Any Detroit Lakes area business, organization, group or individual that is still thinking about claiming a large-size sailboat sculpture for next year's "150 Sails Up in DL" public art project should do so now — in fact, the organizers are saying that you should call rather than mail in your sponsorship form to claim a bigger model.

"We only have four of the large ones left," says "Sails Up" project coordinator Mary Beth Gilsdorf, noting that just 75 of the larger scale sailboat sculptures will be included in the project.

"Once they're gone, they're gone," added artist Hans Gilsdorf (Mary Beth's husband), who created the original sculpture that was used as the base design for manufacturing both the small and large-scale sailboats.

About 45 of the smaller-scale models remain to be claimed by sponsors, he added. The larger models, which are in the process of being constructed at Detroit Lakes' own BTD Manufacturing, will each stand about 4 feet tall, while the smaller scale models are 20 inches in height.

The sponsorship fee charged for each size of sculpture also differs, with the asking price to sponsor a large sailboat being $1,500, and a $900 fee to be charged for the smaller model.

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Mary Beth noted that if there are individuals or groups wanting to sign up, but worried about where to display their sailboat once it is completed, they shouldn't hesitate.

"We have plenty of locations unable to participate (by sponsoring a sailboat) that might be willing to host one," she added. "I'm not worried we won't have places to put them."

'Second chance' deadline for artist submissions nears

Organizers are also not worried about having enough artists to create the sailboat designs, said Mary Beth, though there are still a few days for artists to apply for inclusion in the project, as the "second chance" deadline is set for Monday, Nov. 30 (the original deadline was Oct. 31).

Approved designs from the first round of submissions were included in an online design book, which each participating sponsor can review, then choose the design and artist that would be the best fit for them.

"It's kind of like dating," said Mary Beth. "There's a match for everyone."

Hans said that while the design book for the 2003 "Sunny in DL" art project was done in paper form, the design phase of this year's project is entirely virtual, with designs both submitted and displayed electronically for sponsors' perusal.

"There were about 90 designs in the first book (for this project)," said Mary Beth, with some artists submitting multiple designs. The second design book will go up online in early December, she added.

Once artists have signed up, they are paired with a sponsoring business, organization or individual.

After sponsors have chosen their designs and the sculptures have been delivered to the participating artists, the designs can be hand-painted, sculpted or otherwise applied by the artist, or a vinyl wrap, using a digital image of the artist's design, can be applied to the sailboat's exterior. Once their sculptures are completed, each artist will receive a stipend, the size of which is dependent on the design: Artists who directly apply their designs will receive $500 for a large sculpture or $300 for a small sculpture, while those who choose to use a digitally-rendered vinyl wrap will be paid $150, regardless of size.

Models of both the small and large sailboats are on display at the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce (700 Summit Ave.), Detroit Lakes City Office (1025 Roosevelt Ave.) and Lakes Liquor (200 Holmes St. E.).

The unveiling of all 150 sculptures is tentatively for an April 30 launch date, after which they will be moved to their host locations. The goal is to make the viewing of the sculptures into a favorite tourist activity during Detroit Lakes' 150th anniversary year.

"This is kind of a COVID-friendly activity," said Mary Beth, noting that once all the sculptures are in place, people will be able to travel around the community at their own pace, finding each sailboat on an interactive map that will be available at the website,

If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor or a participating artist, or just in learning more about this project, visit the website listed above or call the Detroit Lakes City Office at 218-847-5658.