September 18, 2014
by Anna Huntington, The Sculpture Project/Arts Rapid City
Girls, Inc. helps girls to be “strong, smart and bold,” and the organization’s group of fourth and fifth-graders who visited The Sculpture Project this week were all that!
The girls didn’t hesitate to put on safety goggles, pick up Yuki’s tools and with a few words of instruction, carve granite. They left their marks on an art project that many of them will one day likely bring their own children and grandchildren to visit.
Most of the girls had visited Main Street Square before, but didn’t know much about The Sculpture Project. For this trip, their instructor, Vikki Swallow, had done lots of research and prepared them ahead to help make their trip meaningful. With Vikki’s help, they knew about Yuki’s biography, his previous work, his carving process and that his design for Passage of Wind and Water is based on the natural history of the Black Hills and Badlands.
But they wanted to know a few more things: Have you ever hit your hand? How do you make big chips? How long have you been doing this? Doesn’t that hammer get heavy?
The girls liked playing in the water that trickles from the stone called Aquifer, Source of Life. They lounged and chatted on the other stones. They happily collected loads of the granite chips that scatter when Yuki works and hatched plans for selling them later. Some of the girls enjoyed painting with the brush and ink that Yuki uses to transfer his design to the granite. And they all loved having their picture taken with the sculptor and going home with his autograph written in Chinese characters.