Eight quality sculptures made it difficult for the Community Art Legacy judges to pick a winner of the ninth annual contest.
In the end the judges selected SoyPod by Pamela Lee, Grayslake, Sunday afternoon as the winning entry.
"I am very thrilled and surprised — really surprised," said Lee. "This is work I love to do."
The sculpture is a soy pod with a goat, pig, cow, and chicken emerging.
Lee's maquette will be enlarged from the current one-third scale before it is cast in bronze by Jeff Adams' foundry inBronze, Mt. Morris.
When completed the sculpture will join eight others that are being installed throughout the Oregon area.
"It is difficult for our judges," said Adams, who is a sponsor of the contest. "I do not judge the contest but I will answer questions from the judges. We have eight nice entries this year."
The entries are judged on the agriculture theme as well as a variety of categories to select the winner.
"The judges can talk with the sculptors and ask questions about the sculpture," said Adams. "The also make sure the sculpture is feasible to be cast in bronze."
The finished sculpture can take 18-24 months to be installed in a public location.
"We work as fast as we can to complete the sculpture, but it depends on the scheduling and complexity of the project," said Adams. "We try to have the sculpture placed within one year."
A write-up about SoyPod was provided by the sculptor.
"As I walked through woods and hunted in fields with my father, I came to learn the rhythms of the seasons and the interdependence of people with their environment. Surrounded by farms, I found an early fascination with the impact of environment on people and people on their environment.
"In SoyPod I express the multi-dimensional function of a simple soybean in a complex food chain, integrating it with the undulating, constantly changing, landscape that nurtures crops, animals and ourselves."
Other CAL sculptures are "From the Waters Comes My Bounty" by Ray Kobald at Oregon's Kiwanis Park, "Agriculture, Mother of Civilization" by David Seagraves at the Ogle County Judicial Center, "Cornball" by Howard Russo at the Oregon Coliseum, "The Bountiful Bench" by Christina Murphy at the Oregon Public Library, "Solar Reef" by Andrew Langoussis at Oregon Park West, and "Making Hay" by Daniel Ingebrightson, Stillman Bank, Oregon, "Harvest Hunter" by Matthew Donavan, which will be installed at Nash Recreation Center, Oregon, and "Working the Land" by Robert Pulley, which is still being cast.