MASON CITY | With more than 400 votes from the public, the River City Sculptures on Parade “People’s Choice” competition ended in a tie this year.
The winning sculptures, announced earlier this week, are “Who Rescued Who?” by Lorri Acott, Colorado, and “Maestro” by Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby, South Dakota.
According to an agreement with the council, the city will purchase the winning sculpture for $15,000.
Instead of breaking the tie, sculpture committee members will utilize grant funding to purchase "Maestro," which is listed at $30,000, and the city will purchase the Acott piece, which is listed at $22,000. The city will pay the artist directly next May.
"Maestro," a bronze interactive piece in the center of Central Park, involves a boy on a milk stool directing six people playing actual chimes.
“Who Rescued Who?” -- displayed on the edge of the city-owned parking lot on East State Street -- depicts a dog and master nose-to-nose.
The majority of the 410 votes came from local citizens and Iowa visitors, but included ballots by people from 15 different states, according to Robin Anderson, chair of Sculptures on Parade.
Almost every sculpture received a vote, and many ballots included comments praising the program, Anderson said in a news release. Some votes were for sculptures not entered in the competition, or already part of the permanent collection.
Many remaining sculptures are available for sale or lease. Those not purchased or leased will be taken down in April and returned to the artists or sent to other public art programs.
A new exhibit will open in early May.