Tom Luscombe FS May 2018

A Fall Fairy made of corn stalks by Jen Sesto of Art4Soul took first prize in the Homewood Beautification Committee’s annual scarecrow contest Saturday. 
Second place went to a pumpkin scarecrow designed by Ryan Niksic of The Art Corner. A wolf, made of real animal fur modeled after a wolf in the movie “A Never Ending Story,” won third place for Sharon Munoz of the dog training business Woof in Flossmoor.
Guests at Homewood’s Fall Fest got to view 15 scarecrow creations on the lawn of the old Gottschalk House on Martin Avenue and cast a ballot for the People’s Choice Award. 
Members of Girl Scout Troop 65113 walked up and down Martin Avenue for more than an hour encouraging people to “vote for number 18.” When the bucket of ballots was tabulated about 12:30 p.m., Tin Mint, the robot carrying a box of Girl Scout thin mint cookies created by the Brownies, had won the honor.
Linnea Brattstrom, 8, said the girls got the parts “from real computers. We pounded on them” to get the circuit boards and other internal pieces they needed for the robot. “His boots are real, too. We just duck taped them” to appear silver, she said. The robot also drew attention because of its flashing lights.
The Fall Fairy was so large, that transporting it meant walking it down to the judging arena. Sesto said she started with the head, but had no idea how she’d create the body. She affixed the corn stalks to styrofoam glued to the provided frame. She worked in the second floor studio of her store at 18135 Harwood Ave. attaching one stalk at a time. 
Sesto was already working on the body when she found the stalks were too tall, so she sawed them — no easy task — and repositioned them. She changed her mind on how to create the arms. She dressed her in a sparkly fall color sheer fabric.
“The more (I) worked with it, it came together,” she said. The Fall Fairy will be on display in front of the store. Sesto says the animals in the neighborhood chewing on her will determine how long the fairy lasts on Harwood.
Niksic said she wanted The Art Corner scarecrow to be from natural objects. “I knew I had to clean out my garden. I had grapevine and it’s pretty pliable, and I thought ‘This could be a fun scarecrow body.’”  The crows flying around the pumpkin were created from paper and sytrofoam. 
Munoz said she thought about her 2018 creation last year after winning second place in the scarecrow contest for a zombie dog. She loves animals and said it wasn’t hard for her to develop a concept. She asked the Flossmoor Animal Hospital to save fur for her.
“I love doing stuff like this,” she said. “Once I got the body together, it was attaching the hair, and once I got the hair, then I knew about the eyes.”
Not all entries were as complicated as Munoz’s, but they all represented great creativity.  The delicate sun flower created by Erica Van Schiak was displayed next to a Day of the Dead creation from Cilantro Cocina Mexicana. 
And Willow School second grade teacher Mary Jo Boehm helped her students create a character from the movie “Coco.” 

Photos by Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle


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