A new statue of former US president, Barack Obama, has been unveiled in South Dakota, and it's the product of two years of work by sculptor James Van Nuys. The statue is located in Rapid City and is part of the City of Presidents collection, and it depicts the 44th president waving to the crowd and holding his daughter Sasha’s hand.
Located on the corner of 4th and St. Joseph Street, the sculpture was inspired by an image of Obama and Sasha as they walked onto the stage to deliver his victory address at Chicago's Grant Park on presidential election night in 2008. The process of creating it took longer than anticipated, because those behind the project decided to alter their original design to make it more evocative. The final version of the statue was kept under wraps until the unveiling ceremony, and it is expected that it will draw a swathe of visitors to the city.
There are 44 sculptures in the City of Presidents collection now, and they can be found placed around downtown Rapid City. Van Nuys was also the creator of the figures of former presidents, Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson and Millard Fillmore. The idea behind the collection is to honour American presidents, and while each statue is privately funded, placement follows a preset pattern to make sure there is no favouritism or political bias in the process.
Visitors who want to check out the newly-installed sculpture along with the rest of the City of Presidents can pick up a map at the Rapid City visitors centre, or check out the interactive walking tour guide online here.