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Aug. 16, 2019
This paid piece is sponsored by SDN Communications.
Julie McKay and Karen Nagel are among the tens of thousands of people who have checked out the 2019 edition of SculptureWalk in downtown Sioux Falls.
In the Mystic Forest, which sits invitingly near the Phillips Avenue Diner, is among sculptures that caught their attention. Bobbie Carlyle of Loveland, Colo., created the bronze artwork that depicts a boy standing on a tree stump, surrounded by creatures, including a fairy and elf.
“I think it’s beautiful. It’s calming,” said Nagel, who is from Mandan, N.D. “I love all the detail that you see – like the frog and the birds.”
There’s also a cat.
Nagel’s sightseeing colleague, Julie McKay of Sioux Falls, agreed.
“It’s just a really fun, whimsical sculpture,” she said.
SDN Communications, a longtime supporter of the SculptureWalk program, is the piece’s site sponsor, which Carlyle appreciates. The sculptor has participated in SculptureWalk for several years. Such programs help artists get exposure to sell their work, she said.
In the Mystic Forest, which stands 6-foot-5, is for sale for $46,000.
The sculpture started as a memorial for a woman who had lost her fiance, a bird enthusiast, Carlyle said.
“I decided to make it a fun piece. The forest comes alive with a young boy,” she said.
The boy, envisioned to be 10 or 11 years old, has binoculars around his neck and birds in his extended hands. Carlyle’s granddaughter served as a model for a fairy that is part of the piece, and her grandson depicts an elf sitting on her cat.
Sioux Falls marketer Jeff Hanson, who is an ambassador for SculptureWalk, said Carlyle is well known in the national art community.
“She’s a big name,” he said.
Her sculpture is one of 59 borrowed pieces of artwork on display in the downtown area this viewing season. Artists loan their sculptures to the program for a year. Dozens of other permanent sculptures also are displayed.
SculptureWalk in Sioux Falls promotes itself as the largest annual exhibit of public sculptures in the country. The displays bring almost 300,000 visitors to Sioux Falls annually, Hanson said. That translates to an annual impact of more than $10 million on the local economy, he said.
“A big part of what makes SculptureWalk great is when businesses and civic leaders have a sense of community that extends past their board room and the fence in their backyard. SDN has a great history of embodying that belief,” Hanson said.
The newly installed Arc of Dreams will serve as a permanent capstone to the SculptureWalk program. The stainless steel sculpture that spans across the Big Sioux River has an 18-foot gap between the two sides that represents the leap of faith that dreamers take.
The Statue of David, a full-scale casting of Michelangelo’s famous sculpture, also is permanently displayed in the downtown area, in Fawick Park. The city owns that piece.
This is the 16th year for SculptureWalk. People who view the current displays can cast a ballot before the end of September for the People’s Choice winner. Ballots that double as free informational brochures about the program are available along the display route.
SDN Communications is a regional leader in providing broadband connectivity and cybersecurity services to businesses in communities such as Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Worthington, Minn., and the surrounding areas.
SculptureWalk in Sioux Falls promotes itself as the largest annual exhibit of public sculptures in the country. Have you taken a stroll along downtown streets yet to view the 59 pieces?