Early voting favors lions in downtown Mesa - East Valley Tribune: News

Early voting favors lions in downtown Mesa

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Posted: Tuesday, March 4, 2008 3:50 pm | Updated: 10:29 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Two lions are leading the race in Mesa’s ninth annual Sculptures in the Street contest for the People’s Choice Award.

“The Lion of Flanders” is an 8-foot-long, marble mosaic sculpture designed by Ilona Passino of San Marcos, Calif. The other lion competing for the top spot is “Life on the Rocks” by Brady Fairbanks of Draper, Utah. This 7-foot-6-inch sculpture features a bronze mountain lion and cub scaling down a trail of bedrock.

These leading lions each had 80 votes as of Tuesday.

Overall, 720 votes have been cast. Voting continues until April 1.

“May Flower” by Susan Geissler of Niagara Falls, N.Y., is in third place, and “Bearly Fishin’ ” by Brady Fairbanks is in fourth place.

“The votes are really spread all over the place,” said Dave Wilson of the Downtown Mesa Association.

Printed guides of the Sculptures in the Street exhibit are available in racks along Main Street. The racks also hold the bright yellow voting ballots and boxes.

Mesa residents and visitors admired the variety of sculptures Tuesday that decorated the streets of downtown Mesa.

Richard and JoAnn Freeborn of Mesa said they enjoy seeing the Sculptures in the Street exhibit.

“We love coming each year to the exhibit and bringing guests,” said JoAnn Freeborn.

But the couple had a hard time pinpointing their favorite sculptures. “We love them all,” she said.

Jim Cornelius of Gillett, Wis., said his favorite sculpture was the “Puddle Jumper” by Geissler.

Cornelius said the sculpture of a child jumping in puddles brings back fond childhood memories.

“It reminds me of when I was a kid, it is me,” Cornelius said. “I still love jumping in puddles.”

The artists of the two winning sculptures in the People’s Choice Award will each receive a $1,500 Wayne Pomeroy cash prize. Also, all voters automatically get entered into a drawing for two $100 cash prizes.

There are 80 total sculptures on exhibit, but only the 45 temporary sculptures are eligible for voting in the People’s Choice Award. There are 31 sculptures from Mesa’s permanent collection, and four sculptures are privately owned and on loan for the exhibit.

Mesa’s Permanent Sculpture Panel will purchase at least one temporary sculpture.

The winner of the Panel’s Choice Award is separate from the People’s Choice Award. The committee will meet Thursday, and the award will be announced shortly thereafter.

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