LEAD, S.D. — Lead is beginning to look like an outdoor art gallery thanks to beautification projects, like the Linking Fences Project 2020.
For that last 4 years, Artist Cary Thrall (originally from Lead, SD) has been collaborating with artist’s assistants and local creatives in Black Hills communities to install the artwork on outside fencing.
The materials for every fence design is made from recycled materials, with each piece to display an explanatory sign beside it. The public artworks are designed to last for a minimum of three years.
Each one is a portal back in time and to the other location. Viewers must look closely to take in the whole meaning behind the artwork. Thrall was also able to grow the project to include teaching art lessons to community groups.
The project originally started as a part of a grant offered to the Matthews Opera House in Spearfish from the Bush Foundation. Now thanks for money from The Change Network and funds from community groups and individual sponsors, more projects are being done or have started in Spearfish, Belle Fourche, Lower Brule and Hot Springs.
The statement pieces are created to signify that we are all connected.
Cary A. Thrall, the Managing Artist for Linking Fences and the Owner of Cat Scratch Studio, says,
“We build strong foundations in our communities, and when we have strong communities, we have strong people and when we have strong people, then we all do a better job in the world and really that’s my goal. I want people to feel supported and I want them to be happy and I want people to believe they have the capacity to do what their dreams are.”
Funding for the Lead locations is provided by Sanford Underground Research Facility and Kiewit Alberici Joint Venture.
The project focuses on relationship building and art to help people make change in their lives.