CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The first Rhein Medall Prize for the Charlotte region was held this spring, and the winner of the grand prize is Juho Tuuha from Winthrop. Rhein Medall Communities plans to fabricate his design, "Wings" – a 20-foot-tall stainless steel structure that resembles a weather vane – for display at The Palisades, the award-winning, master-planned community in Southwest Charlotte that will soon be home to the Championships at the Palisades, a major professional tennis tournament.
This annual juried student art contest is designed to generate fresh and original designs for privately-funded public art, and support student art.
"We have had tremendous success integrating the natural environment into the experience of neighborhood at The Palisades and see the addition of public art as another way to enhance the overall experience of 'home' in our neighborhoods," said Jim Medall, president of Rhein Medall Communities.
The 2006 Rhein Medall Prize for Community Art included sculpture designs from students at universities across the Carolinas and Georgia. Over 49 students participated, representing The University of North Carolina at Asheville, College of Charleston, Queens University, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, The Savannah School of Art & Design and Winthrop. Each school had a first-place winner, who was awarded $3,000 from the Rhein Medall Prize. The grand prize winner was awarded an additional $5,000.
The theme of this year’s competition was "Life in Context with the Environment," and the judging panel included Carla Hanzal, curator of Contemporary Art at The Mint Museum in Charlotte, Count Riprand Arco, president and founder of American Asset Corporation, Jean Greer, vice president of public arts for the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte, Marilyn Rhein, an avid art collector and philanthropist, and Jim Medall, president of Rhein Medall Communities.
Tuuha, who was awarded $8,000 for his model of "Wings," has spent two semesters at Winthrop studying painting and sculpture. He will return this summer to his native Finland to continue studies for another year at South Carelia Polytechnic School.
For additional information, contact Glenna Musante at 919/783-1865 or Glenna@musantecommunications.com.