Sculptures coming to courthouse grounds

The county board of supervisors and county engineer Wade Weiss were asked to do some brainstorming Monday on how to display sculptures on the courthouse square.

Deb McGinn and Roger Aegerter of Jefferson Matters: Main Street’s Tower View Team talked with the supervisors during the open forum portion of the meeting. They reported filling the six spots available in the inaugural “Ring Out for Art” sculpture contest that will be held in conjunction with the Bell Tower Festival.

The challenge now is to figure out exactly how to display them. Considerations are public safety and assuring the safety of the sculptures.

Each sculpture has a base no larger than 4-feet by 4-feet, but they vary in size, all the way to 16 feet tall, and several branch out from the bottom and are considerably wider than 4 feet. The concern is that one could blow over and injure someone or get damaged.

The six sculptures will be on display on the north sidewalk to the courthouse from May 15 until the Bell Tower Festival June 10-11. Three sculptures will be selected in “peoples’ choice” voting during the festival. The winning artists will receive cash prizes provided by Home State Bank and their sculptures will remain on display for a year.

Fabricating concrete “pallets” with eye hooks was discussed as a possibility. Weiss came in after the discussion with McGinn and Aegerter. He suggested that steel should be part of the fabrication and that perhaps steel bases powder-coated in black would be suitable.

The display bases will be used in years to come and will be moved, probably by county employees, to a storage location when not in use.

No final decision was made, but Weiss will work with Jefferson Matters volunteers on the project. The supervisors did not commit to covering the cost of the display bases.

Play Me Pleeze pianoMcGinn also asked for permission to place another “Play Me Pleez” piano on the Bell Tower Plaza as was done in the summer of 2013. That first piano, painted by artist Kathy Hankel, was recognized by the Iowa Main Street organization with an award in the Image division of the 2013 Promotion competition. The piano is now at Homestead Bakery and Coffee.

The supervisors agreed to allow the piano to be placed on the plaza.


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