SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sculptures hold value for 36-year-old Cameron Stalheim of Sioux Falls.

“I’ve been sculpting a long time, my whole life,” Stalheim said. “When I was in middle school, I used to sculpt little figurines for my teachers as gifts.”

South Dakotans might already be familiar with his work; he did a piece of a coyote that occupies a prominent place on campus at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

“Sculpture really came into my life when I won the coyote statue down at USD and was able to create that on campus, and that’s really what pushed me to go into sculpture professionally,” Stalheim said.

Most of the sculptures seen around downtown Sioux Falls are temporary, but every year one piece becomes permanently part of SculptureWalk thanks to a popular vote. This year, that piece is Stalheim’s “Linger,” the winner of the 2023 People’s Choice Award.

“Depending on where the sun’s coming from or what direction you’re looking at it, it might look green or gold or purple … it changes as you interact with it,” SculptureWalk board member Jim Mathis said.

“It’s about a feeling of in-between,” Stalheim said. “So, it’s like that feeling when you’ve had past successes and you’re looking forward to the future, but you’re patiently waiting, and you’re actively waiting, and you’re just in a space of unknowns.”

The piece has a wave-like quality to it.

“I see a lot of wonderful movement in the piece, and it just makes me feel like we’re going somewhere,” Mathis said.

Stalheim feels motivated by the distinction his work has received; he’s going to keep doing what he does.

“It just really is encouraging and makes me want to keep creating,” Stalheim said.

Stalheim says he is “grateful” for the people’s vote. The City of Sioux Falls will purchase “Linger,” which is now located between 9th and 10th Streets on the east side of Phillips Avenue.