Healing art at Oyate Health Center

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - At a time where there is gloom and uncertainty of the coronavirus, a new piece of art was installed this morning at the Oyate Health Center to spark some joy.

Derek "Focus" Smith stands proudly by his artwork that hangs outside Lakota Lodge at the Oyate Health Center in Rapid City. (KEVN)

Despite the strong winds, a banner was installed Monday morning outside of Lakota Lodge to encourage smiles during this pandemic.

Along with the vibrant colors is a sentence in Lakota which means "Thank you for walking in a sacred way."

Derek "Focus" Smith is the Rapid City artist who spent 18 hours creating the art piece that the Oyate Health Center asked him to make.

In the center of the piece, is a bear representing a natural doctor, Smith said.

"He goes and digs medicine and he also has a powerful medicine that he carries with him," Smith said.

Smith noticed not many Rapid City artists were using their passion to respond to the pandemic.

Therefore, he wanted to create a visual piece for the community.

"Of course the doctors and the healthcare workers are there but it is also the beliefs that the people hold and continue to hold that help them to heal and help them to grow," Smith said. "Also to help them come together in this idea of community."

Smith said he understands this is a time of confusion and unknown and wanted to create a visual for people to gain hope.