Glenda Drennen’s usual painting surface is watercolor paper, but this last year she added 6 -foot fiberglass ice cream cone sculptures to her repertoire. In a cooperative effort the LeMars Chamber of Commerce, LeMars Art Center, and City of LeMars Convention Center and Visitor Bureau planned and implemented a public art project to highlight the importance of the production of ice cream by local industry, Well’s Blue Bunny.
Sponsoring business First National Bank, LeMars, chose Drennen, a resident of the “Ice Cream Capital of the World,” to apply her creative talents to one of the cone sculptures. The single dip ice cream cone now on display at the downtown bank entrance features 133 detailed coins. The coins, enlarged about 400%, cover the large dip of ice cream. Many of the coins have special relevance to the region, such as coins commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition that camped in the area during the Corps of Discovery. State quarters for Iowa and all bordering states are also represented. A number of Lincoln pennies old and new are represented, as are two different versions of buffalo nickels.
One unusual coin features a portrait of Drennen herself among those of John F. Kennedy, Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. “My first thought was to invent a coin with a likeness of the bank President,” Drennen said, “but during the time I’ve lived in LeMars there have been several people in that position, and I will always be the artist of this cone.”
Glenda is currently painting a second sculpture to be installed in a LeMars park this spring. Parents who have lost children to disease donated funds for this cone as a memorial. The design committee wanted to stress parents’ wish to provide both roots and wings for their children, so one aspect of the design will be many butterflies and dragonflies against a sunset sky, symbolizing the gift of “wings” for their children.
Ultimately Drennen will paint five of the 41 painted sculptures projected. Themes for the three remaining cones Drennen will be painting will be Noah’s Ark, the LeMars Rotary Club, and something dramatic for the Postal Playhouse Community Theater.
Be sure and come back soon for more from the 2012 Artisans Road Trip!!!