Monday, December 1, 2014

Installation Celebration 2014!

Rules of Civility by Kristin Garnant

Join us the evening of Thursday, December 11, 2014, as we celebrate the installation of 10 new sculptures in the Champaign-Urbana area over the past year.  For added reason to celebrate, with your support, the Public Art League just installed its 50th sculpture in the community since our formation in 2010!

Installation Celebration

Thursday, December 11
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano
2235 S. Neil Street, Champaign, IL

Appetizers and a cash bar will be available.

Please join us for a night of food, drink and friends of the Public Art League.  RSVP here by December 6.  Hope you can make it!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Athirst" Makes a Splash in Urbana

Sarah Deppe with Athirst

The Public Art League is proud to announce the installation of Athirst, a sculpture by Sarah Deppe.  The Public Art League worked with the City of Urbana  to install the piece at the corner of Race and Griggs Streets on Friday, November 21.  The sculpture was unveiled as part of Urbana's ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the improvements to the Boneyard Creek at that location.  Athirst represents the 50th sculpture Public Art League has brought to the community since 2010, and its installation is possible thanks to the generous support of Mike & Connie Hosier and David & Janet Peshkin.

Sarah Deppe received her BFA from the University of Northern Iowa and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Deppe’s work has a strong environmental and science component; she incorporates elements she has gathered, whether it be natural, such as living plants, bark and wood, or reclaimed industrial materials, such as textiles, rubber and plastics, into her work in some way.  Her sculptures often have a dynamic, flowing surface pattern created by the manipulation of these materials.  She strives to juxtapose natural and man-made materials to show a tension between the natural and industrial worlds.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Flamenco Revisited" Stands Majestic in Porter Park

Flamenco Revisited
by Ruth Aizuss Migdal

The Public Art League is proud to announce the installation of Flamenco Revisited, a sculpture by Ruth Aizuss Migdal.  With assistance from a dedicated crew from the Champaign Park District, the piece was installed in Porter Park (near the corner of Windsor and Rising Roads) on Monday, November 17.  Flamenco Revisited represents the 49th sculpture the Public Art League has brought to the community since 2010, and its installation is possible thanks to the generous support of Barham Benefit Group.

Ruth Aizuss Migdal received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and MFA from the University of Illinois in Champaign, both in painting and printmaking.  She has had a prolific academic career, with various lecturer positions and professorships at colleges and universities across the country, multiple publications and citations, and participation in conferences from New York to California.  In the 1970s she became a sculptor, working with clay and exploring shapes of the female human torso in its many complexities.   After a workshop in mold making in 1990, she switched to bronze, which she continues to use because of its permanence and flexibility.

Her current work continues in the direction of the dancing lady, which symbolizes her defiance of society’s low expectations for woman, and her stand against negativity.  She created a series of powerful female dancers to exemplify their free spirit, joyfulness and perseverance.  According to Migdal, “these large abstracted female sculptures express independence, strength, and a lust for life.  This series of work exudes happiness and positivity.” 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Number of Strangers Reduced at The Urbana Free Library

Artist Timothy C. Flood and "Stranger Reduction Zone"

The Public Art League is proud to welcome "Stranger Reduction Zone" by Timothy C. Flood (Denver, CO) to the community.  This interactive, educational and fun piece was installed by the south entrance of the Urbana Free Library...where is should receive many visitors each day.

Instructions affixed to the piece encourage strangers to meet.  New acquaintances can then press a button to hear greetings in a variety of languages.  The artist states that "Stranger Reduction Zone is an interactive public intervention piece which aims to help individuals get to know each other better, thereby building a stronger urban community."

Stranger Reduction Zone represents the 48th sculpture installed through the PAL program since 2010.  A big thank you to the City of Urbana Public Arts Commission for the sponsorship of this piece.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Vibrant New Sculpture Installed in Downtown Champaign

"Adam and Eve Mourning Over the Soul of Abel"
by Bryan W. Massey, Sr.

The Public Art League is proud to announce the installation of "Adam & Eve Mourning Over the Soul of Abel," a sculpture by Bryan W. Massey, Sr.  The Public Art League worked with the ownership of the Lincoln Building during the morning of September 26th to complete the installation near Main and Market Streets in downtown Champaign.  Adam & Eve Mourning Over the Soul of Abel represents the 47th sculpture Public Art League has brought to the community, and its installation is possible thanks to the generous support of The Lincoln Building.

Bryan W. Massey has been a professor in the Department of Art at the University of Central Arkansas for over 25 years. His media includes steel as well as stone such as alabaster, soapstone, limestone, marble and granite. He also casts in iron, bronze, and aluminum.  Of these materials, Massey has said, “I have selected media that can be difficult to manipulate at times, but that is the challenge. Will I be able to cut, carve, grind, or weld the material into my submissive will to create very enlightening and interesting forms or three dimensional shapes that sometimes seem to defy gravity and the intent of that particular medium?”  His talent has been recognized with scores of awards, exhibitions, and commissions. Notably, his work The Jazz Player was selected and presented to former President Bill Clinton for the celebration and commemoration of the fifth year anniversary of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Bryan & Delphine Massey
with "Adam and Eve Mourning Over the Soul of Abel"

Monday, September 22, 2014

Two new installations!

September 22, 2014 was a good day for public art in Champaign with the installation of two new pieces...

"Spiral the Gate" by Ray Katz

"Spiral the Gate," a sculpture by Ray Katz (Pontiac, MI), now greets visitors to Porter Park from Rising Road.  The sculpture's installation was possible thanks to the generous support of the Champaign Park District.

Ray Katz’s experience as an artist has spanned five decades, beginning with his undergraduate and graduate education in drawing, ceramics, and sculpture.  His sculptures have been featured in several one-person exhibitions, as well as dozens of public exhibitions and galleries, across the country.

Though he works in many mediums, his favorite is metal because of its strength, malleability, and natural beauty.  In describing Spiral the Gate, Katz writes, “I combine geometric and organic elements to create compositions that convey the implied energy found in my work. I use the abstract manipulation of form and shape in space to create visual balance, using rhythm, action and movement. The implied energy of my compositional structures is a hallmark of my work and a metaphor for an evolutionary process that I associate with human experience. Through the creative process a hierarchy of elements becomes symbols for ideas that are a tribute to the evolutionary experience we all share in common on the human plane and in the transcendent experiences inherent in life’s journey.”

"Jester Street Light" by Kimber Fiebiger

Welcoming visitors to downtown Champaign on University Ave. from the east is "Jester Street Light," a sculpture by Kimber Fiebiger (Minneapolis, MN).  The piece is located on the corner of University and Market Streets by 7 Saints and it is a functioning street light (a little more fun than the others).  The sculpture's installation was made possible thanks to the generous support of the City of Champaign.

Kimber Fiebiger received her BFA from the University of Minnesota, where she was the only woman in her class. She has been creating sculptures for over 30 years and though she still maintains her gallery in Minneapolis, her work has been on exhibition across the country, in Texas, California, Florida, Arizona, and Illinois. Her portfolio ranges from fun and whimsical to classical and contemporary.  In her own words, the Jester Collection was made to make people laugh, to amuse, and, as the real jesters throughout history, their facial expressions are a characterization of common sense and honesty of a character that was used for their insight and advice.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Rules of Civility" finds a permanent home in Champaign

The Public Art League sends a big thank you to Michael and JoAnn Henneman for purchasing "Rules of Civility" (by Kristin Garnant of Camanche, IA). The Hennemans saw the sculpture at our unveiling party earlier this year and loved it so much...they bought it!

When describing “Rules of Civility”, the artist states: “Each work in this triptych is assembled from three rectangular panels of equal proportions.  Their subtle curves reveal openings and recesses, the give and take of space, while maintaining an upright dignity and powerful presence.  Sentries, speaking to the need of civility and compassion.”

“Rules of Civility” is currently installed outside the Henneman Engineering, Inc. building at 1605 S. State St. in Champaign. Thanks to the Hennemans for supporting and contributing to public art in our community!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Downtown Champaign Welcomes "Pipe Trapped Apparitions"

The Public Art League is proud to announce the installation of Pipe Trapped Apparitions, a sculpture by Charles Yost.   The sculpture was installed on Friday, September 19 on the southwest corner of Park and Randolph Streets in downtown Champaign.  Pipe Trapped Apparitions represents the 43rd sculpture the Public Art League has brought to the community, and its installation is possible thanks to the generous support of the Friends of PAL.

Charles Yost received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his MFA in Sculpture from Northern Illinois University, where he also served on faculty.  His work has been featured throughout the Midwest, with exhibitions in festivals, galleries, and museums in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Tennessee.  As a sculptor, Yost is interested in observing and equating geometric, machine-like, industrial forms as they interact visually and aesthetically in functional use.  His current works embody both geometric and organic elements, forming what he describes as a “georganimetric” concept.  In this piece, Yost states, “organic apparitions are seemingly trapped or caught in a more geometric environment, yet can still live in peace and harmony.” 

Monday, September 8, 2014

THEB #1 Purchased!

The Public Art League is pleased to announce that THEB #1 by Jeffrey Boshart has been purchased by Surface 51 and Mellander Holdings, LLC.  The sculpture's new owners originally leased the piece as part of the PAL program in 2012.

THEB #1 will remain installed on N. Neil Street (next to Blue Line Station) and provide a great welcome to downtown Champaign from the north.

Friday, August 22, 2014

"Asteray" Installed in Downtown Urbana

The Public Art League is proud to announce the installation of Asteray, a sculpture by Nicole Beck.  The Public Art League worked with the City of Urbana to complete the installation near the corner of Green and Cedar streets in downtown Urbana.  Asteray represents the 42nd sculpture the Public Art League has brought to the community, and its installation is possible thanks to the generous support of Barak Rosenshine.

Nicole Beck is a sculptor with strong ties to Illinois and Champaign-Urbana in particular, with her pieces Astroterra and Foxgloves featured in the community from 2011-2013, and Amplifiers scheduled for future installation on the University of Illinois campus.  In addition, her sculptures have been featured in numerous exhibits in Chicago, including Avenue of Sculpture at Merchandise Mart, Art in the Gardens at Grant Park, and the Clark Street Sculpture Exhibition, which described her work as “abstracted apparatus and organic forms juxtaposed as poetic metaphors for archetypes of the flow and balance of energy and life systems”.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"Reflective Moments" Installed at Allerton Park

The Public Art League is proud to announce the installation of "Reflective Moments" by artist Ruth Gee at Allerton Park in Monticello.  The piece was unveiled at a ceremony held at the Park on Friday, August 8.  The sculpture can be found just north of the Visitor's Center and represents the first new piece of art installed at Allerton since 1942.

"Reflective Moments" is the first sculpture installed from those accepted by the Public Art League in 2014.  It is the 42nd sculpture installed since PAL formed in 2010.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Unveiling New Art at Allerton Park

On Friday August 8th at 5:30 pm, Allerton Park & Retreat Center, alongside the Public Art League, will unveil the first new piece of art at Allerton Park since 1942.

Allerton Park & Retreat Center invites the public to the unveiling of Reflective Moments, the newest sculpture in the Allerton collection.  Reflective Moments is a sculpted bronze piece produced by Ruth Gee, an artist from Hastings, Michigan.

The unveiling will be held just north of the Visitor Center, where Reflective Moments will engage visitors for years to come.  A Concerts in the Park series Bluegrass Concert will follow the unveiling, on the Allerton Gate House Lawn at 6 pm.

Robert Allerton¹s extensive sculpture collection is widely known, and the Allerton staff is proud to carry on his legacy by adding a new piece this summer.  Derek Peterson, Associate Director at Allerton, says, "We were very careful in choosing a piece; we wanted the new to blend with the old.  Allerton was constantly adding to his collection, and we wanted to continue in that tradition, while respecting the historic significance."

Allerton staff worked with the Public Art League to lease the sculpture, which will be housed at Allerton for the next two years. "We hope to continue to add to Allerton's art collection as well over time," notes Peterson.

Find more information on the unveiling and the concert at

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 Finalists Unveiled!

The Public Art League received 51 fantastic entries from all over the world in response to the 2014 Call to Artists.  Of the entries, our advisory Jury panel selected 10 that we hope to bring to the Champaign-Urbana area this year.

This year's finalists are:

 “Adam & Eve Mourning Over the Soul of Abel”
  by Bryan W. Massey Sr.,  (Conway, AR)
  Height:  10’ 2",  Width:  5’,
Depth:  3’,  Weight:  900lbs,
Materials:  Painted Steel

  by Michael Shewmaker,  (Hilo, HI)
  Height:  8',  Width:  6',  Depth:  5',  Weight:  700lbs,
Materials:  Stainless Steel

  by Sarah Deppe,  (Madison, WI)
  Height:  9', Width:  9',  Depth:  12',  Weight:  700lbs,
Materials:  Metal Rod, Industrial Plastic & Rubber

  “Reflective Moments”
  by  Ruth Gee,  (Hastings, MI)
  Height:  40”,  Width:  24",
Depth:  45”,  Weight:  350lbs,
Materials:  Cast Bronze

  “Spiral the Gate”
  by Ray Katz,  (Pontiac, MI)
  Height:  10',  Width:  4',  Depth:  9'  Weight: 350 lbs
Materials:  Welded Aluminum

  “Rules of Civility”
  by Kristin Garnant,  (Camanche, IA)
  Height:  65", Width:  Variable,
Depth:  12", Weight:  90lbs ea.,
Materials:  Steel

  “Flamenco Revisited”
  by Ruth Aizuss Migdal,  (Chicago, IL)
  Height:  21', Width:  8', Depth:  10', Weight:  5000lbs
Materials:  Painted Steel

  by Nicole Beck,  (Chicago, IL)
  Height:  18',  Width:  4’,  Depth:  5’,  Weight:  1000lbs
Materials:  Stainless Steel & Epoxied Mosaic

  “Stranger Reduction Zone”
  by Timothy C. Flood,  (Denver, CO)
  Height:  10’,  Width:  17",
Depth:  20",  Weight:  <100lbs
  Materials:   Aluminum, Plastic, Electronics, Audio & People

  “Jester Street Light”
  by Kimber Fiebiger,  (Minneapolis, MN)
  Height:  108”,  Width:  36”,
Depth:  30”, Weight:  300lbs
Materials:  Bronze, Glass Light Globe & Acrylic Paint

Thank you to all of the artists who submitted work in 2014!

The Public Art League is now seeking sponsors to bring all of these incredible sculptures to the community.  Response thus far has been fantastic and a number of the 2014 finalists have already been sponsored.  Information regarding sponsorship can be found here: (sponsorship).  If you have interest in becoming a sponsor and bringing a piece to the area, please contact us at

Thank you for your support of the Public Art League!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Public Art League's 2014 Sculpture Unveiling

Tuesday, June 17  5:30p - 7:00p

indi go Artist Co-Op
9 East University Ave, Downtown Champaign

Please join us on Tuesday, June 17 from 5:30p-7:00p at indi go Artist Co-Op 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 chance to see the wonderful pieces that have been selected for installation.

Wine, beer & hors d'oeuvres provided.  Please join us for this exciting evening!

Please RSVP by Friday, June 13 to

Sponsored by:

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Call to Artists

The Public Art League (Champaign-Urbana, IL) is pleased to announce our 2014 Call to Artists!  We are currently seeking artists to display sculptures in our community.  Selected sculptures will serve as major visual anchor points, community identity and a statement that creativity and art are of vital importance to our existence in Central Illinois.

PAL Receives Federal 501(c)(3) Charitable Status!

The Public Art League is pleased to announce that we have been awarded our federal 501(c)(3) charitable status.  Tax-deductible donations can now be sent to PAL directly at PO Box 1601, Champaign, IL 61824 or made directly here on our website.  We thank the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois who acted as our fiscal agent (making tax-deductible donations to PAL possible) in our formative years.  The Community Foundation’s assistance and guidance made the Public Art League program possible.