NEWPORT — Four local businesses and more than 20 artists came together this year to craft 24 unique trophies meant to capture the spirit of the Newport community for the city’s 2020 Community Vision Awards.

The effort to create the awards was itself an example of what the Greater Newport Vision 2040 project is hoping to achieve by fostering and encouraging collaboration between local business and artists to create something unique.

“It was a really hard year for everyone, and in the past, I’ve volunteered at a lot of local surf contests, seeing all the cool trophies that have come out of that,” said Leslie Palotas, Vision 2040 coordinator. “I wanted to find a concept that could still get a lot of local businesses involved, and though I started with a vague idea for a trophy, everyone I went to had their own idea to include that ended making it very unique.”

Palotas organized the collaboration effort to create the trophies, which were originally planned as stained glass planters in the local glass float style, but gradually evolved as the artists involved recommended those they’d worked with in the past to add to the project.

The bases for the trophies are made of wood carved by Hasting Coastal Woodworks with help from more than a dozen members of the Oregon Coast Woodturners hobbyist club. Owner Tom Hasting is a director for the Oregon Coast Woodturners and said many members were excited to participate in the community project after a year under the pandemic.

“I was asked if we could make bases, so I suggested we take it to the turning club, “ Hasting said. “Leslie put on a presentation at our meeting and everyone really just jumped right on it.”

Hasting said since the pandemic hit, the woodturners haven’t been able to meet in person but have instead met via Zoom. The group often participates in community events and projects such as the Festival of Trees or making pens for military personnel.

Topping each of the bases are unique glass containers crafted by Oregon Coast Glassworks in six different colors — each corresponding to one of the award categories — and a variety of patterns. Owner Robin Murphy said things had been slow this year, but the trophy project helped keep the glasswork’s staff busy and got it looking toward the future.

“We were honored and thrilled to be brought in to be a part of this project,” Murphy said. “Two of the three of our staff here are Lincoln County high school grads and are always excited to get out and participate in these larger community projects.”

Each of the glass containers houses a succulent plant arrangement provided by Manic Botanic Design and Care, a plant and macrame business owned by Lonna Roe. Before the pandemic, Manic Botanic held fundraising events where participants could sip wine and make their own plant arrangements, but the business has since put those events on hold until things begin to return to normal.

“I’ve known Leslie for quite awhile, and we used to see each other in the surf,” Roe said. “Leslie is a plant lover too and is very creative, so when she was coming up with these awards, she asked me to participate, and I was excited to get involved.”

The final component of each trophy is a faux-leather laser-engraved label displaying the recipients names and categories provided by True Cut Engraving. Owner Stephanie Brown helped come up with the design, while David Adamson did most of the engraving work.

“I liked the concept a lot, and it’s good to identify people in the community who are supporting that,” Brown said.

The final products were awarded to the winners of the 2020 Community Vision Awards for their efforts improve to Newport and its community. The collaborative effort of the artists helps signify that everyone can help pursue the goals the Greater Newport Vision 2040 is striving for.

“At each step, everyone put their own artistic twist and good ideas into these trophies, which show true collaboration and how much an idea can improve when everyone adds their own skills and knowledge to a product,” Palotas said.

Palotas encourages anyone interested in participating in creating next year’s trophies to contact her directly at l.palotas@newportoregon.gov with concepts and business recommendations for the project.

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