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Downtown business wins contest with giant octopus, mermaid in winter hat

Published: Friday, December 29, 2017 @ 12:53 PM
By: Amelia Robinson

A mermaid in a winter hat, her giant octopus pal and a bunch of starfish and creatively designed sea anemone helped a downtown business sweep all categories in a contest that teemed with whimsy. 

K12 Gallery and TEJAS won each and every category in Downtown Dayton Partnership’s Whimsical Windows contest.

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Val Hunt Beerbower said the gallery and art center at 341 S. Jefferson St. will receive $100 for winning each of the three categories — judge’s choice,  an online vote  hosted by and social media contest — for a total of $300. 

They really pushed hard and came up big,” Beerbower said. “It was a really tight race, but K12 pulled it off.” 

This writer served as a judge.  

A record 30 businesses took part in this year’s contest. 

“There are a lot more businesses in general (downtown). That is all good news,” Beerbower added. 

Most of the holiday displays will be up through New Year’s. 

Talia Shade, K12’s art education and services manager, said the window was a collaborative effort. 

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“We just thought an underwater theme would be an interesting take on whimsical,” she said. “It fell into place, then each artist added different things.” 
The display includes a backdrop designed by Jenny Campbell-Roux, a mermaid tail from Lisa Dineen and an octopus paper sculpture from Dayton artist and educator Delora Buford-Buchanan.

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Shade said the money will likely be used to purchase art supplies for the center. 

She said the victories were great suprises. 

“Hopefully this will bring in more artists and more kids,” she said. 

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