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Sculpture competition shows off traditional to kitschy artwork

OCEANSIDE — The third annual Outdoor Sculpture Competition brought 20 juried entries from the traditional to kitschy to the Civic Center plaza on Aug. 21.
“The range is pretty wide,” Holly Eskew, UCSD visual arts graduate student, said. “It’s pretty open to the general public. It’s nice exposure for the artists.”
There were no limits to the materials and themes artists could use. Styles ranged from commercial-looking pieces to contemporary art, and materials spanned from wood to alabaster.
“This year it’s so eccentric, so much fun,” Eugenia Bizzaro, vice chair of Oceanside Arts
Commission, said. “There’s traditional to whimsical. It broadens the horizon for artists and what materials they can use.”
Variety abounded. “It’s their own style, their own artwork, for a family audience,” Bizzaro said. “It shows the variety of true art in San Diego.”
Several sculptures were made from recycled or found material. Dave Hulsing of Oceanside entered a 7-foot wind-catching metal bird titled “Reclaimed Crane.”
“It’s made out of a gazebo, a muffler from a truck, roller bearings from an old trailer, and metal shelves that were getting thrown out,” Hulsing said. “I like to weld. It was fun to make.”
An eye-catching contemporary sculpture was “Big City Life” by Ashley Lieber. The sculpture consisted of a wood dollhouse and square of sod grass set inside a shopping cart. “It’s interesting the materials were all found,” Eskew said. “And the angle of man on the street verses us.”
A steady stream of spectators enjoyed viewing the sculpture contest entries throughout the day. “Lots of children come through and took minutes going around the sculptures,” Bizzaro said. “That’s what we want — art education, pushing the boundaries.”
The contest awarded $2,000 for best of show to “A Nice View” by Syd Harris, $1,000 for second place to “Wounded Warrior” by Jim Helms, $500 for honorable mention to “Playtime” by Patrick Korch and $500 for the People’s Choice Award to “Reclaimed Crane” by Dave Hulsing. Winning sculptures are on display at the Oceanside Public Library courtyard and El Corazon Senior Center through Sept. 17.