Sunday, March 20, 2011

How Much Is That Manhole Cover In the Window?

Last May I posted the announcement here at Ennyman's Territory . There would be a contest for artists to design manhole covers for Bob Dylan Way. So I threw my hat in the ring and my imagination right after it.

Time passed and I wondered how things turned out. How many designs were submitted? I didn't know. Evidently I missed the September announcement of the winners whose finished manhole covers are now on display in the window of Electric Fetus, downtown Duluth. Bob's 70th birthday is coming on fast, the date selected to install the covers, May 24.

One of the winning designs came from Marc Zapchenk, a 46-year old Shoreview, MN, artist and Dylan fan. It's a very cool design (top right), playing off the yin and yang of Dylan's life and career. It's a crisp, elegant concept executed with measured flair.

An interesting feature of the manhole cover art contest was that it involved more than just making the design itself. It included the entire process of converting the art into a mold and actually casting the manhole covers. The iron itself was cast using recycled radiators from Split Rock Lighthouse and the St. Louis County Courthouse.

The second manhole cover was created by Laurel Sanders, who took her inspiration from the same lines that opened my blog entry last spring from Subterranean Homesick Blues. (That was a great album, incidentally.)

So, if you're in town and want to check 'em out, they're right across the street from Pizza Luce here in Downtown Duluth. Can't make it, well, here's the next best thing. Take a moment to see Marc Zapchek's story in pictures, the whole process of making a winning Dylan Way manhole cover.

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