October 9, 2014
by Vikki Swallow, Girls, Inc.
Rapid City's Main Street Square has a new look with the granite Badlands Garden along Main Street made newly sculpted by Masayuki (Yuki) Nagase.
Yuki and the project's community outreach coordinator, Anna Huntington, have been excited to work with me this fall to raise the girls' awareness of the process behind Yuki's work on the sculpture, as well as providing me with resources for the tour part of the experience. I have taken three groups of girls, grades 3-6, to visit the project.
I decided to do my own lesson and inform the girls about Yuki's professional history. I showed them past sculptures he has done all over the country and showed them pictures of Yuki's process of how he plans the sculpture and transfers it to the granite.
For the tour part of the lesson, Yuki takes them to the completed parts of the Badlands Garden to answer any questions and explain the ideas he put into the granite. Then he demonstrates the simple tools he uses to make his design on the granite, a hammer and chisel.
He then gives each girl a chance to experience chipping away at the granite with the simple tools. After each girl gets their chance to be mini-sculptors, we round them all up for a group picture and a big "Thank You" to Yuki and Anna for having us as guests.
Back at the Youth and Family Services center each girl gets a bar of soap and learns their own process of creating their design onto paper and making it onto the bar of soap. The girls used tools for sculpting clay to make their soap into their very own masterpiece.
I'm so grateful for this opportunity to have the girls participate in such a community landmark. See photos of Girls, Inc's visits with Yuki.