South Dakota has a new monumental piece of art. A fifty foot tall stainless steel sculpture now stands on the Missouri River bluffs near Chamberlain. A dedication celebration, held this past weekend, included a long list of dignitaries.
“Dignity” as it’s called depicts a Lakota woman wrapping a star quilt around her shoulders. Norm and Eunabel McKie of Rapid City donated one million dollars to make the project reality. Sculptor Dale Lamphere is among those who spoke at the dedication celebration.
“My intent of this is to have this sculpture stand as an enduring symbol of our shared belief that we are in a sacred place, and that we are all sacred. I’m humbled and so grateful to have this chance to contribute to the future landscape of South Dakota and the Great Plains. Thank you very much,” says Lamphere.
State Senator Troy Heinert is a Rosebud Sioux Tribal member. He agrees the sculpture can have a positive impact on the state. Heinert hopes Dignity can help smooth racial tensions.
“I believe she was sent here to open our hearts and Minds. Her outstretched arms are inviting us into her blanket where we can learn from each other acknowledge our differences and celebrate our similarities,” says Heinert.
The stainless steel sculpture can be seen from I-90 where millions of cars travel to and from the Black Hills each year. Governor Dennis Daugaard says the statue adds to other giant art works South Dakota is already known for.
“And, the visibility that she offers to so many millions of travelers who will be moving up and down Interstate 90, I think we will soon become the state of not just those two stone monuments but also this beautiful metal sculpture as well,” says Daugaard.
You can view a photo gallery of the dedication celebration this past weekend here.