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Winners of annual River City Sculptures on Parade competition announced

A whimsical depiction of a child and dog enjoying ice cream is the runaway winner of the annual River City Sculptures on Parade “People’s Choice” competition.

Members of the committee made the announcement at the city council meeting on Tuesday night. The sculpture, entitled “Sundays with Jessie” is the creation of artist Susan Geissler of Youngstown, New York. The piece is priced at $21,000.

'Sundays with Jessie'

“Sundays with Jessie” is the creation of artist Susan Geissler of Youngstown, New York. Her piece won the "People's Choice" award in the River City Sculptures on Parade competition. The piece is priced at $21,000.

Mason City will purchase the sculpture at a cost of $15,000 for permanent display on the city's sculpture walk as part of an agreement with the artist, sculpture program, and city council. Preliminary plans call for the sculpture to be placed on Delaware Avenue near Market 124. The artist will be awarded a plaque next May at the annual artist reception. Until that time, the sculpture will remain on display in front of the Mason City Police Department.

The majority of the votes came from local citizens and Iowa visitors, but vote tallies included ballots by people from several states across the country.

According to Sculptures on Parade chairperson Robin Anderson, “Sundays with Jessie” was the clear winner.

“The People’s Choice voting is often very close … sometimes coming down to a ballot or two," Anderson said. "This year, people seemed to rally around the whimsical subject matter of a laughing child and loyal companion."

The most popular sculptures, in addition to the winner, are:

  • "Self Made Man" by Bobbie Carlyle of Loveland, Colorado. This piece, depicting a man carving himself out of a block of stone represents mankind carving one’s self, carving one’s character, and carving one’s future. Priced at $26,500, this sculpture is displayed in front of the Charles H MacNider Art Museum, and is sponsored by Joe & Kris Plank.
  • "Saturday Distractions" by Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This piece features a boy engrossed in a book, while his dog patiently waits for attention. It is a companion piece to the first-ever winner of the People’s Choice competition — "Saturday Distractions II," which depits a girl on a scooter reading a book and paying no attention to her rag doll or cat. This year’s entry is displayed on the corner across from The Manor and is sponsored by Good Shepherd Inc. The sculpture price is $15,000.
  • "Avenue Dream Catcher" by Mark Hall of Kasota, Minnesota, is displayed on East State Street across from the First Baptist Church. This design follows Native American ideals with the hope of a bright and rewarding future through cleansing away bad thoughts every dawn of every day. The sculpture, created of powder-coated steel and colored glass, is priced at $11,000 and is sponsored by North Iowa Community Credit Union.

Sculptures not purchased will be taken down in April 2022 and returned to the artists or sent to other public art programs. A new exhibit will open in early May, incorporating new permanent sculptures into the display and adding new pieces on loan from the artists.

River City Sculptures on Parade Inc. is a nonprofit group that works to bring public art to Mason City. The group is in partnership with SculptureOne, which assists similar sculpture programs in Sioux Falls, Mankato, and Eau Claire. Sculptures on Parade has exclusive rights to the SculptureOne presence in the state of Iowa.

The 71-piece exhibit follows a 1.7 mile walk designed to lead participants on a looping route to the Cultural Crescent and back to the Mason City central core. For more information about the program, contact River City Sculptures on Parade at 641.423.5724.

WATCH NOW: River City Sculptures on Parade hosted an unveiling on Tuesday, introducing four new pieces to Mason City's collection.

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