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The nine-week “READ all about it” Art in the Park summer project officially ended on August 11. Since June 9, the 3D outdoor art installations, based on books of each artist’s choice, had delighted visitors to Bird Park and to the Walpole Public Library’s garden. The effort was sponsored by the Friends of the Walpole Public Library, in cooperation with the Library Trustees, Trustees of Reservations, Friends of Bird Park, and Walpole Council on Aging.
On Sunday evening, August 12, a ceremony that had been planned to take place in Bird Park was moved, due to inclement weather, to the Norwood Fine Artists’ Gallery at the Winsmith Mill complex in Norwood. There, Diane Scotti of the Library Friends, and Maura O’Gara of Bird Park, thanked all the people who contributed to the success of the undertaking, and presented checks from the Library Friends to the artists whose works were judged to be of particular merit. There were five $100 prizes for works in pre-announced categories, and six $50 Honorable Mentions were also awarded.
Thirteen-year-old Nolan Hasenjaeger of Walpole took the prize for Best Use of Location with his raft of rabbits floating on the frog pond in emulation of “Watership Down” by Richard Adams.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee was the inspiration for the wooden bird crafted for the library’s garden by Shivaun Rakauskas Brenzier of Walpole. The work earned the award for Best Use of Organic Materials.
The prize for Best Book Representation was won by the youthful team from Utopia Boston led by Heidi Soliman. Their international dinner table was inspired by “The Sandwich Shop” by Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan.
The Van der Linden family of Walpole created a camp setting to illustrate “The Boxcar Children” by Julia Donaldson, and their effort was rewarded with the prize for Best Use of Recycled Materials.
A pair of hippos on a bench, depicting “George and Martha” by James Marshall, was judged the overall best in a Viewers’ Choice poll, with the award going to artists Colleen Wheeler and Katie Greulich, both of Walpole.
Those honorably mentioned were twelve-year-old Humayra Sperling of Norwood (a small shire from “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien); Bobbi Gooch of Walpole (a tree with banner expressing “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith); nine-year-old Gabby Hasenjaeger of Walpole (ducks from “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey); Mark Erickson of Norfolk (a wind chime as in “Wind Chimes and Whirligigs “ by Renee Schwarz); Lea Songin of Walpole (Dr. Seuss characters such as those in “One Fish, Two Fish…”); and Eileen M. Corkery of Walpole was recognized for contributing three colorful works made with painted tires: (1) a fish in the library’s garden, inspired by “Rainbow Fish “ by Marcus Pfister, (2) a teacup from ”Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, and (3) a frog from “The Frog Prince” by The Brothers Grimm.