Eye On KELOLAND: Arc of Dreams coming true


SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — The April blizzard has even crept into the creative process in KELOLAND. Sturgis artist Dale Lamphere is putting the finishing touches to his massive Arc of Dreams sculpture that will soon adorn the Sioux Falls skyline.  The hope was to start installing the piece later this month.

But all that snow in western South Dakota may delay the Arc’s arrival in Sioux Falls.  Yet, not even a harsh winter and wet spring will prevent the Arc of Dreams from coming true.

The Arc of Dreams, which will soon become a steel centerpiece of downtown Sioux Falls, is tantalizingly close to being finished.

“We’re very near completion, I’m really excited about showing this to the citizens of Sioux Falls and the state,” sculptor Dale Lamphere said.

Last week’s storm dumped a foot and a half of snow onto the field outside of Dale Lamphere’s studio in Sturgis.  The sculpture is too large to be kept indoors away from the elements.  But since the Arc is made from high-grade stainless steel it will be able to withstand any weather extremes for decades to come.

“Nature has always defined and inspired my art,” Lamphere said.

A giant crane, that will hoist the steel sections onto semi-trucks for delivery to Sioux Falls, was stuck in mud and unable to do the heavy lifting for now.

“We’ve got a really key partner right now: Mother Nature, you might have seen some of her work,”  SculptureWalk ambassador Jeff Hanson said.

The people behind the project say there is no hard deadline to start installing the sculpture in Sioux Falls.

“I think we’re pretty used to seeing farmers and when they can get into the fields, we’ll just be harvesting a sculpture,” Hanson said.

The Arc of Dreams has been in the works for six years.  The piece began coming together at a metal works shop in Colorado, where Lamphere hand-polished the entire steel structure.

“We put texture on the helix and polished the pipes as were were assembling down in Denver. So there has really been a lot of loving care put into this project,” Lamphere said.

From Denver, the sections were trucked to Lamphere’s South Dakota studio for finishing work.  Soon, the sections will be hauled to Sioux Falls, where they’ll be welded together into a final product.

“It’s going to be an exclamation point for the city and you’ll be able to see it from the Falls, so it will be a new attraction and actually a destination for a lot of our visitors, but also something the whole city can take pride in,” Hanson said.

The Arc will be installed a half at a time, each half weighing 30-tons, spanning the Big Sioux River, with an 18-foot gap at its peak.  The empty space symbolizing the aspirations from earlier generations and those yet to come.

“Perhaps the most important thing about the Arc of Dreams is that it serves as a tribute for the dreams of the past and inspires the dreamers of the future,” Lamphere said.

Lamphere says the biggest challenge he’s faced is the sheer scale of the sculpture.  No dream is too big, in spite of the nightmare of a South Dakota blizzard.

“As soon as Mother Nature allows, we’ll be back on course,” Lamphere said.

Hanson says they’ve reached their $2.5 million fundraising goal for the Arc.  But they want to raise additional money for lighting, landscaping and upkeep.  If you’re interested in donating, click here

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