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Granite sculptures to be added to downtown Rapid City

RAPID CITY, South Dakota — Beginning this summer, visitors to Rapid City can watch sculptor Masayuki Nagase work on granite sculptures he is carving in Main Street Square.

Nagase, who has worked as a stone sculptor for more than 30 years, will carve 21 granite pieces during the summer over the next three to five years in a $2 million project funded through a partnership between Destination Rapid City and the John T. Vucurevich Foundation.

The Berkeley, California-based sculptor said his work is inspired by “the essence of nature and natural forms.” His preliminary design for The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water is based on his experience of the beauty and power of nature in the Black Hills and Badlands of western South Dakota.

A committee of arts and civic leaders chose Nagase from an international pool of 88 applicants through a yearlong selection process. His public art appears in Colorado, Louisiana, Arizona, New Mexico and California, as well as in Japan, Chile and Europe.