U.S. National Straw Sculpting Competition Fine Art in Straw…

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Call for Entries
Now Open

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2019
1st Place
Artists' and People's Choice
Juan Zelaya

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2019
2nd Place
Artists' and People's Choice
Fran Volz

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2019
3rd Place
Artists' and People's Choice
Bobbi Stockton

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Bobbi Stockton
Fran Volz
Juan Zelaya

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Straw 2019
Has Been Wonderful
Thank You Artists,
Visitors, Sponsors
and All!!

Straw 2019
Now Open Through
Sunday, August 25th

Straw 2019
Opening 6:00pm
Friday, August 9th

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US National Straw Sculpting Competition
Sponsored by

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Straw Fest Day, Was Saturday, August 24th
Celebrating 'Fine Art in Straw' on the Campus

• Food Trucks, 11:30 – 8:00 pm, Campus
• Village Antique Mercantile, Noon – 7:00 pm, behind the Bandshell
• Blacksmith demo, Noon – 4:00 pm, Campus
• Wild Bulls, mechanical bull riding, Noon – 4:00 pm, Campus
• Harold Harrison and Lowell Harp on the Straw Jam Stage, 12:30-2:00 pm
• Old Sandstone Gallery open 2-5:00 pm; 'The Airbrush, A Place In History'
• Vehicle Airbrush show, Celebrating the Airbrush patented by Mt. Morrisʼ Liberty Walkup in 1883
• Straw Bale Races, 2:00 pm, 2 person teams, Wesley Avenue
• Straw Sculpture ʻPeopleʼs Choiceʼ voting ends at 4:00 pm
• Square Dance, with caller Bob Asp, experienced and inexperienced welcome, 4 – 6:00 pm, Wesley Avenue
• US National Straw Sculpture awards, 6:00 pm, Bandshell
• Illinois Rail (Bluegrass), 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Bandshell

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Sunday, August 25th
The Campus Celebrated
180 Years
1839–2019

• Disciples United Methodist Church, on the corner of West Hitt and Maple Streets, will honor the historic seminary during its 9:30-10:30 am service
• Commemoration Service will be held on the north side of Old Sandstone on the campus, 12:30-1:00pm
• Mt. Morris History by Wagon (mule drawn wagon rides), 1-4:00 pm
• Denny Jacobs on the Straw Jam Stage, 1-2:00 pm
• Old Sandstone Gallery open 1-3:30 pm; 'The Airbrush, A Place In History'
• Dan Phelps, blues guitar on the Straw Jam Stage, 2-3:00 pm
• Acoustic Axis on the Straw Jam Stage, 3-4:00 pm
• US National Straw Competition Sculptures on display all day

The campus is home of the former Rock River Seminary, founded by the Methodists in 1839. Disciples United Methodist Church, on the corner of West Hitt and Maple Streets, will honor the historic seminary during its 9:30-10:30 am Sunday service on Aug. 25th. It will feature special guests from our past. A short outdoor Commemoration Service will be held on the north side of Old Sandstone on campus at 12:30 pm Sunday, Aug. 25th. Both services are open to all.

The Rock River Seminary was a co-educational institution of higher education, offered courses in theology and the liberal arts, and remained the only institution of its kind in northern Illinois until Northwestern University opened in 1855. The Church of the Brethren founded Mt. Morris College after the seminary closed in 1878. The college remained in Mt. Morris until a disastrous fire in 1931. It later merged with Manchester College in Indiana.

Founded during the Antebellum or Pre-Civil War Era, the Rock River Seminary includes among its alumni eight Civil War generals, two governors, and several U.S. congressmen, senators, and state legislators. Graduates also became businessmen, educators, farmers, musicians, artists, scientists, ministers, publishers, editors, attorneys, and judges.

Congressman Robert Roberts Hitt of Mt. Morris attended and later owned Rock River Seminary. A close friend of Abraham Lincoln, he recorded all seven of the famed Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Hitt was later appointed Assistant Secretary of State, elected to the U.S. Congress in 1882, and served as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee for seven congressional terms. His uncle Samuel Hitt started Rock River Seminary in 1839.

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A Few Suggestions,
There are So Many More!

Humpty Dumpty
Open Oyster & pearl
Peacock
Penguin
Snail
Unicorn
Owl
Lady Bug
Mosquito
Snake
Tyrannosaurus Rex
Gold Fish
Alligator
Shark
Sting Ray
Giraffe
Sheep
Ear of Corn
Swan
Mushrooms
Ice Cream Cone
Beaver
Merry Go Round
Wedding Cake
Eiffel Tower
Flamingo
Monkeys (dancing?)
Bat
Duck
Bumble Bee
Ant
Scorpion
Cricket
Lizard
Octopus
Dolphins
Giant pencil
Whale
Sea Horse
Hippo
Big Rabbit
Macaw
Ram
Hot Dog
Farmer in the Dell
Wine Bottle & glasses
Camel
Ferris Wheel

Jack in the box
Locomotive Train
Jet plane
Bicycle
Boat
Alarm Clock
Teddy Bear
Buddha
Train
Airplane
Bicycle
Jack & Jill
Super hero
Grandfather clock
Mother Goose
Buddha
Teapot (I'm a little...)
Covered Wagon
Moose
Jack Be Nimble
Gorilla
Dish Ran off w/..Spoon
Gulliver's Travels
Cow jumped over....
Scarecrow
Mermaid
Rocket (on launch pad)
Rhinoceros
Happy Giant Peanut
Walrus
Big Squirrel & Nut
Peter Piper
Star Fish
Kangaroo & Baby
Old woman living in Shoe
Little Miss Muffet
Cow
Seal w/Ball on nose
London Bridge is....
Chicken
Coyote
Three blind mice.
Gumball Machine
Ostrich
Palm Trees
Mama pig nursing piglets
Volcano erupting


Humpty Dumpty
Open Oyster & pearl
Peacock
Penguin
Snail
Unicorn
Owl
Lady Bug
Mosquito
Snake
Tyrannosaurus Rex
Gold Fish
Alligator
Shark
Sting Ray
Giraffe
Sheep
Ear of Corn
Swan
Mushrooms
Ice Cream Cone
Beaver
Merry Go Round
Wedding Cake
Eiffel Tower
Flamingo
Monkeys (dancing?)
Bat
Duck
Bumble Bee
Ant
Scorpion
Cricket
Lizard
Octopus
Dolphins
Giant pencil
Whale
Sea Horse
Hippo
Big Rabbit
Macaw
Ram
Hot Dog
Farmer in the Dell
Wine Bottle & glasses
Camel
Ferris Wheel
Volcano erupting

Jack in the box
Locomotive Train
Jet plane
Bicycle
Boat
Alarm Clock
Teddy Bear
Buddha
Train
Airplane
Bicycle
Jack & Jill
Super hero
Grandfather clock
Mother Goose
Buddha
Teapot (I'm a little...)
Covered Wagon
Moose
Jack Be Nimble
Gorilla
Dish Ran off w/..Spoon
Gulliver's Travels
Cow jumped over....
Scarecrow
Mermaid
Rocket (on launch pad)
Rhinoceros
Happy Giant Peanut
Walrus
Big Squirrel & Nut
Peter Piper
Star Fish
Kangaroo & Baby
Old woman living in Shoe
Little Miss Muffet
Cow
Seal w/Ball on nose
London Bridge is....
Chicken
Coyote
Three blind mice.
Gumball Machine
Ostrich
Palm Trees
Mama pig nursing piglets

Below From 2018
The Third Annual
US National Straw Sculpting Competition

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1st Place
(Artist's Choice & People's Choice)
Headless Horseman
Danica Rogers
Rochelle, IL

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3rd Place
(Artist's Choice & People's Choice)
StrawSquatch
Chris and Cecilia Mann
and Bill Papke
Rockford, IL

Congratulations to All of Our
2018 Straw Sculptors,

You're All Great
Thank You!

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"Straw"bine: Harvest Time
Kathy Driscoll
Clare, IL

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The Garden
Steve Lentz
Montello, WI

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Stretchy Cat
Kelly Madison
Algonquin, IL

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Artful Threads Through Time, August 1 – 31
Fiber Art Show, Old Sandstone Gallery and Campus, Fridays 6 – 9:30 pm, Saturdays 2 – 8:00 pm and during special scheduled Straw events.
US National Straw Sculpting Competition, August 10 – 26 Fine art in straw, giant sculptures are available to see everyday, displayed on the Campus.
• August 10, Opening Night, ‘People’s Choice’ voting begins at 6:00 pm
• August 11, Pinecrest Community’s 125th Anniversary, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
• August 12 – 26, Straw Jam Stage, various musicians,
(Link to more information)
• August 13, Big Bison Build begins, join with the community building our Straw Bison, Rt 64 behind Union Savings Bank
(Link to more information)
• August 18, The Blues Hawks (Blues Music) 7 – 9:00 pm, bandshell
Saturday, August 25, Straw Fest Day,
• Pinecrest Craft & Vendor Fair, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Pinecrest Grove
• Blacksmith demo, Noon – 4:00 pm, Campus
• Wild Bulls, mechanical bull riding, Campus
• Straw Bale Races, 2:00 pm, 2 person teams, mini bales for kids
• Straw Sculpture
‘People’s Choice’ voting ends at 4:00 pm
• Square Dance, 4 – 6:00 pm, with national caller Bob Asp,
experienced and inexperienced welcome, Wesley Avenue
• Pulled Pork and More, Mt. Morris Moose, 4:30 – 8:00 pm, Campus
• US National Straw Sculpture awards, 6:00 pm, Bandshell
• Lyle Grobe & The Rhythm Ramblers (Classic Country), 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Jamboree, Live Music on the Bandshell, 7 – 9:00 pm
• August 10, Illinois Rail (Bluegrass)
• August 17, Kyle Lacy and the Harlem River Noise (Rockabilly)
• August 24, The Barb City Stompers (Swing Jazz)
• August 31, Strata (Classic Rock)

Ogle County Pilot’s Breakfast, August 26, 7:00 am – Noon ‘Fly In or Drive In’, Ogle County Airport

Illinois Bicentennial Celebration, August 26, 1 – 4:00 pm Historical Hay Wagon tours, Campus (Link to more information)

Bald Hill Prairie Preservation Project, 2:00 pm Presented at the Mt. Morris Public Library


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With over 2,500 votes cast, the 2017 winners are:

With over 2,500 votes cast
the 2017 winners were:

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1st Place 2017
Kate May Fitch
'Straw-bear-y'

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2nd Place 2017
Fran Volz
'Ballerina'

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3rd Place 2017
Danica Rogers
& Seth Gittleson
'It's On Like
'Straw'nkey Kong'

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3rd Place 2017
Danica Rogers & Seth Gittleson
'It's On Like 'Straw'nkey Kong'

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With over 2,500 votes cast, the winners are:

1st Place
Kate May Fitch
'Straw-bear-y'

2nd Place
Fran Volz
'Ballerina'

3rd Place
Danica Rogers & Seth Gittleson
'It's On Like 'Straw'nkey Kong'



U.S. National Straw Sculpting
Competition Moves to
Mt. Morris, IL 61054


“It was a little village of 2,500 people,” said artist Fran Volz. “They had a brewery and this.” “This,” to Volz’s amazement, was a straw sculpture competition that draws thousands of visitors to the village of Höchenschwand in southern Germany.
It inspired the artist to create his own a straw sculpture, resulting in an impressive 21-foot tall replica of the Statue of Liberty. In 2016, Rochelle hosted the first ever U.S. National Straw Sculpting Competition. In 2017, the competition found it’s permanent home in Mt. Morris, Illinois, where Encore! Mt. Morris added this fine arts event to a growing cultural calendar.
“I’d like to see it grow and attract national and even global sculptors, while keeping it a rural and fine arts event,” explained Volz. “This is a connection between farming and urban societies – taking what farmers produce to create what’s often seen in cities in the form of statues.”
Encore! Mt. Morris will host the Third Annual U.S. National Straw Sculpting Competition August 10–26, 2018 on the former college campus in the center of Mt. Morris. The community development group is working closely with Fran Volz to retain his vision of the contest while expanding it to include more artists and student groups.
“Art is universal. Everyone can participate,” stated Volz. “Young and old. It doesn’t matter what your background is.”
Details about the competition, photos of the sculptures, and more about Volz’s process for creating straw sculptures can be found here at StrawUSA.com.

Encore! Mt. Morris is a cultural initiative of the Mt. Morris Economic Development Corporation. Composed of volunteers, it’s committed to developing Mt. Morris, Illinois into a unique, thriving rural and cultural arts destination in northwest Illinois.

Learn more about Encore!
at
encoremtmorris.com

Learn more about Fran Volz
at
franvolzstudios.com

U.S. National Straw Sculpting Competition
Moves to Mt. Morris, IL 61054

“It was a little village of 2,500 people,” said artist Fran Volz. “They had a brewery and this.” “This,” to Volz’s amazement, was a straw sculpture competition that draws thousands of visitors to the village of Höchenschwand in southern Germany.
It inspired the artist to create his own a straw sculpture, resulting in an impressive 21-foot tall replica of the Statue of Liberty. In 2016, Rochelle hosted the first ever U.S. National Straw Sculpting Competition. In 2017, the competition found it’s permanent home in Mt. Morris, Illinois, where Encore! Mt. Morris added this fine arts event to a growing cultural calendar.
“I’d like to see it grow and attract national and even global sculptors, while keeping it a rural and fine arts event,” explained Volz. “This is a connection between farming and urban societies – taking what farmers produce to create what’s often seen in cities in the form of statues.”
Encore! Mt. Morris will host the Third Annual U.S. National Straw Sculpting Competition August 10–26, 2018 on the former college campus in the center of Mt. Morris. The community development group is working closely with Fran Volz to retain his vision of the contest while expanding it to include more artists and student groups.
“Art is universal. Everyone can participate,” stated Volz. “Young and old. It doesn’t matter what your background is.”
Details about the upcoming competition, photos of the sculptures, and more about Volz’s process for creating straw sculptures can be found here at StrawUSA.com.

Encore! Mt. Morris is a cultural initiative of the Mt. Morris Economic Development Corporation. Composed of volunteers, it’s committed to developing Mt. Morris, Illinois into a unique, thriving rural and cultural arts destination in northwest Illinois.

Learn more about Encore! at encoremtmorris.com
Learn more about Fran Volz at
franvolzstudios.com