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SculptureWalk in Sioux Falls debuts Arc of Dreams structure

May 25, 2019
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In a Friday, May 18, 2019 photo, several people gather in the Raven Industries parking lot as pieces of the Arc of Dreams sculpture arrive, in downtown Sioux Falls. The sculpture is expected to be constructed by mid June. (Makenzie Huber/The Argus Leader via AP)
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In a Friday, May 18, 2019 photo, several people gather in the Raven Industries parking lot as pieces of the Arc of Dreams sculpture arrive, in downtown Sioux Falls. The sculpture is expected to be constructed by mid June. (Makenzie Huber/The Argus Leader via AP)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A small neon-vest-clad group was clustered in the Raven Industries parking lot in downtown Sioux Falls on May 18, waiting for the first installment of Sioux Falls’ newest sculpture, the Arc of Dreams.

The Arc is a centerpiece and celebration of SculptureWalk, which is entering its 16th year. The 2019 slate featured 59 pieces from artists across the country and Canada, the Argus Leader reported.

The sculpture was six years in the making. Although 45 minutes to transport the sculpture pieces from the north side of town to its new home was a relatively short time to wait, the anticipation for its arrival was palpable.

Semi trucks carried three pieces of the structure that will stand on the west bank of the Big Sioux River. The morning sun glinted off the woven stainless steel pieces, which when constructed will represent the risk and uncertainty that must be overcome when chasing dreams, ambitions and goals, according to its designers.

Koni Schiller cried at the sight of it.

“It’s going to be for generations to come,” Schiller said. “It’ll promote the new and the young to make Sioux Falls better than before and take that leap of faith.”

The Arc is the culmination of six years of work, six different designs, three wind studies and hours of effort though a network of people, said Dale Lamphere, the sculpture’s artist. It’s essentially the culmination of his 50 years of work as an artist, said Lamphere, who is South Dakota’s artist laureate and also created Dignity, placed near Chamberlain.

“I hope it’ll exceed expectations, but I’ll feel relief,” Lamphere said. He’s yet to see the structure in its entirety, since it’s been sitting in pieces outside his studio. “The SculptureWalk is doing something truly world class for Sioux Falls.”

Construction of the Arc of Dreams itself is a perfect example of the work it takes to achieve a dream, Lamphere said.

A network of people in Sioux Falls came up with the idea of the Arc of Dreams to celebrate the SculptureWalk and Sioux Falls. Hundreds of hands have been involved in the project through making the sculpture, fundraising for the structure and arranging its fruition.

“It honors past and present dreamers,” Lamphere said.

It’ll take two weeks to assemble the west bank’s structure, and another two weeks to complete the east bank near Cherapa Place. The assembly is similar to puzzle pieces. Construction and installation is difficult because of the bedrock under the structure, along with its size and 57-ton weight.

It’s expected to be finished by mid June.

Downtown Sioux Falls 16 years ago would be unrecognizable now, according to Lynne Byrne, a selection judge for SculptureWalk and chair of the South Dakota State Art Council.

The downtown area was struggling economically, and SculptureWalk was created to revitalize the area by getting people out and walking downtown, drawing them to businesses.

“It’s been part of why our downtown is so vibrant now,” Byrne said.

Since 2004, 836 sculptures have been displayed across downtown.

“Over the years Sioux Falls has grown to be a national leader in the arts,” SculptureWalk director Jim Clark said. “SculptureWalk is honored to be a part of the renaissance that has made downtown Sioux Falls a visitor destination and a great place to live, work and play.”

The construction of the Arc of Dreams structure, towering 70 feet above the Big Sioux rapids, will immediately alter the Sioux Falls skyline.

“I think it will be a point of pride for the entire city. Everybody will be able to identify with the leap. It’ll be right up there with the (St. Joseph) cathedral representing Sioux Falls,” Byrne said.

It will also change the landscape of South Dakota, establishing the state as the “Sculpture State,” Byrne said. The South Dakota Department of Tourism has coined the “Sculpture Trail” across the state, including the Arc of Dreams, the Sioux Falls SculptureWalk, Dignity, the Badlands (a natural work of art), the Rapid City president walk, Crazy Horse Monument, and Mount Rushmore.

The construction of the Arc of Dreams makes Sioux Falls an even bigger part of the landscape, according to Clark.

“If we did something big, we really wanted to do something that represented the community,” he said.

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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