Award-winning art tugs at the heart strings

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A local artist has captured the 2020 SculptureWalk People’s Choice award.

“Jake on Bass” is one of 62 sculptures you’ll find along SculptureWalk in downtown Sioux Falls.

“Pretty close to being tuned. A little wet, but,” local artist Scott Schlag said.

Jake and his bass weigh in at 360 pounds of steel.

“My father was a welder by trade and my grandfather was kind of a blacksmith, so I think it just runs in the family,” Schlag said.

Schlag’s knack for welding and passion for art earned him an award for the most popular sculpture among SculptureWalk visitors.

“The dog, the bass, being able to play it, and it’s whimsical, so it’s got all the elements to be a favorite,” SculptureWalk Director Jim Clark said.

“I’ve been admiring these sculptures for years and I’ve seen some pretty good creative art and I’m pretty surprised the people chose me,” Scott Schlag said.

A 14-year-old chocolate lab named Jake is the obvious motivation behind the sculpture, but it’s a bittersweet story, as the day the sculpture was submitted Jake had to be put down.

“I went to my son’s wedding and had to leave Jake at a kennel and when we came back he just wasn’t doing too good. He was about 15 years old and I had to make that tough decision,” Schlag said.

“He put his heart and his passion for Jake into this sculpture,” Clark said.

As the People’s Choice award winner, “Jake on Bass” will now become a part of the city’s permanent collection of sculptures.

“Jake lives on. This sculpture will last for many, many years,” Clark said.

He may be an award winning artist, but it’s his time with Jake that Scott will remember most.

“I want it to be more about this guy in this case. He was an inspiration and like I said, I miss him every day,” Schlag said.

Schlag says he stopped keeping track after 300 hours working on “Jake on Bass”. The 2020 “Best of Show” winner was “Tough Act to Follow” by an artist out of St. Charles, Illinois.

Click HERE for a complete list of the 2020 SculptureWalk entries.

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