One of the most visible aspects of the work at the Hill City Arts Council is the public art we have helped to put in our community. 

Our first public art project occurred thanks to sculptor Peggy Detmers, renowned for her work on "Tatanka, the Story of the Bison," a 17-piece, larger-than-life monument just outside Deadwood. Peggy Detmers created "Patriarch," the bison sculpture that welcomes visitors into the heart of Hill City. The sculpture project required years of work, both for Peggy and for the Arts Council, which partnered with the community's Heart of the Hills Economic Development Corporation to raise the funds. After installation, the sculpture was donated by HCAC to the City.

The second public art piece we are proud to own is John Lopez's "Iron Star," a hybrid-metal sculpture that sits  on Main Street in Hill City. "Iron Star" has received waves of praise from far across the region, and indeed the sculpture has been called "the most photographed horse in South Dakota."


  • Develop the creative economy in Hill City;
  • Strengthen the existing business community;
  • Extend the season that draws “cultural tourists";
  • Create community-wide participation and develop supportive infrastructure; and
  • Advocate for the arts and arts funding.

All Aboard Hill City originated in 2008 as a partnership between Heart of the Hills Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Hill City Arts Council (HCAC) to:

In the last few years, All Aboard Hill City grew to include the City of Hill City, the Hill City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Black Hills Film Festival and other groups and citizens. All of these entities are coming together to target projects beyond the original goals stated by the group. The possibilities are limitless!

So far, the coalition has supported community visioning, assessment and community design programs, and annual arts events. It's also working on collaborating on specific community improvement projects.