Muralist's Landscape Image Complements Sculpture Project

Jun 15, 2015

Aaron Pearcy's mural of a Badlands landscape looks down upon the "Paasage of Wind and Water" sculpture project at Main Street Square.
Credit Courtesy Anna Huntington
A Rapid City artist has completed a 2-story mural near Main Street Square that reflects the images created in the ongoing ”Passage of Wind and Water” sculpture project. What was initially planned as a 5-week work schedule turned into almost 3 months of frequently intense labor for the muralist.

”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.

Muralist Aaron Pearcy had to contend with South Dakota's variable Spring weather in order to complete his image of the Badlands.
Credit Courtesy Anna Huntington

“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.

Muralist Aaron Pearcy.
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

“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.

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