Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Research Park Welcomes "Separated Together"

"Separated Together"
with artist Benjamin Pierce

The Public Art League is pleased to welcome "Separated Together" by Benjamin Pierce (Cape Girardeau, MO) to the corner of Oak Street and Hazelwood Drive (in the University of Illinois Research Park) in Champaign.  The sculpture was purchased by the University of Illinois Research Park and can be enjoyed for years to come at the site.

Of the sculpture, the artist states:  "Utilizing the gap or the idea of missing space or something removed encourages thought, not just on form and composition but treatment of negative space.  I have taken what seems to have been one form and taken something from it or pulled it apart.   The transformation of two things or shapes into something else, beyond what is there but also what is NOT there."

A big thanks to the University of Illinois Research Park for supporting public art in our community!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Two Pieces by Carl Billingsley Installed in Champaign

"Prism Arc-Top Disc"
with Artist Carl Billingsley

The Public Art League welcomes two pieces by Carl Billingsley (Ayden, NC) to Champaign.  "Prism Arc-Top Disc" was installed in the wedged landscape area where Chester Street splits from University Avenue (by the Illinois Terminal).  The sculpture is one of a series of sculptures by Billingsley that are based on color theory.  Each sculpture in the series is designed so that the colors change as the view point and angle of light change.  Reflected color is utilized to 'fool the eye' as red seems to be orange, yellow turns into green and so on.

The sculpture was brought to the site with the help of a generous donation from Barak Rosenshine.  The sculpture was installed with assistance from the City of Champaign.

"Platonic Solids" (pictured below) was installed by the artist at the top of the hill at the southeast corner of Neil Street and Stadium Drive.  "Platonic Solids" is a classically balanced vertical composition that references the Platonic Solids of Greek mathematical thought.  Plato was known for speaking his mind in public as well as for his innovative ideas about philosophy and science.  "Platonic Solids" is an opportunity for the public to consider such ideas in the contemporary context of the public street.

The sculpture was brought to the site with the help of a generous donation from MCDJ, LLC.

"Platonic Solids"
with Artist Carl Billingsley and Mike Hosier of MCDJ, LLC

Sunday, October 4, 2015

"Throne Rococo Nouveau" Installed at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve

Artist Suzy Hendrix
with "Throne Rococo Nouveau"

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District (CCFPD) is pleased to welcome "Throne Rococo Nouveau" by Suzy Hendrix (Memphis, TN) to the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve in Mahomet.  The sculpture is part of the Public Art League's 2015 sculpture program.

Artist Suzy Hendrix states that she creates works of art that allow the public to interact with them.  Even though most art is to be looked at but not touched, people are encouraged to sit in the "Throne Rococo Nouveau."

"Throne Rococo Nouveau" stands 57" x 59" and is constructed of concrete, fiberglass, steel rebar on Styrofoam, and covered in multi-colored mosaic tiles.  Her inspiration for the piece came from the images of the ruins of Pompeii.  The piece took over a year for the artist to complete, as she worked on it in her back yard during free time from other projects.

"Throne Rococo Nouveau" will be on display for two years in the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden thanks to a generous donation from Rosann Noel in memory of her mother, Mabery D. Gelvin, to whom the garden is dedicated.

"The vision for the Garden has always been to provide unique visitor experiences in a naturalized setting, for all to enjoy.  This piece is now part of that tradition that we hope will continue into the future with additional pieces," said Daniel Olson, Executive Director of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District.

Dan Noel, President of the Forest Preserve Friends Foundation, was familiar with the mission of the Public art League (PAL), and knew the program was a good fit for the CCFPD's vision.  "We knew the CCFPD was looking for ways to enhance the Garden, and knew that PAL's program makes it easy for agencies to get involved with public art.  Our Foundation brought the groups together and sought donations for the lease of the artwork," said Dan Noel.

PAL is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on the installation and promotion of public artworks in the Champaign-Urbana area.  PAL works with entities such as the CCFPD to bring art to public areas.  Eric Robeson, Charter PAL board member stated, "We are very pleased to bring the first PAL artwork to the Champaign County Forest Preserve District and into Mahomet."

Additional information about the agencies involved in bringing the artwork to the CCFPD can be found below:

Champaign County Forest Preserve District
Forest Preserves Friends Foundation
Public Art League