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Looking for a few good landmarks

Art project for the new Marshall-Lyon County Library to feature a few of the county’s roadside attractions

April 2, 2011
By Cindy Votruba ( , Marshall Independent

When driving through Lyon County, something may catch your eye, that water tower with a certain slogan, a steel sculpture of a twisted up tree.

It may just be an ordinary object, but it could become a permanent artwork for all to see.

Artist Michon Weeks, formerly of Marshall, is heading up a project that would be a permanent fixture at the new Marshall-Lyon County Library building - 20 etched glass drawings that display Lyon County landmarks with local significance. The drawings would be suspended in the windows of the library.

The project is made possible in part by a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council (SMAHC) with funds from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

Additional funding from the project is coming from a gift by the Friends of the Marshall-Lyon County Library.

Weeks had received a Forecast Public Art grant last year and that is where she initiated the project.

"That allowed me to research the project," Weeks said. "I realized that would be a nice spot for public art."

Weeks worked with the Ron Halgerson, the architect on the project, the library board and Holly Martin Huffman, the Marshall-Lyon County Library director, to come up with the project. Once it was figured out, they applied for a legacy grant, Weeks said.

"We just found out we got that," Weeks said.

The purpose of the etchings is to celebrate the shared identification of the county, Weeks said.

"To memorialize the cultural heritage of the area," Weeks said. "We hope it makes the library more inviting."

Weeks said she'll do the drawings and the depictions for the windows during the summer.

The drawings will then be sent to Glass Art Design, a fabricator in Minneapolis, Weeks said.

"They can etch it so deep, then fill the etching with color," Weeks said, adding that the etchings will then have a stained-glass effect.

And now Weeks needs county residents' help. She's made a few drawings of local landmarks, such as the "It Isn't Far To Cottonwood" water tower in Cottonwood, the old Mattke Field scoreboard at Southwest Minnesota State University and the Russell Bandwagon, but she has to make 20.

"It has to be something that can be scene from the road," Weeks said. "It can be a local landmark or something ordinary they find interesting."

Weeks said there are two ways to submit suggestions for the etchings: go to the Marshall-Lyon County Library or any of the other libraries in the county and fill out a form or send an e-mail to The deadline for submissions is April 15.

"If anyone has a photo, that would be great," Weeks said. Information about the object and why it should be part of the project should be included in the submission, Weeks said.



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