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Coalville artist Cody Keetch used discarded items to make "Metal Mulley." (Photo courtesy of the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board)

Five years ago, the Summit County Board of Commissioners created the Summit County Public Art Program and Advisory Board.

The mission of the board is to celebrate and unite Summit County residents through art, said Lola Beatlebrox, chairwoman of Artscape, which is in charge of commissioning artwork on behalf of the county.

One of the programs initiated through the board was the public art gallery that features sculptures of all types in on Coalville's Main Street, she said.

"The guiding light is Mayor Duane S. Schmidt, who began the program with the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board as part of a beautification project the city councilors were doing," she said.

Schmidt approached Artscape and asked how he could get some public art.

"Jenny Dorsey from the Kimball Art Center and I had just done a city tour of Bozeman, Montana, that inspired our Artscape model and we told him we could do it, and began asking for public art entries that, after a year on display, would be voted on for Coalville to acquire," Beatlebrox said. "We've been asking for more sculptures every year."

This year, four public art sculptures will compete in what has become the People's Choice Award in Coalville.

They are "Metal Mulley," by Coalville artist Cody Keetch, "Man Sittig by Hooper-based sculptor Milt Neeley, "Guardians" by Salt Lake City's Dan Toone and "Frangmented Spiral" by Park City's William J. Kranstover.

The online and paper ballot voting will be conducted through April 30, Beatlebrox explained.


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"Paper ballots are available at Coalville City Hall and in the County Courthouse," she said. "People can also vote online, and anyone in Summit County can vote as much as they want by logging onto www.summitcounty.org/publicart/artscape ."

Coalville city has pledged up to $2,500 to purchase the winner.

Beatlebrox said "Metal Mulley" creator Keetch likes to make art out of discarded items.

"His works are from what other people throw away," she said. "He has taken two of his hobbies — drawing and welding — and creatied this piece, which is a gigantic-sized buck head."

Neeley's "Man Sitting" is a steel wire figure seated on a bench.

"This one is made of stainless steel, and looks like a man who is constructed out of wire," Beatlebrox said. "He's sitting on a bench and the bench is part of the wire sculpture."

"Man Sitting" is the second sculpture Neeley has entered in the Artscape contest.

Last year he won the People's Choice Award with his work, "Leaf Dancer." The sculpture is of a plant that grew into the shape of a female dancer, Beatlebrox said.

The intrigue of "Guardians" by Toone is that the installation is comprised of three columns of rust patina that is wrapped with chrome steel, Beatlebrox said.

"What I like about 'Guardians' is that it's set up in a pocket park on Main Street where Mountain Town Stages holds free concerts in the summer," she said. "The art, which is set up on a raised wall, looks as if it's guarding the park. It sets it off quite nicely."

Kranstover, who created "Fragmented Spiral," has a long history of creating public art in Park City, Beatlebrox said.

Known as "Kranny" by many, Kranstover was eventually was revealed as Park City's Phantom Sculptor in the 1990s.

"He would make sculptures out of materials people threw away and would drop them off at locations throughout the city," Beatlebrox said. "There are hundreds."

Beatlebrox said she loves art because it not only beautifies the world, but also brings people together.

"Art makes us laugh and makes us cry," she said. "We at Artscape want to make Coalville a beautiful place, which it has become, but there is always more need for art."

For more information, about the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board and Artscape, visit www.summicounty.org/publicart.