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Century Walk offers chance to be a part of local history

May 12, 2012 — Source: Naperville Sun — Author: Tim West

Century Walk projects don’t usually take from one year to the middle of the next to complete, but the mural “Naperville Loves a Parade” is an exception.

Located on both walls of the alley in downtown Naperville between the GAP and Talbot’s on the west side of Main Street, one side has a black and white depiction of a century of Naperville parades. That part is complete.

The other side is a work in progress that was started last spring.

Painted in a Norman Rockwellish style, it depicts Naperville people and buildings.

You may see these buildings in Naperville, but what you won’t see is them next to one another in the way they are shown in this imaginary streetscape.

And the people, including some no longer with us, are recreated from photos given to the artists to use. They can be from whatever point in life the model chooses. Mine has me carrying a Naperville Sun newspaper bag that I used in a skit for the Naperville Follies in the fall of 1980 that was a fund-raiser for the Sesquicentennial celebration that was to follow the next year.

Yes, I kept a prop newspaper bag for 30 years. You never know when you may need to deliver a newspaper, but it would be useless to carry a bag full of tweets.

People have chosen to have themselves depicted in various ways. Longtime resident Ed Channell is giving a salute in his U.S. Marines uniform.

Lots of Naperville individuals, families, and businesses have already been depicted on the mural, but it’s not done yet and there is still time for you to have your place on the wall and be part of the great display of outdoor art that is Century Walk.

For information about pricing (no, being put up against the wall in this case is not free), go to www.centurywalk.org or call 630-355-5553. This is a great opportunity to be part of Naperville’s history.

If you go to the website, and especially if you are new to Century Walk, take some time to look around. It’s an excellent site with good information about the artwork on Century Walk and on Naperville in particular.

Log on to “shop” and you will find two books — one is about Century Walk itself and is replete with full color illustrations of the various art. The other contains feature stories about Naperville history as published over the years in this newspaper. Buy a copy of each and maybe the urge to become part of Naperville’s “Parade of the Century” will become irresistible.

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