Art Expression contest "Umbrella Explosion"

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By Caroline Rosacker

Umbrella Arts (UA) has chosen "Umbrella Explosion" as their theme for the 2023 UA Art Expression contest. 

You will note there are a few changes to this year’s contest: name of contest has changed from Sculpture contest to Art Expression contest, date entries due has changed from June 30 to July 15, and awards will be given to the top entry of each category (Literary/Written Word/Song; Sculpture/Multi-dimensional/Art Piece; Canvas/Painting; Textile; and Culinary). Please note that Culinary is a new category.

Umbrella Arts will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this year and what better theme than Umbrella Explosion! “Umbrella Explosion is a celebration of the bountiful talent of all art forms in our community. We are surrounded by natural beauty that inspires our souls to capture all arenas of our given senses of sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Through art we become kids again regardless of age, we become contemplative when a piece touches our soul, we experience togetherness when we see folk art that reminds us of the culture we are a part of, we are adventurers and problem solvers of how to make something work and lastly, it’s just plain joy to create. As we have pulled our umbrellas out of the closet to protect us from the rains already in 2023, pull your artistic umbrella out and join us in the Umbrella Explosion!," says a UA representative.

"Our vision of success is to encourage residents and visitors to our community to walk/drive around and find joy and freedom in the process," they shared. "Process is always mixed in ideation, planning, problem solving, learning, and sharing/celebrating through all the various forms of creating."

The annual art competition challenges everyone in the community to participate by creating or enjoying the creation of others. "Projects that tie in with other Guttenberg projects that fit in with this theme are the Chambers 4th of July celebration, Christmas Parade, and the Natural Beauty of Guttenberg," they listed.

Prizes will be awarded by category based on originality, creativity, presentation, and how they fit the theme. "Some entries may lend themselves to being a part of Stars & Stripes parade or GermanFest celebration," they added.

Artistic submissions by category

• Literary/written word/song: write an original poem, story, one-act play, music, game, rap, dance, etc. Winners should expect their entry will be publicized, acted, or performed.

• Sculpture/multi-dimensional/art piece: out of any material. Examples: wood, metal, glass, jewelry, garden, paper, clay, vehicle, bicycle, cement, rock, dough, horseshoes, plastic, wire, etc (needs to be safe for viewers).

• Canvas: painting , photograph, collage, jewelry, flag, banner, sign, pencil, chalk, etc

• Textile: quilt, handwork, garment, T-shirt, knitting, crocheting, fabric flag/banner, muli-dimensional fabric sculture, etc.

• Culinary: decorated cookies/cakes, drinks (beer, wine, punch), sandwiches, etc.

The contest is open to individuals of all ages, businesses, organization, and families within the Clayton Ridge School District. Certain art pieces from outside Guttenberg's city limits will need to be displayed somewhere in the City of Guttenberg from July through September. If the display is temporary (such as chalk drawing, food display or gardening — a photo needs to be submitted with the entry) for judges to consider.

Prizes and points system

Umbrella Arts has $500 set aside for cash prizes. By category, winners are based on:

• Skill & Technique – comparison to others (1-10 points)

• Attractiveness – symmetry, colors that compliment, composition, presentation, visual appeal/impact (1-10 points)

• Fulfilled Intent – Does artist accurately portray a Umbrella Explosion message? Does entry speak for itself? Does entry stand out? (1-10 points)

• Uniqueness/Creativity – Does it incorporate new/different objects? Does it dare to be different? What sets it apart from others? (1-10 points)

Judges will be comprised of members from the Umbrella Arts Board and community leaders.

Entry date is July 15. Participants should send photo or copy of entry with their name, location, explanation/description of entry to Juanita Loven at 563-880-7662 or

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