By Katie Dunn
For the Forsyth County News
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Forsyth County residents may well argue that the egg did when 25 painted fiberglass eggs find their way across the area in an effort to raise awareness of the arts.
The 5-foot-tall eggs, which each weigh between 20 to 30 pounds, are part of a combined effort by several organizations to promote artistic creativity and celebrate the county's heritage.
Among the groups participating are Sawnee Woman's Club, Forsyth County Parks and Recreation, Cumming-Forsyth Arts Council, Sawnee Artists Association and Forsyth County Arts Alliance.
"We're trying to promote the arts in the community and because Forsyth County has such a strong poultry background, we chose the egg," said Paula Chambers, a program coordinator with Forsyth County Parks and Recreation.
"We feel like it's a very worthwhile project because it will bring recognition to the arts and to our community."
The idea started when Kristin Joyner and Debbi Little, both members of the Sawnee Woman's Club, sought to create an outdoor exhibit honoring the county's heritage.
"We decided on the egg form because there are so many different things you can turn an egg into," Joyner said.
Joyner explained that she had tried several different designs that could be painted on the eggs, including a hamburger and a piggy bank.
"We first talked about a chicken," she said. "But the form doesn't leave a lot of space to do much. The egg, from an artistic perspective, can be turned into a baseball or a city. It's a blanker canvas."
Several other Georgia cities also have outdoor displays similar to Forsyth's pending egg exhibit. Athens boasts 36 painted, 4-foot fiberglass bulldogs, while Gainesville has painted roosters scattered around town.
The exhibit was made possible through a Forsyth County Art Alliance grant that the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation helped write.
"We're hoping to promote the arts in the community," said Laura Pate, a program supervisor with Forsyth County Parks and Recreation. "We want people to see these eggs as a display of artwork and get them to say, 'What's that?'"
Now, thanks to the artistic ingenuity of local businessman Larry Hutto, the exhibit soon will become a reality.
Hutto, who owns and operates Timeless Architectural Reproductions, completed all 25 eggs in just six weeks.
"This is just something I wanted to do for my legacy," Hutto said. "For the fun of it."
Added Joyner: "If it were not for Larry's creativity, they would not have been made."
In addition to the eggs, Hutto also made adjustable stands that allow each egg to be moved as needed.
"You can unbolt them from their stand and rotate them around the county," Hutto said.
Like a scene out of "Jurassic Park," the finished eggs sit, incubated in Hutto's warehouse, until they can be distributed to local sponsors.
Potential egg sites include the front of Forsyth Central High School and at Central and Sharon Springs parks.
Each egg costs $500. Sponsors can choose what design they want, as well as the local artist who paints it.
The first egg, completed by Forsyth Central High School art teacher Kevin Whitley and his students, will stand in front of the school's auditorium beginning in August.
Organizers hope visitors to Forsyth may someday be able to participate in a countywide scavenger hunt with the eggs.