IRONWOOD - The Friends of the Miners Memorial Heritage Park announced the winners of the Art in the Park competition Saturday evening at Festival Ironwood.
The outdoor exhibit includes 12 art installations along the one-mile Aurora Loop of the Miners Trail. The competition was judged by the public who walked the trail since the exhibit opened June 26.
Amanda Szot, of Ironwood, earned first prize for her creation,"Sprouting Wings." The prize came with $1,000. Katie Greenough, who created "What Birds Dream Of," won second place and $500. Jayne Suvanto, who created "Inspiration Trail," won third place and $250.
The other seven competing art exhibits were each awarded $125.
Two exhibits were also given special selection awards and $100 each by the Friends of the MMHP and will be maintained in the park. Those exhibits are Phil Kucera's piece, "Iron-Wood No. 1," and Mark Belmas and Anthony Sundberg's piece, "Labyrinth Superior."
The award money was raised through an on-line fundraising campaign. Other artists who displayed art include Doug Kikkebusch, David Furgason, Eva Smith-Furgason, Amy Anderson, Roy Staab, Arlene Schneller, and the Ironwood Carnegie Library Poets.
Szot's first place art exhibit won over double the total points of any other exhibit and includes two intricately designed birds that are more than 6 feet tall beside eggs that have babies "sprouting" from them. Betsy Wesselhoft, of Ironwood, commented that the first place piece "has a stunning impact as you approach it and is a dazzling creation to behold up close."
Greenough's second place exhibit, "What Birds Dream Of," includes a weaving, bird feeders, a bird house, and a tree covered in cards on which visitors wrote their own hopes, dreams, and wishes. Nicole Roman, of Ironwood, said that the piece "is a magical art piece that intertwined animals and people. Incorporating our hopes, dreams and wishes connects the art to our lives and the world."
Jayne Suvanto's third place piece, "Inspiration Trail," included small exhibits of art over a long segment of forested trail. Within the exhibit is a giant bird's nest of twigs with a few bones inside with a wallet that says "Jimmy Hoffa," a porcupine made of sticks, a giant eye, and flowers growing out of old boots. Lynette Phillipson, of Boise, Idaho, said, "I love that it just kept going. I thought it was over and I would find another cute sign and display."
The awards were based on 622 ballots cast by visitors.
Observing that many of the visitors that walked the trail did not vote, Paul Kostelink, who helped organize the event said, "We estimate that over one thousand people visited Art in the Park since opening day."
The Art in the Park exhibit will continue through this Saturday, July 26. Artists will have the option to leave exhibits up while they are in good condition into August.
The trail's entrance is at the Lorenson Baseball Field on Ayer Street in Ironwood. For more information, call Monie Shackleford at 906-932-3779 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.