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56 sculptures on public display in downtown Sioux Falls

Sculpturewalk 2016 SDN Sponsored Eagle

The 2016 edition of SculptureWalk in downtown Sioux Falls features attractions ranging from the whimsical (a flying pig, for example) to the serious and inspirational (such as a kneeling woman with her hands on her head).

There are a few abstract contraptions that are difficult to explain and several majestic animals. In all, 56 sculptures are on display for public viewing along the sidewalks and walkways of the uptown, downtown and east bank areas.

“I’m very happy with the variety of sculptures. We don’t have a planned theme, but our unplanned theme this year seems to be Native American sculptures,” says Jim Clark, director of the SculptureWalk program.

This is the 13th year for displays and perhaps the best year yet for the program. There are sculptures from 17 states, including six from South Dakota, and work from 12 new artists, Clark says. A committee selected sculptures for display from 143 applicants. Most of the sculptures are displayed atop quartzite pedestals.

The sculptures are loaned from the artists, and eventually either sold or returned.

“It’s a great year. We’re very happy with the quality and variety of sculptures we have for 2016. We try to improve SculptureWalk every year,” he says.

The program is run by an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization with help from sponsors.

SDN Communications is among the artwork sponsors. This year, SDN was assigned sponsorship of “Our Guardian,” a bronze sculpture of an American Bald Eagle perched on a branch. “A prestigious bird with an amazing spirit,” the accompanying inscription says.

“Our Guardian” is the work of Eric Thorsen, an acclaimed wood carver and bronze sculptor from Bigfork, Mont. His eagle is on display just north of the Diner, near the corner of Phillips Avenue and 10th Street. The eagle is listed for sale online for $7,400.

Vernon Brown, SDN’s vice president of marketing and community relations, says the company serves as a sponsor for the program to be a good corporate citizen. SDN typically supports projects related to science, technology engineering and mathematics, so its annual support SculptureWalk is a little different.

“SculptureWalk really enriches our community, especially the downtown area,” Brown says.

Viewers can walk around to check out the sculptures at any time. Brochures with a sculpture map and a People’s Choice ballot are located in in boxes by light posts along the display route.

Progress being made on Arc of Dreams

Arc of Dreams

As area residents and visitors enjoy this year’s edition of SculptureWalk, work is progressing behind the scenes on plans for a signature piece of art that is coming to the downtown area. The Arc of Dreams will be a permanent, arc-like, stainless steel sculpture that will span nearly all the way across the Big Sioux River. At the center, 70 feet above the river, will be a 15-foot gap, which will represent the leap of faith that dreamers often have to take to make their wishes come true.

The two points of the arc will cross the river between Sixth and Eighth Streets from property owned by Raven Industries and Cherapa Place. Sturgis area artist Dale Lamphere will create the arc. Engineering work at the sculpture site is underway, Clark says.

Pledges totaling $1,150,000 have been made for the project. The initial goal was $950,000. The secondary goal of $1.2 million is within reach.

Clark expects the arc to be installed during the late summer of 2017. He considers it a capstone for SculptureWalk that will help bring the program to national prominence.

The Arc of Dreams will be great addition to a Sioux Falls and a fitting tribute to the dreamers who built and continue to expand this thriving city.