Artists Battle for 'Monumetal' Glory

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BRYAN, Texas The clock is ticking for eleven teams working to turn piles of metal scraps into art. And it all benefits the Queen Theatre in downtown Bryan.

Teams have about three weeks to complete their sculptures for the Monumetal Sculpting contest.

Alan Lee with Steephollow Forgeworks in Bryan has been in the metal works business for decades. He said metal smithing is more than a job, it's an art. That's why he jumped at the opportunity to compete in the contest.

"The name of our team is 'My Mother Was a Queen,'" said Lee. "And that's because my mother really was a queen. Her maiden name was Jane Queen Lee."

The sculptures can be no more than six feet tall, and must be 500 pounds or less, and must design their sculpture based on an idiom.

"My idea is bend over backwards for the Queen," said Lee.

Lee said he'll spend several hours in the next few weeks working on the project.

"My wife, the long-suffering Jan Lee just tolerates it," said Lee. "Just so long as I fix the stair railing every now and then."

Sandy Farris with the Downtown Bryan Association said the sculptures will be unveiled inside the Queen Theatre for a public viewing during First Friday on November 1. Visitors will be able to vote on their favorite sculpture for a people's choice award.

"Then we will use the sculptures as a fundraiser. They will be auctioned off later in November," said Farris. "And that will be to benefit the Queen Theatre restoration."

Farris said the restoration of the Queen is scheduled to finish up in about a year and will be used as a multi-purpose center.

"We can have everything from weddings, conventions, conferences, small movie showings and recitals," said Farris. "It truly will have a lot of purposes for the community."

Farris said they're hoping to raise in excess of $1 million for renovations on the theatre.