SD Artist Sculpts Black Cowboy Tribute
February 10, 2010 3:25 PM
A Sioux Falls artist is using his works to show others the history of blacks in South Dakota, and he's letting everybody watch him do it. In this week's "Someone You Should Know," meet Porter Williams, as he creates a statue celebrating Black History Month in South Dakota.
Nat Love was a black cowboy from Tennessee, who came to Deadwood in the spring of 1876 and won a 4th of July contest held in the town.
"He won a few of their shooting contests and a few of their roping contests," said South Dakota artist Porter Williams.
As a reward for his efforts, the town gave Love the nickname "Deadwood Dick." Porter Williams is remembering "Deadwood Dick," creating a statue that celebrates black history and history in South Dakota.
"We've evolved as we've been a part of this nation, and we're definitely a part of South Dakota," said Williams.
Williams will spend the next few days finishing up the statue in the Sioux Falls main library, where it then goes to the South Dakota African-American History Museum at the Multicultural Center, next to the other works by Williams.
"You see the perseverance of the African-American community and I think that in essence is kind of the big part of the story, but from Porter's perspective you see where his heart is," said Carl Teer.
Williams has been an artist all his life, and says as he continues to sculpt, South Dakota history and black history will be front and center in his works.
"The more I look the more I find. Black people have been here for a long time," said Williams.
And Porters' goal is to help people remember that past.
The South Dakota African-American History Museum displaying Williams' work is open at the Multicultural Center weekdays from ten to three. He'll be at the Sioux Fall's main branch library until February 19th finishing up his piece.