Destination Rapid City, a private downtown community and economic development group, opened Main Street Square in October 2011. The public space replaced an aging parking lot and brought a vibrant, welcoming heart to downtown Rapid City. The project's landscape architect's design for the Square included 21 large pieces of granite along two sides of the Square, the Badlands Tapestry Garden and the Black Hills Tapestry Garden, with the intention that they be carved on site.
In January 2012, a community-based artist selection committee announced an international Call for Artists for The Sculpture Project. The call invited artists to create designs that reflected the natural and cultural history of the Black Hills and Badlands. Eighty-eight artists applied. Over the next twelve months, the committee, a partnership between Destination Rapid City and Rapid City Arts Council, with Wyss Associates, Inc. as project manager, narrowed the group to five finalists.
In December 2012, Destination Rapid City announced the selection of stone sculptor Masayuki (Yuki) Nagase as project artist. Nagase grew up in Japan and is based in Berkeley. Shortly afterward the selection, Yuki traveled to Rapid City for an exhibt of past works and his project plans for Passage of Wind and Water at the Dahl Arts Center. He also conducted Community Design Workshops throughout the Black Hills and Badlands, gathering input and inspiration from more than 600 residents.
The sculptor began carving at Main Street Sqare in July 2013 and returned over the course of the next four summers to complete the project.