“Phoenix” is the People’s Choice

An inspiring bird is the people’s choice.  The Sculpture Tour Salina organization has announced the 2023 People’s Choice in the Salina Sculpture Tour program as “Phoenix” by Jodie Bliss. It is located in front of the Hoffman Building at the corner of Santa Fe and Iron.

“Phoenix” will be the third sculpture by Bliss to be permanently  displayed in Salina. In 2017 her “Picasso’s Violin” sculpture won the People’s Choice and is on display in front of The Temple at Santa Fe and South Street. Also, her horse sculpture “Off the Merry Go Round” was purchased by the downtown Homewood Suites Hotel and is on display in front of the Starbuck’s coffee shop at the hotel.

Based on the voting each year, the City purchases the top vote getter (up to $15,000), and it is placed somewhere on public domain for everyone to enjoy.

Previous People’s Choice Award winners include:

  • 2011 – “Watch Dog” by Louise Peterson; On display in Oakdale Park Sculpture Garden
  • 2012 – “Sweet Kisses” by Marianne Caroselli; On display in Oakdale Park Sculpture Garden
  • 2013 – “Farmer” by Lawrence Starck; soon to be on display at Salina Senior Center
  • 2014 – “Next Up” by James Haire; On display at KWU Tennis Courts
  • 2015 – “Daughters of Peace” by Benjamin Victor; On display at the City/County Building, 2nd Floor
  • 2016 – “Slim” by Dale Lewis, On display at Tony’s Pizza Event Center
  • 2017 – “Picasso’s Violin” by Jodie Bliss; On display at The Salina Innovation Foundation
  • 2018 – “Patches” by Dale Lewis; On display at The Smoky Hill Museum
  • 2019 – “Wheat Harvest” by James Mages; On display at City/County Building
  • 2020 – “For the Love of Steel” by Sunny Corbett; On display on N. Santa Fe in front of The Voo
  • 2021 – “Butterfly Tree” by Reven Marie Swanson
  • 2022 – “Clarence the Catfish” by Joe and Terry Malesky
  • 2023 – “Phoenix” by Jodi Bliss.

There is also a Merit Award of $1,000 for the artist whose piece received the second highest number of votes. The Kids Choice Merit Award of $500 goes to the creator of the piece receiving the most votes from kids ages1 2 & Under. Those winners this year are:

  • Merit Award Winner  – “Mr. Hatter’s Pursuits in Becoming Human: 004 Golden Sphere” by Brady Hatter. Located in front of Martinelli’s at Santa Fe and Walnut
  • Kid’s Choice Merit Award $500 cash award – “Fantastical” by Nancy Bole. Located in front of the Stiefel Theatre at Santa Fe and Walnut

Other than purchasing the People’s Choice winner, SculptureTour Salina is entirely privately funded. Multiple sculptures are temporarily displayed in the downtown area for a year.

Each sculpture is for sale, with the City of Salina purchasing the People’s Choice winner for permanent display. At least two of the new sculptures have already been purchased.

Private businesses have a history of purchasing some of the sculptures.

The current sculptures will soon come down, and be replaced by new ones. The unwrapping of the 2024 Sculpture Tour is scheduled for May 4th.



May 4th 2024