Art on display at Grundy Corn Festival
By Jeanne Millsap For The Herald-News September 30, 2012 8:20PM
Esmeralda Perez, a senior at Morris Community High School, won Best of Show in the High School 3-D category at the 2012 Grundy County, Ill., Corn Festival Art Show this year. | Jeanne Millsap~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 2, 2012 6:19AM
The Grundy County Corn Festival wrapped up its five-day run Sunday, drawing thousands for the annual kiddie pie-eating contest, water fights, dance and talent shows, photography and flower shows, corn dogs and kettle corn and what is said to be the largest parade in the Midwest.
One of the festival events that draws hundreds each year is the Art Show, sponsored by the Morris Watercolor Guild and the Morris Community High School art club, Delta Phi. It’s held in the basement of the library in downtown Morris and gets entries each year from the very youngest fingerpainters to professionals who make and sell their oils, acrylics and ceramics for a living.
Morris Community High School senior Esmeralda Perez won Best of Show in the High School 3-D division this year for her large rolled-clay vessel she titled “Rusty,” after the rust-toned finish she applied at the end. For the project, she spent hours both in her ceramics class and in her home basement designing and forming it.
“I wanted to give it to my mother for Mother’s Day,” Esmeralda said. “Mrs. Hankins (her ceramics teacher) and I had a competition on who could make the tallest one.”
Hankins won the contest, she said, by about a half inch. Esmeralda made the piece last spring and worked on it every day for about two weeks.
“I would take it home and lay it on a surface and roll pieces and flatten some of them,” she said. “I’d work in my basement late at night.”
She chose the rust finish to make it look vintage then highlighted some of the more interesting features of the pot, such as the swirls and moons, with a glaze.
“I love art and ceramic art,” she said. “It’s a great way to express yourself and show who you are through your art.”
According to co-chairs Sherry Lewis-Miller and Ginny Bellamy, the Corn Fest Art Show is a decades-long tradition. Categories are drawing, painting, printmaking, computer art, sculpture and “other.”
“It gives our area artists a great place to display their work for people to see,” Miller said. “It gets art out in the community. We have a lot of talent here. ... Kids get to show their art, and they also get to see what the adults are doing.”
Judging this year was local art therapist Amy Davis. It’s always a popular Corn Fest event, Bellamy said.
“People from all over who come to Corn Fest come to the Art Show,” she said.
Other winners included Sheryl Fletcher Coon’s “Heart of the Matter” watercolor, which won Best of Show Adult 2-D; Samantha Galipos for her animal-eye black and white, which took Best of Show High School 2D; and Tucker Tesdal for his mosaic sculpture which won Best of Show Youth sculpture division.
Best in Show for the Corn Festival Photography Show went to Whitney Sulwer; Best in Show for the Corn, Grain and Flower Show went to Cody Kinsella; and Best in Show for the Hobby and Handicraft Show was received by Jim Coonan.