Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Public Art League's 2012 Installation Celebration

Please join us on Thursday, December 13th at Boltini Lounge for the Public Art League's 2012 Installation Celebration!  It has been a great year for public art in Champaign-Urbana!  Please come celebrate with us.

The Public Art League's Installation Celebration
Thursday, December 13
5:30p - 7:30p
Boltini Lounge (211 N. Neil Street, Champaign, IL)

Appetizers provided.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Marci Dodds & Cody Sokolski
One Main Development

Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Public Art League Welcomes Fall with Four New Sculptures!

by Scott Mental (Coulumbia, S.C.)

Earlier this year, the Public Art League was the proud recipient of a Marajen Stevick Foundation grant through the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois.  It was specified that the grant be used toward the purchase of sculpture.  We are proud to announce the purchase of "Incursion" which is installed on the southeast corner of Neil and Washington streets in downtown Champaign.  Scott Mental's inspiration is for us to re-evaluate and appreciate the spaces that we interact with on a daily basis.  "Incursion" is a wonderful addition to the permanent art collection in our community.

by Don Lawler (Stephensport, KY)

If you are walking though One Main Plaza, you will notice "Ripples" by Don Lawler.  The sculpture is carved from a single piece of Indiana limestone and represents the "circle of acquaintances" we have with neighbors, friends and family.  Like ripples on a pond, they touch our lives and the lives of others.

Thank you to the Noel family for their site sponsorship of this piece.

"The Wind in the Trees"
by Cathrin Hoskinson (Brooklyn, NY)

As part of the celebration of the City of Urbana's continuing designation as a "Tree City USA", "The Wind in the Trees" was installed on Main Street in downtown Urbana.  The sculpture is a silhouette of a tree mounted on a steel base which is cut in its shadow.  The layers of metaphoric allusions on the sculpture suggest the essence of a tree moving in the wind.

Thank you to the City of Urbana Public Arts Commission for the collaboration and site sponsorship of this piece.

"THEB #1"
by Jeff Boshart (Charleston, IL)

Standing 18 feet tall, 15 feet wide and 15 feet deep, you cannot help but see "THEB #1" (The Empty Box #1) as you enter Champaign on Neil Street from the north.  Installed just north of the Blue Line Station building, "THEB #1" is a framework through which you can see the landscape beyond.  The geometric forms contrast with the urban and natural elements around it.  The artist has made it impossible to negate the surroundings and simultaneously made it impossible to ignore the sculpture.

Thank you to Mellander Holdings and Surface 51 for the site sponsorship of this piece.

A Big Thank You...

Thank you  to photographer Della Perrone for her wonderful photographs of the sculptures installed by the Public Art League in Champaign-Urbana.  Della took the photographs above and has provided us with fantastic pictures of all of the sculptures currently installed.  Thank you Della!

If you are interested in assisting in bringing more public art into our community, or keeping the fantastic pieces we have here, please contact us at  Thank you for your continued support!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Champaign-Urbana Welcomes Six New Sculptures

"Beautiful Storm"
by Michael Gerald Helbing

Please join the Public Art League in welcoming "Beautiful Storm," by Michael Gerald Helbing, to the University of Illinois Research Park.  Mr. Helbing, of Berwyn, cites his inspiration for the 16' tall sculpture as the visual appeal of a thunderhead in the late afternoon when the sun lights up the otherwise black and heavy clouds as though it's playing with them.  "Beautiful Storm" can now be enjoyed by those who work, visit and attend events in the Research Park.
A big thank you to Fox/Atkins Development, LLC for becoming a site sponsor of the Public Art League and making it possible to bring this wonderful sculpture to the community.

by Beth Nybeck

"Stride", by artist Beth Nybeck of Kansas City, now lives in front of the Orpheum Children's Museum in downtown Champaign.  In describing the sculpture, the artist states, "The spirit of discovery is one that needs to be equipped with courage. The journey of uncovering the unknown is filled with fear and excitement. 'Stride' explores the awkward isolation of moving onward as a unique individual."

Thank you to The Robeson Family Benefit Fund for the site sponsorship of this sculpture.

"Fortitude IV"
by Mark Krucke

In partnership with the City of Urbana Public Arts Commission, the Public Art League welcomes "Fortitude IV" by artist Mark Krucke of Garner, North Carolina.  In celebration of its designation as a "Tree City USA", the sculpture has been installed on Main Street in Urbana's downtown.  The sculpture is an oak leaf and is the fourth in a series by the artist that focuses on encompassing space with industrial materials.

Thank you to the City of Urbana Public Arts Commission for site sponsorship of this piece.

by Michael Gerald Helbing

"Ice" is another wonderful sculpture by artist Michael Gerald Helbing of Berwyn, Illinois.  The sculpture stands at 11 feet tall and has been installed in Mattis Park in Champaign.  The sculpture is made from a stainless steel tank, cut and reassembled to form the crisp edges of a glacier.  It is stiffened with tubes that represent running water.  The metal has been ground so that it will sparkle in the light.

Thank you to the Champaign Parks Foundation for the site sponsorship of this sculpture.

"Splintering Continuity"
with artist Beth Nybeck

"Splintering Continuity" is another fantastic sculpture by artist Beth Nybeck of Kansas City, Missouri.  The piece has been installed at the corner of S. Philo Road and E. Colorado Avenue in Urbana.  Regarding the sculpture, the artist states, "The pace with which we move through our world is a rapid one. The motion, the schedules, the deadlines, and the adrenaline that holds it all together makes some things appear crisp and others a complete blur. Splintering Continuity embodies the movement that one may get lost in."

Thank you to the City of Urbana Public Arts Commission for the site sponsorship of this piece.

"Remembering Horeb"
by Shawn Philip Morin

"Remembering Horeb" can be found on Neil Street in downtown Champaign near Circles, Quality and the City Building.  The sculpture is over 9 feet tall and was constructed using glacial granite, steel and stainless steel.  The artist is Shawn Phillip Morin of Bowling Green, Ohio.  Commenting on his career, Mr. Morin states that he has migrated through the figurative, the architectural, the abstract, and the spiritual in presentation. He now believes his work is a synthesis of all these styles.

"Remembering Horeb" is available for site sponsorship.  Please contact the Public Art League at if you would like to sponsor the site for this wonderful piece.

Friday, July 20, 2012

PAL News - July 2012

The 2012 Sculptures!

It's an exciting year for public art in Champaign-Urbana! Our "Calls to Artists" generated 80 fantastic submissions from sculptors throughout the United States (and as far away as Japan)! We are excited to share this year's finalists with the hope we can work together to bring them to the community in 2012!

Finalists from the Open Call:

by Don Lawler
(Stephensport, KY)

                                                    by Scott Mental
                                                    (Columbia, SC) 

"Remembering Horeb"
by Shawn Morin
(Bowling Green, OH)

 "THEB #1"
 by Jeff Boshart
(Charleston, IL)

"Eyes of Dawn"
by Carl Billingsley
(Ayden, NC)

"Counter Rhythm"
by Charles Ellis
(Indianapolis, IN)

by Beth Nybeck
(Kansas City, MO)

"Single Twist"
by Mary Angers
(Long Branch, NJ)

"Beautiful Storm"
by Michael Gerald Helbing
(Berwin, IL)

 "Splintering Continuity"
by Beth Nybeck
(Kansas City, MO)

Thanks to Carolyn Baxley, Nan Goggin, Pat Samman, Robin Hall and Lawrence Hamlin for participating in our Advisory Jury Panel.


Finalists from the Urbana Tree-Themed Call
(a collaboration with the Urbana Public Arts Commission):

"Oak Leaf Horizon Gate"
by Jim Gallucci
(Greensboro, NC)

"Fortitude IV"
by Mark Krucke
(Garner, NC)

"The Wind in the Trees"
by Cathrin Hoskinson"
(Brooklyn, NY)

Thanks to Christina McClelland, Tom Carrino, Pat Samman, Susan Pryde, Carolyn Baxley and David Wilcoxen for participating on our Advisory Jury Panel.

We are currently seeking sponsors to bring these wonderful sculptures to Champaign-Urbana.  For more information on how you can help, please contact

The 2012 Unveiling at Big Grove

Photo by Adam Milton
Thanks to all who joined us at the 2012 Sculpture Unveiling Party at Big Grove Tavern.  The enthusiasm was fantastic!  A special thanks to Nash + Marlow and the Barham Benefit Group for sponsoring delicious appetizers.

 Grant Received for Sculpture Purchase

The Public Art League is proud to announce that it has received a $6,000 grant from the Marajen Stevick Foundation through the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois.  The grant is to be used toward the purchase of sculpture.

Don't Let Them Get Away! 

 Sculptures in the Public Art League's program are leased for two years.  The leases for a number of the sculptures expire in mid-August.  If you would like to learn more about how you can help keep sculptures in the community, please contact us at


Public Art League

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Public Art League's 2012 Sculpture Unveiling

Join us on Tuesday, June 26 from 5:30p-7:00p at Big Grove Tavern as we unveil the sculptures that could make their way to Champaign-Urbana this year! Artists from all over the country have submitted their entries and you will get a special sneak peek at the wonderful pieces that have been selected for installation.  Enjoy the beautiful new Big Grove Tavern in the One Main Building in downtown Champaign. There will be a cash bar with tasty hors d'oeuvres donated by our friends at Nash & Marlow and the Barham Benefit Group.
Please join us for this exciting evening!

Tuesday, June 26
5:30p - 7:00p
Big Grove Tavern
One Main Street
Downtown Champaign

Photo by Adam Milton



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

PAL News - May 2012

The Public Art League Issues Two Calls to Artists

The Public Art League is seeking submissions of sculpture for potential installation in the Champaign-Urbana area from 2012 through 2014.  Entries should be submitted by June 8, 2012.

Additionally, the Public Art League, in collaboration with the City of Urbana Public Arts Commission, is seeking submissions of tree-themed sculptures for potential placement in downtown Urbana to celebrate Urbana's designation as a Tree City USA.  The sculptures will be leased for a 2-year period with a deadline for submissions of June 15, 2012.

For further information, visit or call 217/898-8263.

A Spring Soiree...

Thanks to all who were able to attend the Public Art League's Spring Soiree on April 9.  We had a wonderful evening in the shared space of Figure One and Cream & Flutter, enjoyed comments from Robin Hall, entertainment by the Drew Ninmer Quartet and Elizabeth Buckley and received generous donations to help bring more public art to our community. 
Thank you again!

Special Thanks!

Thank you to Cream & Flutter for generously donating 5% of their sales from the months of January and February to PAL.  We also owe them a big thanks for all of their help with the Spring Soiree.

PAL would also like to thank the Barham Benefit Group for a generous donation which has allowed the Public Art League to showcase the installed sculptures and thank its fantastic site sponsors through a series of ads in the News Gazette.

Help Keep Great Works of Art in C-U! 

In Sugust of this year, the leases for 7 of the sculptures installed in Champaign-Urbana will be coming to an end.  To find out how you can help keep these amazing pieces in the community, please contact us at or call 217/351-4225.


Public Art League