Thursday, October 23, 2008

Behind the scenes with the 8 Wonders of Kansas Art

This morning at 7:30 a.m. I started sending out congratulations to the following finalists that were the top 8 vote getters for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Art contest.

  • Birger Sandzen, Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, Lindsborg
  • Blue Sky Sculpture, Newton
  • Buffalo Bill Bronze Sculpture, Oakley
  • Garden of Eden/Lucas, Grassroots Arts Mecca
  • Gordon Parks, Fort Scott
  • John Steuart Curry Murals, state capitol, Topeka
  • Keeper of the Plains, Wichita
  • St. Mary's Catholic Church, St. Benedict

It's fun to notify these folks. I got the word to Fort Scott just in time for them to announce it at a chamber coffee. St. Mary's Church didn't make it in the overall 8 Wonders of Kansas round so they were elated -- and should be. They have such a beautiful and artful interior! Everyone was excited. Of course, there are the 16 finalists that didn't make it but most have really good attitudes about having had the opportunity to be in the contest and to benefit from the exposure.

We've been busy sending out news releases to media. Lawrence Journal World already has it online. TV stations and many newspapers are asking for pictures. WenDee handles all the picture requests. Thank goodness. I've done several interviews already. Our web designer friends at LogicMaze (Hutchinson) have been there to help with all sorts of details. Somehow it all comes together!

In the weeks leading up to this announcement, Mom has been counting and counting paper ballots --1,524 of them! What would we do without her? It was very nice that 7,625 came in through the online voting mechanism. Schools have been telling us how they've used the contest with their students. Students have voted, nursing homes, too. Votes came from 46 states and nine foreign countries. It's all good.

Especially for the more rural towns, being a finalist in any of these contests is really an affirmation for them and provides an impetus to capitalize on this asset that they have in their town.

The whole state has a lot to offer when it comes to art and we hope that the contest helps make that point!

Get Kansas! KE #2 Marci Penner


Tamara Heitschmidt said...

You ladies do a great job of promoting our somewhat humble state. I love working with you all on a regular basis. Keep up the great work!!

Sincerely -
Tamara and the gang at Logicmaze

Patsy Terrell said...

I've got some info on St. Mary's on the blog... BEAUTIFUL place!