Sculpture Tour 2016 People’s Choice Award Winner Announced

Maelstrom by David Riemer

Sculpture Tour Eau Claire announces the 2016 sculpture that won the People’s Choice Award: Maelstrom by Dave Riemer from Wausaukee, Wisconsin.

Mr. Riemer, a Chicago native, defines his medium as kinetic sculptures: sculptures designed to be in the outdoors all year round to capture the wind. “The artistry of Maelstrom is in its creation, of course, but also in the eye of the beholder. While the sculpture is composed of many individual pieces, the wind creates a movement and you end up seeing a shape that isn’t necessarily there,” says Mr. Riemer.

Maelstrom is rendered in copper, brass and stainless steel and stands at 76 inches high. It is sponsored by Western Wisconsin Urology. The sculpture, valued at $4,800, is purchased by Sculpture Tour Eau Claire and will be added to the City of Eau Claire’s permanent collection. Determination of the sculpture’s permanent location is forthcoming.

Mr. Riemer has another sculpture, available for sale, in this season’s tour: Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscope by David Riemer

Public Works Director Phil Fieber says, “Every year, we look forward to the People’s Choice Award. This award is a unique statement made by folks who live in and visit Eau Claire.”

The 2016 People’s Choice Award and other award winners were announced at the Xcel Energy stage at the Fall Festival on Saturday, September 17th, 2016, at 2:30 PM.

People’s Choice voting occurred online and by paper ballot from May through September 15th. Community residents and visitors of all ages were encouraged to vote. Ballots and brochures are free and made available to the public in ballot boxes posted on Water Street, South Barstow, North Barstow and the Mayo Clinic Health Systems Eau Claire campus. 2016-2017 season brochures are available online and in ballot boxes throughout the entire season.

The 2016 Awards funding sources are N. Barstow Business Improvement District and S. Barstow Business Improvement District. Over 40 corporate sponsors participate in the planning and installation of the annual sculpture season, as well as financially sustaining the public arts display to insure, repair and address any issues with sculptures, thereby sustaining Sculpture Tour as a free service to the community.

STEC Executive Director Michelle Koehn says, “We had a record number of website visits and votes this year. This is a testament to the organization’s six-year history and ties to the community.”

In addition to the People's Choice Award, Sculpture Tour Eau Claire awards two prizes at $1,000 each: Best of Bronze and Best of Other Materials. Sculptures in the 2016 - 2017 season, as in all past seasons, are rendered in diverse materials. Bronze is a traditional art form. Other materials indicate artists’ renderings in non-bronze such as steel, metals, ceramics, and found materials, to name a few.

“All the sculptures are carefully evaluated by a jury for artistic merit,” says Alice Katz, STEC President, Board of Directors.

For the Love of the Game by Bobbie Carlyle

For the Love of the Game by Bobbie Carlyle from Loveland, CO, is awarded 2016 Best of Bronze. Bobbie Carlyle says, “I sculpted For the Love of the Game as a memorial for a family who lost their two young boys who lived and breathed baseball. The parents came to me with their personal grief, and I transformed it into art to inspire young people and
raise consciousness to the circumstances responsible for the drowning.

Portal by Tommy Reife from St. Louis, MO, is awarded 2016 Best of Other Materials.

Portal by Tommy Reife

“What struck me about Eau Claire is how meaningful the dialogue is between the arts community and the community at large. The thing I considered while creating Portal was the type of vehicle that can pull you up in space and raising yourself up there. So this type of community arts dialogue through Sculpture Tour is meaningful to my art and my artistic process.”

President Alice Katz says, “Sculpture Tour Eau Claire is fortunate to have access to artists who come from diverse walks of life, all with rich troves of narratives that bring out the best in our community. The People’s Choice Award is a shining example of how we—as a community—can enrich where we live with a simple vote. And this vote can also transform an artist’s career.”

You can visit if you would like to learn more or support Sculpture Tour Eau Claire.
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Sculpture Tour Eau Claire (STEC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit and a fund within the Eau Claire Community Foundation. Programming, including the annual installation, dismount and rotation of sculptures, is sustained by generous corporate sponsors, donors, and grant funding. The organization’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in Eau Claire by using the arts to promote tourism, economic development, health, and education.