”Passage of Wind and Water” spokesperson Anna Huntington says the idea of having someone paint a mural on a 2-story wall facing Main Street Square seemed like a no-brainer.
“It was actually…a light bulb went off in my colleague Sara Olivier’s head,” Huntington recalls. “She came bursting through the door one morning probably nine months ago and said ‘What we need is a big, beautiful mural inspired by Yuki’s project on that wall of The Elk’s Theater building that faces Main Street Square.”
“Yuki” is sculptor Masayuki Nagase who’s 2 years into a 5-year project that will create images of The Badlands and the Black Hills on huge granite stones at Main Street Square.
“And I’m like…’God, that’s sounds like a great idea,” Huntington explains. “I have no idea which wall you’re talking about. And so we went upstairs and I looked up and I’m like ‘Oh. That huge 2-story wall that I’ve seen a hundred times before and never noticed.”
Muralist Aaron Pearcy was chosen for the job. Pearcy’s worked on other projects around town, but says this one held particular challenges.
“I guess I forgot what the Spring is like in South Dakota,S” Pearcy admits. “And with Spring comes winds and I was encountering a lot of wind throughout the first couple of weekends that I was trying to prime the wall and it was having a pretty large negative effect on my progress.” 1
Then…came the wettest May on record since 1895. That pushed Pearcy’s already delayed completion time of 5 weeks back by another month.
Finally finished this past weekend, Anna Huntington describes the 24 by 44 foot Badlands mural as beautiful and serene. Aaron Pearcy hasn’t officially given this piece of art a name. That responsibility, he says, is up to those who view it – a decision that’s well in keeping with the spirit of the community-oriented Passage of Wind and Water sculpture project.