YORK – It is official: the much-anticipated Towers of York tour is now open and going strong.
Late last week all 15 of the large water tower replicas were installed at York locations where everyone – residents and visitors alike – can easily find and enjoy them.
To best way accomplish the latter – obtain full enjoyment and appreciation – folks are advised to stroll up for a close look. Those who do so will be rewarded with a vision of remarkable, artistic fine detail.
A project of the Chamber of Commerce, the Towers of York began with an in-depth feasibility study about how to finance such an aggressive undertaking and, assuming that goal could be met, what the theme of the street sculptures should be.
Madonna Mogul, chamber director, explained Monday that options offered up in the survey did not include York’s iconic water tower at all, however, “public opinion took them (the survey students) there.”
Think of it as a write-in candidate who wins the election by a country mile.
Artists were invited to participate, 15 accepted the challenge and each one signed a legally-binding contract promising to complete their tower or remit $1,500 to cover the Chamber’s costs.
Icon Poly of Gibbon made the towers themselves which were distributed to artists one evening on the parking lot of the Holthus Center.
Once completed each tower – by now an original work of art – was sprayed with multiple layers of automotive clear coat donated by Rex Rasmussen at NAPA Auto Parts. Denton Buller did the spraying for free in his Auto Craft Collision Center paint booth.
Overland Ready Mix poured and donated 15 400-pound bases, one for each tower.
York Department of Public Works staff transported and installed all 15 of the street art pieces.
Three much smaller, counter-top towers each became art education projects at St. Joseph and Emmanuel-Faith for students grades 3, 4 and 5. York Elementary School received and completed four more.
Those will begin to pop up in businesses and other indoor York locations soon.
Mogul credited the York County Visitors Bureau with coming up with seed money to get the wheels turning. Each tower is supported by a $500 sponsor, and the Chamber picked up the rest of the tab.
Mogul said it breaks down very close to one-third each for the three sources of funding.
After Labor Day, she said, all the towers will be exhibited together at the courthouse through Yorkfest. The next stop is Holthus Convention Center where they will be sold by live auction from 5:30 until 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12.
All proceeds will be used to support the Firecracker Frenzy aerial extravaganza Monday, July 3 at the York County Fairgrounds.
Information for each of the 15 Towers of York:
• “Maze Tower” – York County Fairgrounds (artist: Eric Eckert, Sponsor: York News-Times)
• “Twilight Harvest” – York General Hospital (artist: Nicole Mittman, Sponsor: York General)
• “H20” – Mincks Park/Ball Field Complex (artist: Kami and Kinsley Flynt, sponsor: City of York)
• “Be More at YC” – York College (Artist: Meghan Shruck, Sponsor: York College)
• “Sunset in Bloom” – East Hill Park (artist: Lacey Lovelace Stamler, sponsor: York State Bank and York State Insurance)
• “A Landmark Takes Root” – York City Auditorium (artist: Mindy Burton, sponsor: Ace Hardware)
• “The Challenge” – York Community Center (artist: Monica Robinson Swerczek, sponsor: Robinson Enterprises)
• “Legacy” – York County Courthouse (artist: Keri Kircher, sponsor: Cornerstone Bank)
• “My Nebraska” – York City Administration Building (artist: Stacy West-Chos, sponsor: Grand Central Foods)
• “In This World” – Harrison Park (artist: Emily Petersen, sponsor: Henderson State Bank)
• “Pride in the Heartland” – York Country Club (artist: B.J. Sievers, sponsor: Agri Products)
• “Old Cigars, Steel Guitars and Rail Cars” – Holthus Convention Center (artist: Michael Bristol, sponsor: KOOL 103.5 and Max Country)
• “Cometas de Colores” – Pump & Pantry South (artist: Anabel, sponsor: Midwest Bank)
• “Deep Blue” – Best Western/Applebees (artist: Heidi Chapman, sponsor: Jannsen Ford of York)
• “Grainy Mania” – Wessels Living History Farm (artist: Cathy Cornish, sponsor: Mid America Vision and Union Bank)
Original story by Steve Moseley for York News-Times