Dozens of people attended festivities which were part of the fourth annual Arts R Alive Sculpture Event in Webster City.
The event featured live music from the "Jive for Five" brass band and refreshments in addition to seven sculptures at West Twin Park. The public voted for their favorite sculpture on Wednesday and Thursday.
Following the musical performance, local artists who entered pieces for the event spoke to the public. Jon Kayser, of Webster City, was first to discuss his sculpture. He said that "Freedom," a large copper hand holding a white candle, had been a work in progress since 2011. A plaque on the side of the sculpture reads "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle," a quote attributed to a Libyan freedom fighter.
Maureen Seamonds, of Webster City, speaks to the crowd at the fourth annual Arts R Alive Sculpture Event in Webster City on Thursday evening. Seamonds stands next to her sculpture, “Cosmic Array.” Her piece was selected as the top sculpture by Judge Martin Arthur. It also received the most votes in from the public and won the people’s choice award.
Members of the Jive for Five brass band play at West Twin Park in Webster City on Thursday as part of the fourth annual Arts R Alive Sculpture Event.
"It was something I wanted to do and it was enjoyable for me to do," Kayser said. "It took a while but I finally got it done and I'm glad that people let me bring it down and that everybody's here."
Tim Adams, also of Webster City, then presented his sculpture. "Park Yourself" is a bench which is made out of an anhydrous ammonia tank. Adams said he had seen such a sculpture made before, but wanted to try his hand at it.
"I enjoy the opportunity to come here with everyone. We appreciate everyone coming out," Adams said.
Maureen Seamonds, of Webster City, discussed her piece and others at the event. She said it's interesting to have a place where artists can talk about their work. As an art teacher for many years, Seamonds said it's interesting to see what other people think about their own work because it introduces others to their way of thinking.
"When you think about why the arts are important in the world, it really gives you the chance to see what other people think of the same things you see," Seamonds said.
Four other sculptures were also a part of the event. However, because the artist talk held Thursday was rescheduled from Wednesday due to rain, artists from outside of the community were unable to attend. That included artists from Cedar Falls, Storm Lake, Ankeny and Cumming.
Following the artist talk, those in attendance heard from the contest judge. Martin Arthur, director of the James and Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts in Cedar Falls, critiqued each sculpture. He said public art can brand communities, creating iconic images that tie communities together and bringing more people and businesses to them.
When he finished his critique, Arthur announced that his favorite piece was "Cosmic Array" by Seamonds. She also received the most votes from the public and won the people's choice award. Seamonds said it's exciting to be recognized, but said it was also fun to see everyone working together to host the event.
"Our goal is really to bring the community together," Seamonds said. "Hopefully, next year we'll have more and more people."