Contest says `no' to gnomes

Mar 28 2011 - 4:44pm

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Lawn gnomes may be popular enough to have their own movie, but some people prefer lawn art with a bit more flair.

If you're inspired to decorate your front yard with original art, you're invited to participate in the "Lawn Gnomes Eat Your Hearts Out" competition.

The contest, sponsored by the Salt Lake Art Center and 337 Project, awards the winner $2,000. The art center plans to lead bike tours through neighborhoods with several entries. They're also working on ideas for self-guided GPS tours, and artists' audio commentary accessed by cell phone.

The competition is the brainchild of Micol Hebron, senior curator of exhibitions at the art center.

"I am a new resident of Salt Lake City," she said. "One of the first things I noticed about Salt Lake City is the amount of lawn embellishment that seemed present."

These lawn ornaments run the gamut from rock or metal sculpture to pieces made of recycled materials. That's the kind of creativity expected for the competition.

"We're not encouraging people to buy lawn gnomes," said Hebron. "These sculptures are so much more fabulous than standard prefabricated sculptures you might see in home improvement stores."

The art center is focusing on Salt Lake City, but will accept entries from other parts of the state.

"As long as they've got a webcam they can set up, we're happy to post them and include them in the show," Hebron said.

There is no fee to enter, but competitors must be registered by April 13. Entries must be constructed specifically for this exhibit -- not already existing sculpture. Works have to be completed by May 13, and on view until June 17.

"Artists have to provide their own materials," said Hebron. "We don't have any requirements, other than that they need to be legal, safe and family-friendly."

For guidelines and registration forms, visit www.slartcenter.org or call 801-328-4201.

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