In the fall of 2020, sculptor Dale Lamphere, South Dakota’s Artist Laureate, invited regional artists to collaborate with him on an art installation in the Monument Health Rapid City Hospital lobby.
Each artist submitted their visual idea and a paragraph that describes “What Healing Means to Me.”
“It’s the weaving together of diversity that creates the fabric of a community,” Lamphere said. The piece features metal diamonds arranged in a 16-foot by 32-foot space. And 20 diamonds showcase the work of Black Hills and West River artists.
The piece, installed April 20, 2021, is called “Community Tapestry.”
Meet the Artists
Anita Afraid of Lightning, Rapid City
Healing for me is not only reconciling who I am with my culture, my ancestral land but also to my family. When I think about star quilts, I think of my mother and times she would quilt. Memories of her and who she was and what she stood for are the foundations to my healing. Healing also allows me to help others, such as teaching others to sew. This is healing to me.
MEDIA: Colored, quilted fabric.
Faith Beckloff, Rapid City
Light separating darkness.
Grace for a new day.
No one knows what tomorrow may bring, but in the midst of healing, one may look forward to a new day that may include unfound joys in the midst of sorrow. This oil painting displays a new morning; a day that is “renewed” from the one that came before it. More sky than land. More light than darkness. More peace than chaos.
MEDIA: Oils, textured and heavy application, on canvas.
Rosella Beaumont, Rapid City
I have a glass ‘bluebird of happiness’ that was given to me as a gift, and it has a way of making me feel better. To most Native Americans and non-natives, the bluebird signifies something wonderful and new. Some mythology teaches us that bluebirds connect us to the Spirit World. As ‘spirit animals,’ they are always attached to happiness, prosperity or good health.”
The green C and S strokes form an abstract cross. The red stroke represents Christ. The four bluebirds represent the four apostles.
MEDIA: Oils, in the Telemark style of Norwegian decorative painting. (Rosemaling.)
Mallory Eck, Belle Fourche
This wooden plank is broken: damaged, altered, disrupted by change.
What once was whole is now isolated fragments. Whether the damage is smooth or ragged, the undeniable fact is that it can never return to its original state. But healing is not concerned with what once was, rather the willingness to embrace a new sense of restoration. Creating wholesome unity among the broken pieces that were mistakenly perceived as ruined, this plank has been reborn. And this is not the first time it has seen rebirth, as it was once harvested and transformed from another versatile variation of itself; tenaciously strong with roots anchored deep in the Earth. A testament that brokenness is cyclical and so too is its counterpart: healing.
This wooden plank is healed: mended, renewed, free from ailment.
MEDIA: Wood, broken and charred, with tinted resin.
Greg Geiger, Rapid City
In this work, I represent pine needles as healing prayers to God transitioning towards the center of the work. The pinecone, the receiver of these good intentions and healing prayers, represents individuals all working together to care for others. The metal triangular shapes on the tips of the pinecone symbolize hope reflecting towards the other metallic elements of the Community Tapestry. My goal was to capture the union of caregivers working together in synergy toward healing.
MEDIA: Acrylic paint, metallic ink, aluminum, billboard remnants on wood panel.
Todd Grabow, Hill City
To me, healing is water. I have seen people respond very favorably to water, whether a fountain in a healing garden or a river or shoreline. Aside from the health benefits from water, such as flushing out toxins and its positive effects on energy levels and brain functions, the movement of water is much like the healing process. Sometimes water will be clear and tranquil, while other times it may be violent and murky. Healing is like fording a river – sometimes the waters will be calm, other times you may find yourself slipping on rocks, trying to get to the other shore.
MEDIA: Live edge wood, hand-cut blue glass.
Kris Hachmeister, Belvidere
Like the ocean, healing comes in waves, sometimes receding, sometimes moving forward. There are times in the healing process when I feel like there is no forward progress. At other times progress seems to move ahead like an ocean wave racing toward the shore. The oceans feel the pull of the shore as I feel the pull of good health. The process of healing is ongoing motion like the ebb and flow of the ocean…ever moving, never still.
MEDIA: Nuno Felting, a technique that bonds loose wool fibers into a sheer silk fabric, creating a lightweight felt.
Wendy Martin, Rapid City
I started quilting and crafting with my grandmothers at a very early age. I also started in healthcare when I was 16, becoming an EMT and then transitioning to a Registered Nurse. No matter what level of care I have been able to give, the one thing that has always been constant is wrapping a patient in a blanket. Healing is not just medications and surgery, but healing can be a simple act wrapping a patient in a blanket or quilt to keep them warm, feeling secure, and letting them know they are loved.
This log cabin block quilt design is simple, but it holds deep meaning. The log cabin block usually has a red center to signify hearth of a home. That was significant for soldiers, reminding them they had loved ones at home. The meaning is the same for patients in the hospital.
MEDIA: A selection of soft flannels in a log cabin block quilt design.
Jay Pond, Rapid City
Healing for me can be found in beauty. I love the natural palette of minerals and rocks – both their energy and their esthetics. Specifically, blue kyanite brings tranquility and calming to the whole body. Selenite, a form of crystal gypsum, allows one to see the inner workings of any situation and helps to understand the deeper meaning.
MEDIA: Blue kyanite (mineral) and selenite (mineral).
Britanny Poor Bear, Rapid City
I’ve chosen to use the turtle because turtles represent longevity and good health. Oftentimes when you see turtles it’s because they pray that you lead a long and healthy life. The dragonflies that are circling around the turtle are often seen as protectors and messengers of prayer.
Also, the design that borders the other two designs represents the sacred Black Hills, because that is where we pray for all good things.
It does not matter which walk of life you are from, or which gender that you are; it is always good to pray for one another.
MEDIA: Traditional beadwork.
Skye Potter, Rapid City
The morning star quilt pattern has a long-standing meaning of linking the living to the spiritual life. It represents the brightest star on the horizon and gives hope to those who see it. It is a significant symbol in our community of giving great honor. I have chosen the morning star design to honor not only those who are healing but those who are fighting on the front line of sickness daily. The natural woods common to the area represent the earthy beauty in South Dakota.
MEDIA: Intarsia, a wood technique using a variety of woods native to South Dakota – cherry, cedar, spruce, and walnut.
Desy Schoenewies, Spearfish
Healing requires four key elements: expert care, choosing a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a positive outlook, and a strong support network. These elements are included in my design in the forms of apples representing healthy choices, medic crosses for medical caregivers, clouds to represent positivity and faith, and aspen leaves to represent the support from our families and community. The patient and alert kestrel is a symbol for all of us in the healing process, as we sew together the necessary elements to stay healthy and strong.
MEDIA: Oil paint on a cradled wood panel
Jean Selvy-Wyss, Rapid City
An aspen grove can be the largest living organism on earth. The trees are all connected to each other through their roots. This creates a community helping each other to survive. Healing, to me, comes when you find comfort and support within the folds of your community. This circle of aspens with the view towards the sky represents being supported with hope for the future.
MEDIA: Tapestry, using wool, silk, cotton, and metallic gold thread.
Grant Standard, Rapid City
The four colors of metal in the piece represent the four races of man, coming together in synergy. ‘We are all related, all one human tribe.’ I believe that overcoming prejudice, judgement and separation is a path to healing and peace. Expertise in medicine and conventional modern practices are also of course important as well.
MEDIA: Stainless steel, copper, brass, mild steel.
Mackenzie Swanson, Hill City
I will be making a stained-glass window depicting the Cecropia moth, a native to South Dakota. Moths represent vulnerability, determination, and transformation. When I think about the healing process, these three words perfectly describe it to me. Each of us begins vulnerable, but through determination and connection with others, we achieve transformation of body and mind. It was important to me to include something that illustrates South Dakota and the surrounding area. The moth represents our region, and in a larger sense, our community.
MEDIA: Stained glass in a zinc frame.
Tenyoh, Rapid City
As a hospice nurse, I witnessed healing that was emotional and spiritual rather than physical. It occurs when one embraces approaching death, letting the current take the boat. No longer rowing does not mean giving up living. What is indispensable starts to fill in the remaining course, freeing one from all nonessentials. Inextinguishable peacefulness is often reached by the dying and shared with others. It can mend old wounds and restore harmony. It can be the final gift of healing for loved ones.
The hand-drawn circle in my piece symbolizes inner harmony – oneness. It expresses the ultimate healing that I observed in my hospice patients.
MEDIA: Ceramic clay, acrylic, and stains.
Dustin Twiss, Buffalo Gap
To me the healing process begins with having hope for recovery. The Lakota say that the butterfly carries the spirit of hope, the mother of healing. Having confidence in one’s family and community, knowing that there is concern and compassion for everyone’s wellbeing, it brings hope. This is where I believe the healing process begins.
MEDIA: Colored pencil on paper in an agate-style pattern.
Amy Woodbury, Rapid City
My piece deals with the concept of kintsukuroi (golden repair) the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with gold. … Rather than trying to hide the repair, kintsukuroi celebrates the “healing,” making the repaired vessel even more valuable than before. For me, healing is reflected in this concept. We all “break” at some point in our lives, be it emotionally, spiritually or physically. By celebrating our journey of healing, we allow others to see our unique beauty, and we support them on their own path.
MEDIA: Bronze sculpture.