Coalville seeks public art
Ryan Summerlin March 4, 2014
Over the last four years, Coalville has been invaded by a dragon, a leaf dancer and a folded metal airplane, thanks to the outdoor public-art sculpture gallery known as the Summit County Artscape.
Whose artistic vision will invade the town next?
Summit County and Coalville are now accepting entries for the 2014-15 Artscape and the call is open to artists from around the country, said Lola Beatlebrox, Artscape chairwoman of the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board.
"The deadline for entries is Monday, May 5," Beatlebrox said during an interview with The Park Record. "So artists have quite a bit of lead time for submissions."
The works will be on display in Coalville from May 12, 2014, until April 30. 2015.
Up to 8 outdoor sculptures will be selected, and new and existing works are eligible for entry, Beatlebrox said.
"We also encourage a ‘sense of place’ theme, but that’s not required," she said.
The advisory board will look for the following criteria in the art.
"That means it has to be able to withstand the snow, rain, wind, heat and other elements," Beatlebrox said.
"The city will provide a display foundation and bolts to secure the piece," Beatlebrox said. "So it needs some sort of mechanism so the bolts can fasten it to the base."
"There is no size limit," Beatlebrox said. "As long as you can pull it to Coalville in a trailer and get it under electric power wires, you’re good to go."
One goal of Artscape is to add at least one piece to Coalville’s permanent collection each year and these pieces are selected through a People’s Choice Award voting process.
"Voting for last year’s submissions will begin on March 15 and run through April 15," Beatlebrox said.
Votes can be submitted via an online ballot at www.summitcounty.org/publicart .
"This year we will ask for zip codes, so we can gauge where the votes are coming from," Beatlebrox said. "Although these pieces are part of the Coalville collection, Artscape is a Summit County project."
Paper ballots will also be available at Coalville City Hall, located at 10 N. Main Street, and the Summit County Courthouse, 60 N. Main Street.
Only one vote per person will be allowed, Beatlebrox said.
"Each work has its own wonderful attributes and any of them will be a neat addition to the permanent public-art gallery," she said.
This year the prize is $1,500 to acquire the piece.
"The city has allocated the money to purchase the winning sculpture from the artist," Beatlebrox said.
The inspiration for a contest to beautify Coalville started in 2010 with then Mayor Duane Schmidt.
"He was interested in buying one sculpture for the city," Beatlebrox said. "We had been to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Bozeman, Montana, and saw what their public-art programs were like. We actually modeled ours after the one in Montana."
The mission was and still is to celebrate and unite Summit County residents through art. And while Beatlebrox and her board thought public art would enliven the town, they never dreamed how interactive the program would become.
"A couple of seasons ago, the city started the ‘Dress the Leaf Dancer’ competition," Beatlebrox said.
Local residents can submit applications describing how they would decorate or dress a wire sculpture known as the Leaf Dancer, she explained.
Once their application is approved, they can dress up the sculpture in the costume or costumes they described, Beatlebrox said.
"We are thrilled the city wants to take over and continue the Leaf Dancer competition," she said. "Those who want to do the decorating won’t have to contact the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board anymore. They can just contact Coalville City. And it’s wonderful that the City Council is very enthusiastic about the project."
Beatlebrox said she is thankful for the support of Coalville’s new Mayor Trevor Johnson.
"We are delighted that Mayor Trevor, as I call him, has involved the Coalville City Council," she said. "They voted to continue Artscape and I was pleased with that."
Visit www.summitcounty.org/publicart or call Lola Beatlebrox, Artscape Chair, Summit County Public Art Advisory Board at (435) 640-0682 for more information about Artscape or to get an submission application.