-the-blog-poem-draft.html#sthash.NYN9dc4F.dpuf
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