Visitors to downtown Sioux Falls can take in an art show without leaving their car or going into a gallery. A new program called "Sculpturewalk," turned downtown sidewalks and trees into an art gallery. These pieces of fine art are done by regional artists. The pieces are outside for people to contemplate, critique, or maybe even to buy.
Sioux Falls, S.D. — Jim Clark knows every detail of every sculpture in "Sculpturewalk." He's one of the organizers. He contacted the artists. And he was one of the judges in this juried art show.
Jim Clark helped organize SculptureWalk 2004.
"Sculpturewalk is about 20 blocks long," says Clark. "It starts at the pavilion and downtown it ends at 9th and Phillips in front of First National Bank where Taku Wakan sculpture sits on a 4 foot tall quartzite pedestal."
"Sculpturewalk" is made up of 34 sculptures strategically placed in downtown Sioux Falls. The art varies from a 1,000-pound buffalo made out of scrap metal to circles with teeth. There are bronze eagles and farmers and even a pair of gloves. For Jim Clark looking at the sculptures is like visiting old friends.
"'Blue Moon One,' by John Peters of Sioux Falls, is standing on the southeast corner of 8th and Phillips. It's a very unique piece with a blue moon on top," Clark says. "I told John when I was driving by that it looked like lace, but it's quarter to 1/2-inch steel. So he did quite a job he said that's the effect I wanted. And here it looks like a village, an indian village and then this is sky from 1/2 to 2/3 to the way up and then the moon on top. Another nice thing about having these sculptures out is that people can touch them."
Clark continues on the tour. He stops at fountain plaza where a small statue sits on a granite rock.
"'Bacchus' sits on the fountain in fountain plaza. 'Bacchus' is a sculpture done by Sherri Treeby of Aberdeen. Bacchus is the greek god of wine ? I'm not sure, I'm not sure I need to read up on Bacchus, but it's a neat sculpture. There's a group looking at purchasing Bacchus and leaving him here," says Clark.
Art Deco by Lee West
Further down the street Clark continues the tour.
"The next sculpture is between 10th and 11th and Phillips on the east side. The name is 'Art Deco' done by Lee West of Denver, Colorado. (It's a) beautiful sculpture sitting on a 3 foot tall quartzite pedestal. How would you describe this? A naked lady where you can't see anything," says Clark.
Sioux Falls has come a long way when it comes to public art.
A few years ago art lovers and city leaders were fighting over where to put a reproduction of Michelangelo's statue of David. It was the nakedness. Should he face the street or should drivers view his back side?
Ted Hofer is visiting Sioux Falls. He's a banker from Freeman, South Dakota. He sits at a sidewalk table drinking an ice tea and smoking. He's right next to 'Art Deco,' the discreet naked figure.
"I like this piece," says Hofer. "I like the bronze - the bronze finish he put on it. I like the details in the hair and the hands. It's a lovely piece. It's the human form. It's not a naked lady. It's the human form."
Across the street is a piece called 'Coming Home.' It's of a canada goose landing in reeds. Hofer says that's his favorite and he knows the artist.
"I like water fowl. I like Canada Geese. I like the detail in the feathers and I happen to know the individual who did it is a customer of mine. I'm actually thinking about bidding on it. I'd either put it in my place of business where he lives or donate it to the city park for display," says Hofer.
But not everyone on the street is as serious about public art as Ted Hofer. A group of women look a little lost. They've heard about the "Sculpturewalk" and wouldn't mind seeing it. But they have another mission.
Artist Working by Leslie Bruning
"All six of my brothers and my husband are in Canada fishing, and so we are out on the town. We want to spend as much money as they are," the women laugh.
Every piece on "Sculpturewalk" is for sale.
Minnesota Public Radio
By Cara Hetland
— August 2, 2004
The American Farmer sculpture by Sondra Jonson, is part of Sioux Falls' SculptureWalk. The details of the farmer's hands, red hankie and wood floor make this among the favorite on display. (Cara Hetland)
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