Savor sculpture on Oak Park walk
Dusty Folwarczny’s “Five”
First Annual Sculpture Walk
Through Oct. 14
In 12 locations beginning at the Oak Park Library, 834 Lake St., then heading west along Lake to Forest, then north to Chicago Ave.
For complete details and a slide show visit www.oak-park.us/sculpturewalk
Updated: June 19, 2012 7:44PM
It’s designed for art and architecture lovers to amble through at their leisure, but Oak Park’s first annual outdoor Sculpture Walk was hustled up by its creators double-quick.
Sculpture Walk got under way in a roundabout manner when sculptor Margot McMahon (whose “Hawk and Dove” is featured) informed her neighbor, Village President David Pope, that the 23rd International Sculpture Conference will be held this October in Chicago. She suggested the village might consider arranging for some of those sculptures to be displayed during that event.
Make it bigger
“We thought, ‘That’s great, but why just a few days in October,’ ” said David Sokol, chairman of Oak Park’s Public Art Advisory Committee, which received the idea in a hand-off from Pope. “Why not do it for the whole summer? And why limit it to the members
of that conference?”
In short order, Sokol and the PAAC began to conceive of an event that would place sculptures in front of architecturally significant locations on Lake Street and Forest Avenue and on through the Frank Lloyd Wright Historical District during the summer tourist season.
To get “more bang for the buck,” the committee decided to aim for a start date of June 2, in time for the annual Wright Plus Housewalk and the Day in Our Village fest, although that kickoff weekend was only a month and a half away.
After arranging for a budget of roughly $22,000 to provide fees for 12 artists to transport sculptures here for the summer, and assorted other expenses such as printing thousands of brochures, the committee send out a call for applicants.
Twenty entries were received from as far away as Louisville, Ky., a jury selected 12 winners and somehow, by June 2, all the sculptures were in place — except for Mike Helbing’s late arrival “Dancing with Damocles,” which was in place early morning on the 3rd after a move from Michigan City.
“It was an amazingly quick process,” Sokol said. “The whole thing only took five or six weeks from inception to launch.”
The dozen new works on display through Oct. 14 include Don Lawler’s “Entwined Seedlings” at the Unity Temple; his “Pod of Sun Seeds” at W.G. Barfield’s John Lisle Vette House (308 Forest); Shawn Moran’s “Two Witnesses” at Grace Episcopal Church; Jeff Wilcox’s “Fleeting Consequences” at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Beachy House (238 N. Forest); and Dusty Folwarczny’s “Five” at Wright’s Hills-DeCaro House (313 Forest).
Sokol also said the PAAC is attempting to develop some means for viewers to vote their preference among the sculptures, “if the village is interested in coming up with the funds to buy one and keep it here permanently.
“We’re always trying to do more,” he said. “The commission has plenty of energy and the village has a little money, so we’re going to try to see what more we can accomplish together.”