The Main Street Square Sculpture Project has a new partner.
The John T. Vucurevich Foundation announced it plans to invest in the project.
Sandy Diegel, Executive Director of the Vucurevich Foundation, announced Thursday, the foundation will invest one million dollars over a five year period.
"Main Street Square provides an atmosphere to engage multi-generational, multi-cultural and multi-agency art and educational events," said Sandy Diegel, executive director of John T. Vucurevich Foundation. "The Granite Sculpture Project will provide an unparalleled forum to increase exposure for the arts community for locals and visitors to enjoy."
In January, an international call for artists went out for an on-site commission to sculpt 21 granite boulders in Main Street Square. By April, 88 sculptures from all over the world had submitted applications. An artist selection committee was formed with the assistance of the Rapid City Arts Council. In August, five finalists were named, who then toured the Black Hills area, checking out landmarks and talking with locals.
An artist will be chosen in November to carve sculptures into the 21 granite boulders that line Main Street Square. The five finalists include: Andrew Dufford of Denver, CO; Mikyoung Kim of Boston, MA; Dale Lamphere of Sturgis, SD; Yoshikawa Wright of Los Angeles, CA; and Masayuki Nagase of Berkley, CA.
The artists will return to Rapid City at the end of October to make final presentations. Destination Rapid City's goal is to have the selection made and artist under contract by January 2013, with work starting as soon as weather permits.
"We can only imagine what it's going to look like. We can see all kinds of educational events, cultural events, and an expansion into the enhancement of the arts in Rapid City as an entirety," said Diegel.
Dan Senfter, President/CEO of Destination Rapid City, said this investment frees up some of the money already set aside for the project.
Senfter says the money will now go toward the creation of a botanical garden along the proposed Memorial Park Promenade.
"Right now the botanical gardens are something we are looking very closely at. This will be involved with the Memorial Park Promenade and the designers and architects area already in motion planning the botanical gardens," said Senfter.
Senfter estimates the botanical garden would cost between 600 and 800 thousand dollars.
A public meeting will be held on Thursday, October 25 at the Dahl Fine Arts Center from 5 to 6 p.m. to keep the community informed on the progress of the project.