Midway artist Keith Lundskog’s "Balance" is one of the the new works that have been submitted to the Summit County Artscape for the
Midway artist Keith Lundskog's "Balance" is one of the the new works that have been submitted to the Summit County Artscape for the Coalville public art People's Choice Awards. (Lola Beatlebrox)
In 2008, the Summit County Board of Commissioners created the Summit County Public Art Program and Advisory Board and asked for a plan and recommendations for the county council and manager about art-funding opportunities.

The council established Summit County Artscape, an organization chaired by Lola Beatlebrox, to commission public artwork on behalf of the county, and three years ago, it started its People's Choice Awards.

The program asks for art submissions that will be on display in Coalville for a year. The public then votes on their favorite and the winner not only has the honor of his or her work being put on permanent display, but also receives a check.

This year, the award is $3,500, which is up from $2,500 the first year, Beatlebrox said during an interview with The Park Record.

Salt Lake City-based artist Kristi Mercer’s "Fawn" is one of the new works that have been submitted to the Summit County Artscape for the
Salt Lake City-based artist Kristi Mercer's "Fawn" is one of the new works that have been submitted to the Summit County Artscape for the Coalville public art People's Choice Awards. (Lola Beatlebrox)

"I think that attracted more artists, because there are a total of eight that submitted works this year," she said. "Two artists have continued to exhibit their works from last year, and another artist, William J. "Kranny" Kranstover, who has donated a work in the past, donated another this year.

"On top of that, we have an additional five artists that entered new pieces this year," she said. "It is so exciting."

The new works include sculptures of a metal aircraft, a stone on top of a cone, a young deer, a metal horse that is seemingly powered by an engine, and a sunflower.

Park City High School student Zane DeKoff created a piece called "Voyager." The work is a metal airplane displayed on a metal staff that is on the road to North Summit High School.


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"So when you look at it as you are going up the hill, you see the plane and the high school rising behind it," she said. "It's very elegant."

Midway artist Keith Lundskog was the one who came up with "Balance," which features a stone sitting atop a crumpled steel cone.

"Keith wanted to represent the challenges afflicting humanity," Beatlebrox said. "It's an interesting piece, because you can feel the weight of the world on top of this cone, even though it's a smaller piece.

Hooper artist Milt Neeley’s "Flower" is one of the new works that have been submitted to the Summit County Artscape for the Coalville
Hooper artist Milt Neeley's "Flower" is one of the new works that have been submitted to the Summit County Artscape for the Coalville public art People's Choice Awards. (Lola Beatlebrox)
"

The work stands four feet tall and is attractive to Beatlebrox because of its philosophical message, she said.

Salt Lake City-based artist Kristi Mercer submitted "Fawn," a 34-inch work made of hand-wrought steel.

"This is the second piece she has entered in our program," Beatlebrox said. "It's a sweet and innocent little fawn located in the pocket park at Coalville."

One work that will catch people's eyes is "Horse of Engine," submitted by Albert Neeley, brother of Milt Neeley, who won the People's Choice Award two years ago with his iron and wire work, "Leaf Dancer."

"I didn't know Milt had a brother," Beatlebrox said laughing.

"Horse of Engine" is exhibited right in front of City Hall and is made in a way that allows people to see various motorparts inside its ribcage.

Park City High School student Zane DeKoff’s "Voyager" is one of the new works that have been submitted to the Summit County Artscape for
Park City High School student Zane DeKoff's "Voyager" is one of the new works that have been submitted to the Summit County Artscape for the Coalville public art People's Choice Awards. (Lola Beatlebrox)

"It's clearly a horse, and very fun to see the different parts of the engine," Beatlebrox said. "I think many people in Coalville will enjoy this because we all work with engines at some point."

Not to be outdone by his brother, Milt Neeley returned and submitted a new work, "Flower," which is basically an oversized metal sunflower.

"Milt is a very careful artist, and the patinas and the finish on this piece is very outstanding," Beatlebrox said. "It's great to have him come back to do this."

Over the summer, Neeley's "Leaf Dancer" inspired community spirit when 10 Coalville residents dressed the sculpture as a firefighter, circus ringmaster, and "Super Librarian," to name a few.

Ogden-based metal worker Albert Neeley’s "Horse of Engine" is one of the new works that have been submitted to the Summit County Artscape
Ogden-based metal worker Albert Neeley's "Horse of Engine" is one of the new works that have been submitted to the Summit County Artscape for the Coalville public art People's Choice Awards. (Lola Beatlebrox)

At the end of the summer, after the Rockport fire that destroyed eight homes, the dancer was dressed up as a firefighter in tribute.

"That showed the community spirit," Beatlebrox said. "In fact, dressing the 'Leaf Dancer' showed how much people who dressed it were in touch with the events that went on in Coalville."

Other returning artists will include Beatlebrox's husband, Zaphod, Dan Toone and Kranstover.

"Zaphod will continue to show 'Dragon Mailbox' and Dan kept his 'Guardians' on display," Beatlebrox said. "Kranny has donated his last year's work, 'Fragmented Spiral' to us."

In order for people to become accustomed to the art, the works will remain in place for a year. "The public will be able to vote on their favorites in March or April," Beatlebrox said.

Beatlebrox said she is thrilled at how artists and the public have embraced the public-art program.

"We went out on a limb to try this out and it was successful the first year, but the numbers of submissions went down the second year, and we wondered if it was going to be a sustainable project," she said. "However, last year, the city offered a little more money, which booted the entries up again."

When Coalville's mayor, Duane J. Schmidt, resigned a few days ago, Beatlebrox and the public art advisory board became concerned and discussed the changes.

Their concern lifted when they attended the City Council meeting that announced Cody Keetch, the creator of the deer sculpture "Metal Mulley," as the 2013 People's Choice Award winner.

"Everyone was smiling, which was something to us," Beatlebrox said. "They had been talking about heavy issues prior to the award and their faces were long and serious, but when the award come up, everyone lit up. It felt very positive and people could rally around it and feel good about it.

"I felt there was more than just the mayor's support, because over the past three years, people have seen how much the art enhances the town and brings in money from tourists and others who come to see the art," she said. "I expect the program to continue."

For more information go to www.summitcounty.org/publicart and www.coalvillecity.org/publicart or contact Lola Beatlebrox, Chair, Summit County Artscape, at (435) 640-0682.