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Helper gets new star

Marie Lentsch is flanked by her husband, John (right) and Councilman Kirk Mascaro at Helper City Hall.

Iowa sculptor Marie Truscott Lentsch has not forgetten her home town of Helper, and to make that point visible she has given the city five points - a star, a nine-foot-tall, 500-pound stainless steel sculpture that now graces the front of City Hall.

While she was at it, she decided to donate a sculpted "Coal Seed" to the city's Mining and Railroad Museum.

Both items need some explanation. The artist said that the Star of Helper represents that the sky, like the town, has no bounds. Councilman Kirk Mascaro added that the symbol also "fits well with the city's designation of 'Utah's Christmas Town.'"

The coal seed has a bit more esoteric vision. Ms. Lentsch said that coal miners, who don't get to see the sun when they are working, are still surrounded by the product of sunshine that fell on the Earth long ago. Since coal makes fire (and electricity), it's a "seed" for producing new light. The sculpture is a metallic image of a seed about to burst.

The artist and her husband, John, loaded both gifts in their pickup and trucked them all the way to Helper from Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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