Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Leaves Are Falling...But Art Is Still Sprouting

by Ben Pierce (Cape Girardeau, MO)

The Public Art League welcomes Sprout by Ben Pierce of Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Hessel Park in Champaign.  The sculpture is located along the trail on the southwest side of the park.

Sprout stands 9' tall and is made from steel which has been powder coated.  Of Sprout, the artist states: "Inspired by nature and growth of a young sprout, uncurling from its seed casing and stretching towards the sun."

Sprout is the newest of Ben Pierce's sculptures to be featured in the area.  Until recently, another of Pierce's sculptures, Hole in My Heart, was installed in the northwest corner of Hessel Park.  Keep It Together, by Pierce, was also installed along University Avenue in front of the Urbana Park District Headquarters.  In addition, two of the artist's pieces have been purchased privately through the PAL program.  Separated Together was purchased by the University of Illinois Research Park and, more recently, Triumph was purchased by M2 on Neil, LLC.

A big thanks to Barham Benefit Group for the site sponsorship for Sprout in Hessel Park.  Also, a thanks goes out to the work of the Champaign Park District for the creation of the sculpture pad and for their help with the installation.

Sprout with Artist, Ben Pierce

Friday, September 13, 2019

"Beneath the Surface" Installed in Monticello

Beneath the Surface by Gregory Stallmeyer
Sculpture being unveiled at a ceremony in Monticello, IL (9/12/19)
Photo by the Piatt County Journal-Republican

The Public Art League proudly welcomes Beneath the Surface by local artist, Gregory Stallmeyer, to Monticello, IL.  The installation marks the first collaboration between the Public Art League and the Monticello Area Arts Council.

Beneath the Surface is constructed from aluminum, steel, resin and automotive urethane.

The artist states:

"Beneath the Surface was created during a time of introspection.  Carving away at ones outer shell to reveal what is on the inside.  By removing what is unnecessary we can find that which is required to fuel our creativity and contentment."

A big thanks to the Monticello Area Arts Council, Christie Clinic and all of the public art supporters who made this installation possible.

Beneath the Surface with Gregory Stallmeyer
Monticello installation ceremony - 9/12/19

Friday, September 6, 2019

"The Feather" Lands in Downtown Champaign

Artist Kirk Seese with The Feather

The Public Art League is proud to welcome The Feather by artist Kirk Seese (Lutherville, MD) to downtown Champaign.  The piece is installed in the concrete planter within the roundabout on Main and Chestnut Streets.  The Feather stands 10 feet tall and is made from steel and MDO board coated with a clear epoxy resin.

The artist states:  "The inspiration for The Feather is to offer the public the beauty of stained glass, but in a sturdy, weatherproof and shatterproof format.  An homage to nature is at its core.  It really sprung forth from tooling around in Photoshop and creating something that I thought was aesthetically pleasing.  So much of my time is spent designing either murals or themed climbing walls for others, this exercise was a complete separation from anything I knew before, and I like it!"

A big thanks to "The Station" (the former train station building housing Maize, Exile on Main, Dandelion and others) for the sponsorship of this piece.

The Feather by Kirk Seese

Friday, August 23, 2019

"The Sun King" Shines on the Kickapoo Trail

The Sun King
with artist, Steven Maeck

The Public Art League welcomes The Sun King by Steven Maeck (Decorah, Iowa) to the Kickapoo Bike Trail in Urbana.  The Sun King stands 14.5 feet tall and is made of welded steel.

From the artist:

"Since 2002, I have been designing and fabricating sculptural work either fully or partially composed of iron and steel.  The focus of my recent work has been almost exclusively in the utilization of industrial detritus which I alter and/or recombine in such a manner as to create work that is not only resonant and original, but manifests the aura of having been created from base raw material, i.e. cast bronze.  Of course there is, and should be, at least a subliminal sense of the processed heritage of the metal."

Thank you to the Forest Preserve Friends Foundation for sponsoring this piece and to the Champaign County Forest Preserve District for coordinating its installation.

The Sun King
by Steven Maeck

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

"A New Leaf" Dedication in The Botanical Garden

Beauty Preserved
The Waterfall Unveiling

The Champaign County Forest Preserve invites you to come out and see the new waterfall and pond at the Mabery Gelving Botanical Garden at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve.  The event will also reveal "A New Leaf" by Don Lawler, a gift through the Public Art League from Rosann Gelvin Noel.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

5:30-7:30 p.m.
Dedication Ceremony at 6:30 p.m.

Hors d'oveuvres, music, and cash bar

Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden
950 N. Lombard
Mahomet, Illinois 61853

RSVP by Tuesday, September 3 to 217-586-3360 or

A New Leaf
by Don Lawler

Saturday, August 3, 2019

"A New Leaf" Gets a New Home

A New Leaf
by Don Lawler (Stephensport, KY)

The Public Art League is proud to share the news that A New Leaf (by artist, Don Lawler) has been purchased and installed at the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden at the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve.  The sculpture was purchased by the Forest Preserve Friends Foundation with a gift from Rosann Gelvin Noel and placed in the garden.

The sculpture was originally leased by the Public Art League in 2016 with the help of a site sponsorship by the City of Urbana.  The piece was displayed near the parking area at the corner of Race and Water Streets in Urbana until it was relocated to its new home in the botanical garden.

Rosann Gelvin Noel was a fan of Don Lawler's work.  In addition to A New Leaf, the Noel family was the site sponsor of another of Lawler's works (Ripples) in 2012.  The Public Art League now owns Ripples which you can find displayed in One Main Plaza in Downtown Champaign.

Pay a visit to the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden (near the Museum of the Grand Prairie) in the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve to enjoy this beautiful piece.

A New Leaf
by Don Lawler

Monday, May 20, 2019

Music In The Air at West Side Park

Children of all ages play on the xylophones installed at West Side Park in Champaign

It was a nice, warm afternoon on Saturday, May 18 for the dedication of the playground and new musical instruments at West Side Park.  Children of all ages immediately picked up mallets and performed for the crowd on hand.  The installation was the result of donations from the Rotary Club of Champaign, Rotary District 6490, the Robeson Family Benefit Fund, the Public Art League and Rotarian Scott Anderson Jr., in collaboration with the Champaign Park District.

In addition to the new instruments, West Side Park currently features two sculptures brought in through the Public Art League's program.  Double Dutch - A Jump For Joy (Garry R. Bibbs) sits on the east side of the park and was initially leased in 2010.  The sculpture was later purchased by the Champaign Parks Foundation.  On the south side of the park, the bright orange Uppercutted (Ted Sitting Crow Garner) is installed.  The sculpture, installed in 2013, is currently on lease from the artist.

Please stop by and enjoy West Side Park.  It truly is a beautiful place!

Example of the future plaque recognizing those contributing to the installation of the new instruments