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City of Lebanon News

Posted on: April 17, 2018

Winners Chosen in Lebanon Rail Trail Public Art Program

Steel Umbrella by artists Justin O’Rourke & Margaret Jacobs

The AVA Gallery and Art Center, Lebanon Recreation and Parks and the Mascoma River Greenway Coalition are partnering in a program to commission two winning artists to design, fabricate, and install public sculptural artworks for long-term display along Lebanon’s new Rail Trail. Submitting artists were encouraged to select themes related to Lebanon’s history, geography, natural environment, recreational activities, or railroad activities, and to incorporate salvaged railroad spikes.

The jury convened at AVA Gallery and Art Center on Saturday morning, April 14, 2018. The jury included: Rainey Kelly, leader in the Mascoma River Greenway Coalition; Charlet Davenport, Director of Sculpture Fest in Woodstock, VT; Rob Taylor, Executive Director of the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce; Jessica Giordani, Co-founder of Art City NH and co-owner of Scratch on Lebanon Mall; and Annie Zhao, junior at Lebanon High School and exhibitor in AVA’s 2018 Annual High School Exhibition. Paul Coats, Director of Lebanon’s Dept. of Recreation and Parks and Trip Anderson, Executive Director of AVA Gallery, provided technical insights but did not vote in the process.

Two artist teams were recognized as the winning artists for their projects: 

Wheels by artist Susan K. Johnson

Jury comments about Steel Umbrella include “The Umbrella is absolutely joyful. It nods to Lebanon’s past as the City of Fountains. Its polka dots hint at the endangered spotted turtles discovered along the rail trail. It whimsically celebrates the promise of brighter days ahead. Bravo!”

Comments about Wheels include “Wheels encapsulates Lebanon’s history in a neat bundle – from water wheels to railroads and bicycles, with subtle references to the Mascoma River and the Greenway Rail Trail.”

Winning sculptures will be fabricated by June 30th and installed by mid July in time for the Grand Opening of the Mascoma River Greenway in late July. Juried winners will be eligible for technical and installation assistance by the sculptural studies instructors at AVA Gallery and Art Center and granted access to the metal-working, wood-working, stone-carving and ceramics studios in the Bente Torjusen West Sculptural Studies Building.

Winners receive:

  • $2,500 award stipend, plus up to $2,000 reimbursement for materials & installation expenses
  • Technical and Installation assistance as noted above
  • Exposure in a scenic, well-traveled, pedestrian/bike path
  • A plaque at each site identifying the artist and his/her contact information
  • Inclusion in on-line promotions and trail maps
  • Active engagement with social media audience
  • Regular press releases to local and regional media outlets
  • Recognition at a Grand Opening Celebration

Special recognition is also extended to submitting artists for their thoughtful and creative designs:

  • Historical Collage Poles: Artists Cindy Heath, Margaret Sheehan and Carla Kimball
  • Lebanon Labyrinth: Artist Allison Zito
  • Railroad Spike Tree: Artist Greg Stott
  • Spikes and Spokes: Artist Debra Jayne
  • Stories to Tell: Artists Margit Berman and Jeremy McDonald
  • Walking on Nails: Artists Scott Wunderle, Patrick Jarvis, Courtney Venable, Lauren Ingersoll
  • Water Stop: Artist Clive Maloney

If you have any questions please call Recreation at 603-448-5121, or send an email to

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