FAYETTE, Iowa (June 30, 2008) -Upper Iowa University art professor John Siblik has designed Elgin's Maize Maze for the second consecutive year.
The pattern for the 2008 maze is based on the Take a Kid Outdoors (TAKO) theme, a local grassroots organization formed to instill an appreciation and understanding of the outdoors and nature in today's youth.
Siblik, who is also a TAKO board member, has taught Studio Art and Art History at UIU since 2002. He earned his Bachelor's of Fine Art and Bachelor's of Science in Art Education at Northern Illinois University and his Master's of Fine Art at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
"John has added a lot of challenges to this year's Maze. It is full of curves, dead ends and will be a real challenge to solve for even the more experienced maze visitors," said Maize Master Lavern Swenson. "If someone thinks they can just start walking the path and easily find the exit, they will be sadly disappointed when they are still looking for the exit bridge at night fall."
There will again be mailboxes to find for prizes, and Swenson says they are not just located on the beaten path. Siblik will also design this year's T-shirt that will be for sale in the Maze gift shop.
The Country Heritage Maize Maze is located at the Gilbertson Conservation Education Area, one half-mile east of Elgin on Highway 64. The maze is open July 12 to Oct. 31; hours are 1-6 p.m. Fridays and Sundays and 1-10 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is $6 for adults; $4 for ages 5-12; and free to children 5 and under. Education group rates are $3 per person (must be 10 or more in the group).
"Solving the maze at night has become a popular new challenge," says Swenson. "Anyone thinking about this venture, I would suggest bringing a sleeping bag." Groups interested in solving the maze at night should call Swenson and schedule in advance at 1-866-630-3194 or 563-419-1133 (cell). Participants must be 18 or older.
The 2008 Maze sponsors include TAKO, Upper Iowa University, Northeast Iowa Coop, Wal-Mart, Schwans, Fayette County supervisors, Winneshiek county supervisors, Ag Venture Seed Corn, and Country Heritage Community, which represents four Northeast Iowa counties of Fayette, Allamakee, Clayton and Winneshiek.
For more information about the Elgin Maize Maze, contact the Gilbertson Nature Center at 563-426-5740. For more information about Upper Iowa University, go to www.uiu.edu.
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