Founding Fathers Black Hills

Art at the end of the tunnel


It’s been a long and interesting road for the artistic team at James Van Nuys Gallery in Rapid City that has produced our life-size, three-dimensional sculpture of “The Declaration of Independence.”

And this week, they started work on the 47th, and final, figure in the installation that will grace Independence Hall: Home of the Founding Fathers when it opens this summer.

The journey began about three years ago for Van Nuys, a Rapid City painter and sculptor, when he started work on the first sculpture of George Clymer, one of the little-known men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Since then, he’s been joined by Julie Farrell, Jim Maher and Leah Nixon who have turned John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and many more men from John Trumbull’s historic painting into stunning artwork. The last figure to be completed is another lesser-known signer named William Williams who hailed from Connecticut. You may not have learned about Williams in 7th grade social studies class, but like all the signers he has an interesting life story that includes the Declaration of Independence.  Come see us at what will soon be the Black Hills’ newest patriotic-themed tourism destination: Founding Fathers Black Hills, and we’ll tell you about him and all the other men who signed that famous document.

We’re located  just past Reptile Gardens on the way to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Come see us when you’re here!