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Internationally renowned stone sculptor Masayuki Nagase will hold a community design workshop at Black Hills State University Sunday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. in Clare and Josef Meier Hall.
Internationally renowned stone sculptor Masayuki Nagase will hold a community design workshop at Black Hills State University Sunday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. in Clare and Josef Meier Hall. The workshop is an opportunity to meet the artist, hear about plans for his project “Passage of Wind and Water” at Main Street Square in Rapid City, and give input for design elements.

“The project's funders, Destination Rapid City and the JohnT. Vucurevich Foundation, along with the artist, Masayuki Nagase, are sincerely and deeply committed to inviting the entire Black Hills community to get involved with this world class project. Community design workshops like the one at Meier Hall are an opportunity to be part of what we hope becomes a legacy sculpture for our community, “said Anna Huntington, Community Arts Coordinator with Destination Rapid City.

The square is an active public space featuring special events, arts and culture, live concerts, seasonal ice skating, and interactive fountains located in the heart of downtown Rapid City.  

Twenty-one large pieces of granite, each uniquely and organically shaped, surround the square on its two street sides, creating a curving divide between the interior and exterior of the square.

The granite is arranged into two series, The Black Hills Tapestry along Sixth Street, and the Badlands Tapestry along Main Street. The angular Black Hills stones are varying shades of gray granite and the more rounded Badlands stones are red granite. Polished bands and surfaces give each stone color variance. The two series meet at the intersection of Sixth and Main Street with two 35-foot high spires, reflecting Rapid City’s location at the nexus of the Black Hills and Badlands.

Nagase, originally from Kyoto, Japan, attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Tokyo, completed a traditional stone-carving apprenticeship in the granite quarries there, and has worked as a sculptor internationally for more than 30 years. He lives in Berkeley, Calif.,with his wife, Michele Ku, also an artist, and their daughter.

The artist will carve the 21-piece granite sculpture project on site at Main Street Square over the next three to five years beginning this summer. The $2 million artwork makes the Black Hills home to the largest privately funded public art project underway in the United States.

The artist’s conceptual design depicts the natural and cultural past, present, and future of the Black Hills and Badlands through the themes of wind and water. Nagase is holding design workshops throughout the region and will incorporate elements suggested by the community into his final design.

To learn more about the sculpture project at Main Street Square, visit the website at www.rcsculptureproject.com. To learn more about the artist, visit his website at www.mnagase.com.