Earlier this year, while Belle Plaine artist Jane Hrabak was checking out art competitions to be held at the 2016 Iowa State Fair, she ran across a contest that called for artists to decorate a concrete statue. Intrigued by the opportunity of creating art in this new medium, she created an idea centered around Belle Plaine’s Legion, Post 39, and the Auxiliary and decided to title the work “Pride in America.” She drew a picture of her proposal and submitted the picture along with an explanation of what the idea meant to her. Hrabak’s design was among only 26 chosen to be completed and exhibited at the fair.
Hrabak spent just short of three weeks painting the concrete statue, using an outdoor acrylic paint that would stand up to all weather. Her completed statue was judged prior to the fair on the basis of creativity, originality, and overall look, and won second place in the Novice division. Hrabak has donated the 200 lb artwork to Belle Plaine’s Post 39, where it will be on permanent display.
In addition to the Concrete 2nd Place, Hrabak took home a First Place prize for Pen & Ink Drawing Technique, and she grabbed a third place win in the Creative Arts & Crafts division for a wreath fashioned from wine corks .
About the concrete statue’s size and weight
“It’s 200 pounds of concrete, 34 inches by 36 inches. Doesn’t sound like much until you start designing and painting,” says Hrabak. “The moving wasn’t too bad. We brought it home in a pickup, and two strong young men moved it into our garage. It didn’t move untilI finished it! My son Evan dead-weighted it to the Jeep. The State Fair guys cheated, they used a forklift!”