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River City Sculptures on Parade display for 2021 being installed in Mason City

MASON CITY — 28 new sculptures are being installed today as part of the new River City Sculptures on Parade exhibit in downtown Mason City. The sculptures are situated on a 1.7 mile walking tour through the central core and Cultural Crescent of the city, with sculptures being rotated out on a yearly basis.

Aidan Demarias from Janesville Minnesota and Tim James from Good Thunder Minnesota are participating in the River City display for the third time. They created the steel sculpture “Windward”, an abstract of a sailboat with a moon, that’s on display in the zero block of 1st Northeast.

Demarias says displays like this add to a community.  “It gets the people out and walking around, and just an appreciation for the arts in general. Everybody can walk right? And just walking around and seeing all the great pieces from all over the country and other countries. Just glad to be a part of it.”

James says after last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic it was great to get back to Mason City.  “It’s a great event. I’m glad we’re somewhat back to normal after a couple of years of being shut in. It’s great to see the other artists and bounce ideas off of them and just have fun and talk. It’s just great to get kind of back to normal.”

 Alex Mendez from Decatur Indiana is making his second appearance in the River City event and has two sculptures in this year’s display, including “3.1”, an abstract piece based off of the Pi math symbol. Mendez says many sculptors enjoy the Mason City event because it’s a little more intimate event compared to others.    “We can talk shop, trade shop secrets, and the atmosphere is just relaxed and comfortable. The committee that puts on Sculptures on Parade is just phenomenal. They do everything in their power to help sell sculptures, to accommodate us. As a sculptor you try to make sure you can get into Mason City for these reasons.”

Mendez says public displays of art such as the River City display help spur other improvements to the area.  “Once you add public art to a downtown setting, you see it grow. It might not be overnight, but if you were to put a public sculpture in a budding city, and you come back in five years, it’s a completely different downtown setting. It’s kind of this neat thing where art helps your city grow. It’s just not something you think would happen.”  The public will be invited to vote for their favorite sculpture between June and September, with the winner being honored with the “People’s Choice Award”, which is then purchased by the city to become part of its permanent collection.


Listen to our  full interviews with Demarias, James and Mendez below


=== Aidan Demarias & Tim James


=== Alex Mendez


PHOTOS: “Windward” on the left, while workers complete welding on “3.1” on the right


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