BI votes for favorite public art, artist

If the multi-colored, mosaic egg sculpture nestled on an improvised nest of twigs in front of Town & Country in Winslow caught your eye this year you’re not alone.

Bainbridge voted “Fertility” by artist Jennifer Kuhns the People’s Choice award. It is one of five sculptures on display in Winslow through August as part of the Public Art Committee’s Something New rotating art program designed to support local artists and make public art a vibrant part of life on BI.

Last week Kuhns received her award and a $1,000 check from Arts & Humanities Bainbridge.

Kuhns lives and works at home in Elma, where she has a studio and a menagerie of animals, including an amorous peacock whom she said is “a little bit obsessed with me.” Having grown up an only child in remote central Michigan, she entertained herself by making art out of “anything I could get my hands on.”

Her infatuation with mosaic, color and nature is reflected in her winning sculpture. The egg is meant to be a celebration of the life-giving aspect of the natural world and pays homage to the symbiotic and reciprocal relationship between humans and nature. The terracotta egg is covered in mosaic imagery of flowers, pollinators and a peacock.

Kuhns feels public art is different from art in galleries or museums in that it “is for everyone and increases their quality of life by giving them something delightful, that brings them joy, is interesting to look at or helps them look at life differently.”

Kuhn said this was the best experience of working with an arts organization, exhibit or public art project she’s ever had. She cited the amount of help during installation, the creation of her “Get to Know the Artist” video, social media promotion and links to her pages. “As an artist you don’t get that kind of platform very often, bringing attention back to the artist is wonderful.”

Kuhns is collaborating with one of last year’s Something New artists, Abe Singer, on three floral-inspired sculptures for the city of Edmonds Floretum Garden Clubs’ 100th anniversary.