The winners of the Downtown Racine Corporation's Sphere Madness public art event have been announced.
First prize, with a $3,000 prize, went to artist Renee Staeck for Scrambled Egg. It was sponsored by Landmark Title of Racine and Henry & Wanda's.
Second prize, winning $2,000, went to Tammy Easton, for Hemispherium (below, left). It was sponsored by Dr. Michael Westmann.
Third prize, $1,000, was awarded to Mason Swager, for Do You See What I See? (below, right). Wachovia Securities was the sponsor.
Honorable mentions were awarded to: A Starry Night by Sherri Shaver, sponsored by Monfort’s Fine Art Gallery; Owl of the Crowmosome Layer by Bill Reid, sponsored by Gene Johnson; Good Vibrations by Doug and David Soller, sponsored by Johnson Outdoors; Toulouse-Laugoose Egg by Robert W. Andersen, sponsored by Jane Hutterly and Louie Seabolt; and Wandering Eye by Rick Beyer and Fred Dacquisto, sponsored by Ruud Lighting.
The judges were Leslie Perrino and Colleen Pemberton. Leslie Perrino is a full-time artist who teaches art classes at the Evanston Art Center in Evanston, Illinois, and workshops at Wustum Art Museum in Racine and the Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek. Working in metals and jewelry, she exhibits nationally and internationally and is involved with many local and national metal and enameling organizations.
Colleen Pemberton is an Associate of the Hollander Gallery and Assistant Director of the David Barnett Gallery. She is an accredited member of the American Society of Appraisers; a member of the Racine Art Museum Accessions Committee; St. John’s on the Lake Arts Board; Mequon Architecture Board; Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design Art Holdings Committee and the Milwaukee Art Museum Print Forum Board.
“The spheres were very well executed,” said Perrino. “It was a difficult decision.”
“Scrambled Egg isn’t just a sphere,” said Pemberton. “It is very artistic. The artist utilized both organic and inorganic materials. We liked the way she could look at a round sphere and transform into an egg-shaped form.” Renee is a repeat winner: in 2002, she took first place with “Trojan Dog” and in 2000 she created a bird entitled “One in a Thousand.” A graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Renee moved back to Racine last April.
“Hemispherium is not only beautiful and creative, it’s also functional,” said the judges. They remarked on the shape that was cut into the sphere and also the creative use of mosaics. Artist Tammy Easton also created a dog, otter, bear, birdbath and lighthouse in past events.
Mason Swager is a talented 15-year-old who created optical patterning lines on his sphere to create Do You See What I See? According to the judges they saw his creation online and were amazed at how clearly defined it was both in person and in images. “He was able to make this piece work without adding any appendages,” said Perrino.
The 74 spheres will be on display in Downtown Racine through Labor Day and then will be auctioned on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Memorial Hall. Doors open at 3 p.m. with the voice auction at 4 p.m. and a silent auction after that. Admission is $3 and open to the public.
Proceeds from the auction will benefit Downtown Racine.
More of the spheres are pictured HERE and HERE.