Main Street Square Sculptor Enters Fifth and Final Year of Carving

posted: June 15, 2017

RAPID CITY, SD – Sculptor Masayuki Nagase returns for his fifth and final summer of carving The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water at Main Street Square in Downtown Rapid City on Monday, June 26.

Nagase plans to work through September and will complete one final stone in the Black Hills Tapestry Garden, the granite blocks along Sixth St., and the Badlands Spire. The spires are the two 35-foot high structures at the corner of Sixth and Main streets that mark the intersection of the Badlands and Black Hills Tapestry Gardens.

The artist can be seen carving at Main Street Square most weekdays, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nagase will be available to speak with the public during informal artist talks most Thursdays at noon. Visitors can also see the stones the artist completed thus far – Black Hills Spire, Stream of Energy, Seeking Opportunity, Migration, Emergence of Horse, Aquatic Memory, Evolving Dream, Aquifer: Hidden Source of Life, Living in Balance, Fairburn Agate, Regeneration, Flow, Toward Light, Source of Life, and Fairburn Agate (two stones) - which are permanently installed at Main Street Square.

“The Sculpture Project has opened up conversation about common ground and shared values among community members and visitors, while driving economic development in Downtown Rapid City,” said Dan Senftner, president and CEO of Destination Rapid City, the downtown economic development group that developed the Square. “Yuki’s art and vision for the Sculpture Project has deeply enriched our community and will continue to for generations.”

Beginning with the visual metaphor of wind, Nagase's design for the Badlands Garden abstractly expresses a vast expanse of geological time in the region and depicts traces of its natural and cultural history. His visual theme for the Black Hills Tapestry Garden along Sixth St. is water, and his design comes from envisioning life emerging in prehistoric time and sensing how the energy arose and created the early humans and mammals. Nagase's overall themes for the project are transformation, hope and the aspiration of all beings to live in balance.

The artist is originally from Kyoto, Japan, and has worked as a stone sculptor for over 30 years. He lives in Berkeley, Calif., with his family and works in Rapid City over the summer months. He plans to complete Passage of Wind and Water in 2017. The public is invited to Main Street Square for the dedication ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The $2 million project is entirely funded through a partnership between Destination Rapid City and the John T. Vucurevich Foundation, and is one of the largest privately funded public art projects in the United States.

For more information about The Sculpture Project and related programming, visit, and follow The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water on Facebook for news, updates and opportunities to participate.

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