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ART BEAT: Suwanee sends out a call to artists for 'SculpTour' 2013

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Special Photo "Winged Glory" is a favorite piece in the city of Suwanee's 2012 Sculptour. New pieces will be exhibited in May.

Suwanee has been a regional leader in offering and supporting public art. Its annual "SculpTour," which promotes and celebrates three- dimensional, large pieces of artwork for residents to enjoy on a daily basis, has been a success on many levels. Thus, the Suwanee SculpTour 2012 will be followed by an expanded version of Suwanee SculpTour 2013, and the call to artists has gone out.

"SculpTour has received an enthusiastic, positive response from visitors and the community," Economic and Community Development Director Denise Brinson said. "The current exhibit has been so popular that we'll be sorry to see it go in March after only 10 months. For that reason, as well as to make more efficient use of private funding resources, we've decided to extend SculpTour to a 22 month exhibit period."

The next SculpTour will be held from May 2013 to March 2015, allowing residents to continue the experience of living with favorite artwork, scattered around the town, as the artwork becomes a part of people's lives.

Deadline for submissions for this expanded exhibition is Jan. 25. The request for proposals is available on the Business Matters/Requests for Proposals page at www.suwanee.com.

The Public Arts Commission will select between 10 and 20 sculptures, depending on available funding for the 2013 SculpTour exhibit. Selected artists will receive a stipend for loaning their sculpture to the exhibit. At the end of the exhibit in March 2015, again depending upon funding, the city of Suwanee may purchase one or more of the pieces for display in one of Suwanee's public spaces.

Submissions will be evaluated based upon originality and creativity, relation to architecture and themes of downtown Suwanee, general community appeal, maintenance and longevity, quality of materials and execution, ease of installation, and other factors.

And there is still time for artists of a different sort to participate in a unique artistic event. The annual "Snap Suwanee" photo contest has a deadline of Monday. The contest celebrates the Suwanee community and the quick-shuttered fingers of those who manage to capture interesting, unique, or reflective moments.

Each photographer can submit up to five high-resolution (at 300 dpi) photos each. They must have been taken in Suwanee. Photos submitted without the application form or low resolution will not be considered. The application form and additional guidelines can be found at www.suwanee.com

Winning entries will be exhibited at City Hall through most of next year. Last year, 13 entrees were selected as winners out of 129 entries received from 43 photographers. One of these photographers, Suwanee resident Janet George, has been a winner in each of the previous three years that the competition has been held.

"It's fun to enter the contest for several reasons," George said. "One is you don't have to be someone who's taken even one photography class. You don't even have to own an expensive camera. It's truly open to anyone. Also, Suwanee has a number of pretty places. That makes taking a nice photo a lot easier."

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.