The 2013 theme was Design in the “Explorations”, and we explored around Downtown Rapid City to get the public art vibe that is taking shape. Originally, we had tours of Ellsworth AFB scheduled, but Federal furloughs forced last-minute changes. Fortunately, there is an abundance of creative built environment to explore in Rapid City.
The final phase of the Main Street Square project in Rapid City was a year-long selection process for a sculptor to complete development of the free-standing granite forms that define the plaza. Artist Masayuki Nagase from Kyoto, Japan was selected from an international pool of applicants to work with the community to complete his final design – sculpting the surfaces of each form with a narrative of Black Hills elements, expressed in relief carving.
Graffiti art is all around us, and in Rapid City, there is a downtown alley designated for artists to create ever-changing vibrant murals and “tag art” pieces. Tyler Read is the Co-Director of Arts Ed for the Rapid City Arts Council, and graffiti art mentor. He led tours of Art Alley, and guided us through the current Graffiti Art exhibit at the Dahl Arts Center, created by a collective of local graffiti artists.
Photography of the Built Environment is a specialty practiced by BHSU Photography instructor Steve Babbitt. Steve demonstrated the use of (then) new technology: drone photography of buildings- and presented a workshop in architectural photography and Photoshop techniques.
The Design in the Hills committee was formed in 2011 by architects, Kris Bjerke and Tanya Davis and interior designer Maggie Job. Over the years, many new faces have trickled through the committee as leadership in the AIA South Dakota organization has evolved, however Kris has been the anchor to an event which has become a much-anticipated gathering of designers in the Black Hills each summer. The current committee includes Ms. Bjerke, architect and AIA SD board members, Jenn Johnson & Brian Johnson and landscape architect, Tanya Olson. AIA South Dakota executive director, Angela Lammers has been a tremendous supporter and advocate to the event success as well.