A few minutes wait can seem like a lifetime to a 9-year-old.
Imagine waiting nearly two weeks.
Dakota Curley, 9, of Marshalltown waited 13 days to receive official notification he won RAGBRAI XL kid's art contest.
T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY
Dakota Curley, 9, of Marshalltown is shown with his RAGBRAI XL award-winning clay sculpture recently at the Perfect Setting. RAGBRAI officials proclaimed Curley state-wide winner of the kid’s art contest on the event website, ragbrai.com, Tuesday morning.
The wait was worthwhile - Curley won $350 for his work, a 3-D clay sculpture.
Kim Curley of Marshalltown, Dakota's mother, said she received official notification from a RAGBRAI spokesperson Tuesday morning.
"I was surprised and happy," Dakota said.
Dakota and Kim thought the sculpture might take first place when they learned it was the top vote getter July 18.
However, a contest coordinator participated in RAGBRAI from July 22 to 28 and did not return to his office until recently to notify Kim.
Dakota's colorful work features the historic Marshall County Courthouse, public library, a bike path with rider and a baseball diamond with players.
A banner over the library reads: "Marshalltown, you are my friend" - the town's RAGBRAI theme.
Towns held community-wide contests and Marshalltown RAGBRAI organizers selected Dakota's work as its top entry in the contest.
Overall, the competition called for students in kindergarten through fifth grade to incorporate their town's RAGBRAI theme into artwork, according to the RAGBRAI website. The artwork could be drawings, paintings or sculptures.
"It just entered my head," Dakota said of the project design. "I was going to do the courthouse at first. Then I changed my mind to do the baseball field, library, with courthouse and bike path."
The young artist, who will enter fourth grade at Marshalltown Area Catholic Schools this month, stuck with the design despite mom's advice.
"I tried to get him to simplify his project" Kim said, smiling. "But he would not have that ... he had it in his mind ... this is what he was going to do."
Dakota, said it took 10 hours to complete, only pausing for meals.
The Central Iowa Art Association, where he spends much time in that facility's studio, made him aware of the contest.
Dakota's art is diverse, ranging from coloring to metal work.
And he is no stranger to winning.
"He has created our Christmas cards the past four years," Kim said. "He won the 'Police with MACS' coloring contest and the recent Carson & Barnes Circus contest grand prize.
When not in the studio, the talented Dakota has other interests.
He takes piano and swimming lessons and likes riding his bicycle.
Rounding out his busy schedule are "Pokemon" contests and other computer games.
Dakota will use his winnings to purchase an easel among other art supplies, he said.
"He (Dakota) has a great sense of creativity," Pam Swarts, owner-operator of the Perfect Setting art gallery of Marshalltown, said. "To use 3-D effectively requires talent."
Dakota's sculpture is on display at the gallery, 13 W. Main St., or viewed online at ragbrai.com