The first two stones sculpted in the Main Street Square “Passage of Wind and Water” art project have been completed and made accessible to the public. Work is set to begin on the next section of the largest privately funded public art project in the country.
The protective barrier that enclosed the first stones sculpted by Masayuki Nagase has been removed.
Project spokesperson Anna Huntington says this allows people complete access to the artist’s work.
“So, for the first time today people can get up close and look at the sculpture and they can touch them,” says Huntington.
Huntington adds that Nagase is pleased to have received nothing but positive reactions about the project over the course of summer.
“Everybody who passes by while Yuki’s working, and even if he’s not in there working, has to pause and take a look,” Huntington observes. “It’s just such a beautiful design that he’s carving into the stones. And such a unique opportunity to see an artist working up close. There’s people stopping by all the time to chat with him and coming back again the next day, and lots of people are flashing him thumbs-up signs, so he...he feels really buoyed by the community support he’s gotten.”
Yuki Nagase is ahead of schedule on the massive Rapid City sculpture project that’s estimated to span 3 to 5 years before completion. Part of the reason for this, explains Huntington, is the stones.
“He is working faster than he thought he would,” explains Huntington. “He kinda’ chalks it up to the quality of the granite. He says it’s much easier to work with than he originally anticipated.”
Martin Richert, Nagase’s assistant, has returned to his home in California. Nagase plans to continue work on the Passage of Wind and Water sculpture project until October.