SIOUX FALLS, S.D – Picture sitting in a healthcare lobby and watching live entertainment from an artist. This was the case today at the Sioux Falls VA Health Care System.

The inspiration for Darwin Wolf’s sculpture is return to base.

“This is a female pilot walking away from her plane with helmet in hand,” he says.

He says sculpting in a public space creates inspiration.

“I don’t sculpt in my studio anymore, pretty much never anymore. I’ve had people and critique and help me fine tune the equipment and that happened, that didn’t, this is where things happen, put this here, some pilots do this,” says Darwin.

At the VA Health Care System he gets to talk to veterans who have firsthand knowledge for his work. The center serves 27 thousand veterans. They also benefit from the art.

“It’s been proven time and time after time that the arts and good distractions in general improve healing,” says Darwin.

“The look of excitement and the look of a little bit of shock to see something different at our facility has been really nice,” says public affairs officer Erin Bultje.

Some are even testing out their skills…

“We’ve supplied Darwin with some materials, so he’ll sit with the veterans when they come up and they express that desire to get back into artwork,” says Bultje.

Darwin hopes to bring joy to patients, even if it’s just while they wait.

“I think the veterans forget that they’re all heroes and to see a sculpture being done of a military person, it reminds them again, and they get excited again and they tell their stories,” says Darwin.

Showing that the little things, like passing a sculpture, can brighten a day.

Darwin says the fighter pilot pictured is based around the years 1995 to 1999.

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