This summer explore the outdoor art gallery that is Mt. St. Mary Park. Take a stroll along the winding path to witness the artistic diversity of the latest installment of sculptures in the annual Sculptures in the Park exhibit in St. Charles.
Sculpture in the Park remains a success attracting artists near and far, enhancing the cultural arts experience in St. Charles. This year’s exhibit of 15 sculptures includes 13 sculptors from Illinois, Wisconsin, California and Arizona.
As of mid-May, only nine of the 15 sculptures have been installed due to the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions. A few of the larger pieces will be installed once Illinois’ Stay-at-Home order expires. Lambert Lucietto’s “Solitude” is currently on display in Chicago and awaiting its arrival to St. Charles. Because of the installation delay, the exhibit will be on display through the end of October. Typically, it ends in September.
“What began in 2006 as a collaborative effort among civic agencies to raise awareness of the sculptural arts and our beautiful parks is still alive and well today,” said Sabrina Killeen, Park District Supervisor. “We continue to receive submissions from artists across the country as well as local sculptors whose pieces are varied in their style, but the same in prompting delight, discussion and appreciation.”
The Sculpture Committee, comprised of community members and representatives from the St. Charles Park District and St. Charles Park Foundation, selected another piece from renowned artist Seward Johnson, whose works include more than 450 life-size cast bronze figures that have been featured in art galleries, museums and public spaces across the globe including New York City, Washington, D.C., Hong Kong, Paris and Rome.
“Holier Than Thou” features a persnickety-looking man taking the responsibility for some litter, part of the District’s adopted Leave No Trace trash etiquette and a great reminder to park users. Johnson passed away in March, but his legacy will live on in his artwork as his corporation continues to manage his collection.
“My great hope is that when art is made easily accessible to the general public that it inspires an appreciation or understanding that might not be acquired when displayed in a less public venue,” said Jennifer Meyer, a returning artist from Lansing, IL, and sculptor of the found objects piece, “Three Wiseguys.”
Sculptures are made from bronze, rusted metal, steel, found objects, scrap metal and more, and may provoke an array of emotions from visitors as varied as the artist’s inspiration for that piece.
Another sculpture, “Puzzle Vator,” was created from scrap metal from the hands of lifelong St. Charles resident Todd Willing. He’s participated in previous exhibits, most recently with “Totemic Tendencies” last year.
“I’m honored to have my work displayed in my hometown among the other great artists in this exhibit,” Willing said.
Howard Russo’s “Flower Ball” is unique in that it illuminates at night with the use of a solar lighting feature. Russo, a St. Charles resident, is known for his steel sphere sculptures.
Pokey Park’s “Riding High and Dry”, a baby otter getting a ride from its momma, is a perfect example of her whimsical and magical creations. Her love for nature and lifelike wildlife is truly displayed in the detail of her fine artwork. Park’s “I’ve Been Kissed” frog sculpture, a permanent park district piece, attracts people of all ages as it sits near the pond at the south end of Mt. St. Mary Park.
Sculptures in the Park also includes pieces in other outdoor park locations including Baker Memorial Park, Lincoln Park, Pottawatomie Park, Delnor Woods Park, Baker Community Center, Hickory Knolls Discovery Center and Fox Chase subdivision east entrance area.
For more information about this year’s Sculptures in the Park, visit www.stcsculpture.org.