A look ahead; Century Walk unveils plans for newest artworks
November 10, 2002 — Source: Naperville Sun, The (IL) — Author: Kathy Millen
Upcoming additions to the Naperville Century Walk will pay homage to Naperville's ties to World War I veterans; the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; the partnership between the city's private and public sectors and the genesis of the recycling movement.
Planners of the downtown area public art exhibit held a reception last week at the Holiday Inn Select to preview the upcoming art projects for 2002-03. Two of them include renovations of existing sculptures on display.
The Century Walk is making enhancements to the sculpture of two hands clasped in a handshake, on Jefferson Avenue between Washington and Main streets.
The piece, titled "Yes We Can," will be placed upon a larger granite base and will be surrounded by new brick pavers and two curved granite benches.
The Central Area Naperville Development Organization first commissioned the sculpture to honor the late Jim Wehrli, a community leader and business owner who had helped found the organization. Wehrli died in 1994.
When CANDO disbanded last year after 29 years, it handed over the artwork to the Naperville Century Walk. The piece represents the close working relationship between private businessmen and the city fathers.
Brand Bobosky, chairman of Century Walk, said he expects the improvements to be completed by the end of the year.
"It doesn't knock you out, but the message is there," Bobosky said. "The handshake is quite significant."
The cost to enhance the sculpture is about $27,000. Of that amount, $10,000 was contributed by the Naperville Jaycees, $4,000 by CANDO and $13,000 by the Century Walk.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year, Bobosky said.
The renovation of the 1926 Dough Boy sculpture, the creation of a new sculpture for the Cmdr. Dan Shanower/Sept. 11 memorial and a relief sculpture and fountain at the planned Main Street Promenade will become part of Century Walk next year.
The Dough Boy sculpture, in Burlington Park, commemorates the American soldiers in World War I. The bronze statue has deteriorated over the past 78 years through neglect and vandalism. The statue is cracked and missing parts, including its left hand and rifle.
The sculpture will be sent for restoration within a few weeks. The Century Walk has appropriated $17,000 toward the restoration. A committee, led by Naperville artist Dee Pasternak, is also raising money for the project.
"We are quite excited about it," Bobosky said. "That will be the farthest north point of the Century Walk."
The Century Walk has earmarked another $20,000 for a sculpture at the proposed Shanower memorial honoring Naperville native Dan Shanower, killed in the attack on the Pentagon, and other victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedies. The artwork will incorporate in its design a 7-foot, 2,000-pound steel beam from the World Trade Center and pieces of limestone from the Pentagon. The artist selection has been narrowed down to four sculptors who are expected to submit proposals on Friday.
"This is something our board is proud to be associated with," Bobosky said. "It is public art and it is certainly within our mission (to honor) a man who spent the greater portion of his life here in Naperville and happened to be a victim of this disaster."
The third piece to become part of the Century Walk next year will be a bronze relief sculpture and fountain to be located in the courtyard of the Main Street Promenade, a $40 million commercial and residential complex to be built on the block bounded by Benton and Van Buren avenues and Main and Webster streets.
The piece has been commissioned by promenade developer Dwight Yackley and his wife, Ruth. The theme will be Naperville's groundbreaking efforts in the area of recycling and conservation.
The Yackleys have contributed more than $80,000 to the project. Century Walk has allocated $20,000.
"Naperville was one of the first suburbs to get into recycling," said artist Jeff Adams, of Mount Morris, who is sculpting the piece. "We wanted an art piece that would reflect on that heritage of recycling."
NAPERVILLE CENTURY WALK 1. "Naperville's Own" 2. "River Reveries" 3. "Heartland Harvest" 4. "Growth and Change" 5. "A City in Transit" 6. "Naperville" 7. "Man's Search for Knowledge Through the Ages" 8. "Reading Children" 9. "The Printed Word" 10. "River of Life" 11. "Genevieve" 12. "Golden Rule Days" 13. "Pillars of the Community" 14. "Horse Market Days" 15. "College Community Country" 16. "Cars of the Century" 17. "A Lifetime Together" 18. "Be All That You Can Be" 19. Sculpture honoring James Wehrli 20. "Spirit of the American Doughboy" 21. Recycling-themed sculpture proposed for Main Street Promenade 22. Shanower Memorial
Map: Location of Naperville Century Walk artworks