Sculpture quest popular contest

Last updated 09:00 29/06/2013

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Woodville residents' chance to chalk their views on the town's inaugural sculpture competition has proved popular.

The Woodville Upgrade Residents' Group is on a mission to spruce up the Tararua town after the 2011 Manawatu Gorge slip, and the "the icing on the cake" will be a new town sculpture.

The group's chairman, Peter Bonser, said it launched a creative quest for a state-of-the-art statue last year as a chance to celebrate the town's fancy new facade.

Artists were encouraged to draw an A3-sized sketch of their design with the two finalists - Reflecting Woodville and The Woodville Tree - given $2000 to build a quarter-scale model of their entry.

The mini monuments went on display last month, with the public asked to vote for their favourites. The polling booth closed yesterday.

Mr Bonser said he wasn't sure how many people had voted but it had been a hot topic around town.

An online Manawatu Standard poll saw about 500 people place a vote for their preferred sculpture, with The Woodville Tree pushing ahead by 30 votes.

"There's been a very good, positive interest and, without doing a head count, the two statues both had quite a lot of support so we don't know who's going to win yet," Mr Bonser said.

An artistic panel of five "Woodvillians", including Mr Bonser, will pick the winner soon.

"We're teeing up a meeting for next week to make our decision in the middle of July."

The winner has to tick off several requirements, such as a structure robust enough to last at least 50 years, with the artistic panel having the final say.

The winner gets $25,000 in prizemoney with some of it to be spent on making the sculpture, which should be up outside the town's library by Christmas.

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- Manawatu Standard

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