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10/18/2009 HOUSTON– Floating sculptures depicting a polar bear, sea horse and pirate ship took top honors at Bayou City Art Festival Downtown’s annual juried “Art on Water” floating art exhibition at Houston’s City Hall Reflection Pool last weekend. This year’s competition drew the most entries ever and the most displayed original works. Twelve winners emerged and were displayed on the water.

The award winners are:

First place - Helena Gijsbers van Wijk’s “Turn Down the Heat”. The Pasadena-based artist’s piece referenced the global warming. The pool seems like a perfect stage to install this piece since the base represents melting ice, according to Gijsbers van Wijk, whose goal was to raise awareness of the climate change issues.

Second place - Savannah Robinson’s “Mer-Mere,” (sea horse), that leapt out of the water “with water and fish scattering.” Danbury-based Robinson, a trial attorney, owns a draft horse and imagined this horse breaking the barrier between water and sky, leaping out of the waves. Her undergraduate degree is in architecture from Rice University.

Third place - Jessica Bennett’s “The Tiny Plunderer,” a pirate ship with a Styrofoam core and an outer shell made from recycled aluminum cans, won Third Place. The masts were made from wood dowels with sails also made from aluminum cans.

Cash honors went to the first ($500), second ($250) and third place ($150) artists.

Artists included adults and students, including budding artists from Alexander Hamilton Middle School, City ArtWorks after school art program and Yes Prep Southeast. “Art on Water” was launched October 9 and was up through Sunday, Oct. 11. The pieces were on view to approximately 30,000 art festival patrons.