SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — Sculpture Walk is celebrating 20 years of contributing artwork to Downtown Sioux Falls. In that time, Sculpture Walk has grown alongside the downtown area into what it is today.

“Our mission is real simple, art to the people,” Regan Smith, President of SculptureWalk.

For 20 years, SculptureWalk has been bringing in artwork from artists all over the country to the center of Sioux Falls.

“The Downtown is the living room of the city. So it definitely dresses it up, makes it attractive, brings people downtown. So not only is it art, but it’s also tourism and economic development,” Smith said.

Regan Smith has been with SculptureWalk for the last 19 years.

“We started in 2003, we started with 25 sculptures and, and SculptureWalk has kind of grown and developed as our Downtown,” Smith said.

He says it’s also helped revitalize interest in the area.

“25 years ago, we didn’t have the Pavilion. We didn’t have Sculptural Walk, we didn’t have the Arc of Dreams. We didn’t have the Levitt and the State Theater theatre and the Orpheum theater were both shuttered,” said Paul Schiller, Photographer.

Paul Schiller has photographed every SculptureWalk since its debut in 2003…

“I get to create art, from art. And as a result, each piece of sculpture is a new experience, and a new challenge,” Schiller said.

His favorite day to shoot is installation day.

“To watch families come down and watch the kids interact with the art, it becomes buddies of theirs. They light up and engage the art like it’s a friend,” Schiller said.

Schiller says he enjoys capturing that interaction.

“To come up with the image that truly depicts that piece for the public, at the same time gives me satisfaction. That I am creating something that is very, that I really like as an artist,” Schiller said.

Over 1000 sculptures have been featured in the Sculpture Walk since 2003. Artists from all over the country, and here in South Dakota, construct these pieces with a mix of mediums. From bronze to steel to wood, every piece is unique.

Clark Martinek has contributed pieces to SculptureWalk for the last 6 years.

“Being accepted for the first time on SculptureWalk was really big for me to put that as a title for myself as an artist,” said Clark Martinek, blacksmith and sculptor.

His latest additions are Horizon, Embrace and Hope. Martinek says he has dedicated hundred of hours of work to complete these pieces.

“It’s very gratifying work. At the end of the day, I get to stand back, and I see a sculpture that I’ve made. And I know it can inspire people for years and years and years to come,” Martinek said.

Martinek began his career in the metalworking industry. He began learning the ins and outs of being a blacksmith. Years later, he then moved into using his talents to create metal works of art.

“All of my background and industry has taught me you know, structural integrity of the metals, how they move, how to cut them, and all the different applications to come up with a final product,” Matinek said.

He feels lucky to be able to put up his artwork alongside other artists for the community of Sioux Falls.

“Being inspired every year, being accepted on to SculptureWalk every year, really gives me a reason to keep sculpting, and to be re-inspired every year to come back the next year with something a little bit better, or a different avenue,” Martinek said.

And just like the artists before him and alongside him, Martinek’s work not only inspires others, it helps keep people coming back to the heart of the city.

In addition to viewing the artwork on SculptureWalk, the community also gets to vote for their favorite piece.

The people’s choice winner will become a permanent addition to the downtown Area.