A Call for artists to participate in Washburn’s Ichabods Around Town contest

Marissa CoyleWASHBURN UNIVERSITY

As one of the last celebrations of its 150th anniversary, Washburn University is holding an artistic contest called Ichabods Around Town. As part of this contest, artists over the age of 18 within the Washburn and Topeka communities are invited to decorate 5-foot-6-inch reproductions of the Ichabod mascot.

Individuals can send designs either by hardcopy sketches or electronically by 5 p.m. on June 15 to the university relations office. Entries will be accepted after June 15, but designs submitted by June 15 have the best chance of being selected.

Although artists can share up to five designs, a maximum of one design per artist can be selected. Artists that wish to see a model before they start their design can contact university relations.

There are specifications that artists must follow. The Ichabod cannot be decorated in the style of other mascots, so the color schemes of Kansas State University or the University of Kansas, along with those of other colleges, cannot be used. Other color schemes are permitted. Artists cannot change the basic sculpture. The book under Ichabod’s arm and his signature hat or bow tie cannot be removed, but artists who wish to can add objects to the sculpture. Overall, designs should be appropriate and uphold Washburn’s culture and identity.

At the end of the contest, a committee and sponsors will select 22 designs. Artists selected will decorate a 5-foot-6-inch fiberglass model of their design. Each artist will be awarded $1,500 to purchase supplies, including paint, which will be used in the reproduction.

The Chicago Fiberglass Works has prepared each statue with Sherwin Williams Opex Primer Surfacer P61 W1, so they recommend high quality exterior acrylic and acrylic latex paints with an exterior grade clear coat sealer to protect the art from weather damage.  Additionally, Washburn Tech can apply a clear coat finish in its automotive lab at a reduced price, though artists are welcome to use any service of their choice. Washburn will also provide transportation of the statue to and from the artist’s location.

Most of the models will be placed around Topeka except for three that will stay on Washburn’s campus and another that will be hosted within in the Auburn-Washburn school district, where the models were stored. Throughout the fall the rest of the Ichabods will be placed outside a chosen sponsors’ properties and will in turn become the property of each sponsor.

The statues will also become one of the highlights of the Grand Homecoming this fall, which will be the final formal celebration of the 150th anniversary. A large turnout is expected, as alumni will return to campus to help celebrate.

For more information visit Washburn’s official Ichabods around town information page or access a copy of their guide on preparation, painting and decorating of the fiberglass Ichabod.