Public artist Tim Ward has been working with year-nine students at The Angmering School and engineers from Littlehampton firm SI Protech in the development of the sculpture.
Villagers were able to have their say by voting on their favourites from the 20 designs created by the students.
National youth arts charity Artswork, which is running the project as part of the cultural programme Arun Inspires, revealed the winners to be Lily, Ruby and Safiya, and said the sculpture based on their Sunflower Dog & Rainbow Seat design will be installed outside Angmering Community Centre in September.
Louise Govier, Artswork chief executive, said: “It has been a joy for all of us at Artswork to see the commitment, creativity and ingenuity that has gone into every single concept.
“There is a lot the rest of the world could learn from Angmering, empowering its young people in public spaces to create art limited only by imagination – this kind of work just brings out the best in all of us and I hope young people and adults alike are proud.
“We can’t wait to see the other activities and projects planned in the Arun Inspires programme come into being, benefiting children and young people along with the wider community of Arun.”
The girls’ design will inspire Tim’s finished sculpture. He had encouraged the students to explore the context and history of the site, the qualities they most appreciate in their village and consider the theme of ‘ring’ as they worked on their creations.
The winners said their concept was based on a creative seat that would bring the community together, surrounded by plants and sensory elements for young children and people with additional needs. The large rainbow and sunflower symbolise hope and a sculpted dog means no one who sits there will feel lonely.
More 175 votes were received and the final decision was made by a panel of judges, including parish councillors Alison Reigate and Alan Evans, and representatives from Arun District Council, Pallant House, S I Protech and the school.
Alison said: “It has been such a pleasure to be involved throughout this project and I must say that the work from the children has been outstanding, showing a great deal of thought and imagination in response to the initial remit they were given through to designing 3D models of their concept.
“This proved to make the final judging an extremely difficult task that took endless debate to reach a final outcome. Well done to all participants for the standard of work delivered.”
Over the next four months, Tim will develop final drawings, which will be shared in the village in the early summer. The final sculpture will be fabricated using local firms wherever possible and opened on Saturday, September 25, as part of the community event Angmering Revealed.