129 West National Street
Rising Inspirations, designed by local artist Judy Webster and donated by Ball Horticultural, was created at the Gardens at Ball.
Native American culture incorporated the standing stones to mark a trail or territory. Normally, the stones would not be more than several feet tall, but Rising Inspirations was created larger for a more commanding presence in the garden setting.
Location: Sesquicentennial Park
474 Main Street
Dedication Program - .pdf 700kb
We have a River.
Not a River in the natural sense of water,
but a River of steel wheels,
of people and freight.
A River that flows in both directions moving things
that build our country,
feeds our people and feeds our curiosity
for faraway places.
It is our heritage, our identity, something to be celebrated. Buddy Plumlee
October 22, 2016
Signa Rotae, which is Latin for Wheel Signs, is a mosaic mural created on a cement podium located at Sesquicentennial Park opposite the pedestrian path. It was created by local artist and Commission member Buddy Plumlee. Speaking of his inspiration for the name of his work, he shares, “I’ve always liked using Latin or Greek in titles, the genus and species of an art piece.”
The piece aptly melds history and art through Plumlee’s use of train-related symbols in a colorful stained glass mosaic base upon which sits a weathered train wheel provided by the West Chicago City Museum. Both elements reflect the roots of a community which was formed by the first railroad junction in Illinois in 1849, and honor the many railroad workers that have called West Chicago home over the City’s 167 year history. And indeed, the placement of Signa Rotae at Sesquicentennial Park lends itself to the historic sense of place for which the Park was dedicated in 1998 in commemoration of the City’s 150th Anniversary. Scroll to bottom of page to view some of the process involved in creating this beautiful piece of public art.
About the Artist:
As a resident of West Chicago for the past 12 years, Plumlee’s enthusiasm for the arts has contributed to his volunteer involvement on the Cultural Arts Commission and his offer to create a piece of art which the entire community could enjoy. The City provided funding for materials used in the project. He recently appeared in the City’s continuing series of videos which feature members of the community sharing their reasons for choosing West Chicago as a community in which to live, work and thrive. The video can be viewed on the City’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/CityofWestChicago.
Classically trained in the study of painting and art history at Scuola Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy, and a graduate of the University of Iowa with an MFA in painting, Buddy Plumlee’s experience working with the mosaic medium spans the past 14 years. “Most of the mosaics I have created have been for private residences. The largest mosaic mural I created was for Pathway Connections Childcare and Early Learning in Lisle, Il. I consider myself a painter first, working primarily in oil on canvas. I do enjoy the process of the mosaic medium, though it can be very tedious if a lot of detail is involved. But the results are always stunning. A mosaic piece, especially of a larger dimension, takes on a life of its own and can be very engaging visually. It is a medium well suited for public art,” he explained.
This exciting piece of public art is sure to serve the community well, as it expresses pride in West Chicago’s identity and provides a point of interest and beauty for people walking on the pedestrian path or commuters traveling on the Metra line.
Signa Rotae Photos by Uwe Gsedl
103 West Washington Street
*Watch the process involved in the making of this outstanding public art project through this high energy video from artist Anni Holm.
In this - together (2014)
by Anni Holm in collaboration with the people of West Chicago in celebration of the WeGo Together for Kids, LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network About the artwork installed at 103 West Washington Street and dedicated on December 6, 2014:
Holding hands is typically defined as an act of physical intimacy involving two or more people. Depending on age, gender and heritage, the gesture itself can be a symbol of affection, control and respect. From the mother and child to the husband and wife, and from children playing a game to protesters forming a human wall, we typically reach out for each other’s hands to show that we are in this together. However, within this very act of reaching out to hold a hand, there is also the possibility for something new and exciting to happen. Inspired by the formation of relationships and the building of new networks, In this - together seeks to symbolize and depict a moment loaded with excitement for what’s next. This of course includes the endless possibilities for love, trust, support, security, stability and togetherness that exist in our community.
During the late summer and fall of 2014, West Chicago-based artist Anni Holm, collaborated with the people of West Chicago to photograph hands that represent this community. All the hands were then cut out digitally and layered to create this mural. Approximately 950 people have had a hand in this piece, so to speak. This project could not have been realized without the help from the following community partners: WeGo Together for Kids, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, City of West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, City Museum and Historical Preservation Commission, and DuPage Children's Museum.
The following people had "a hand in this piece":
About the artist
Anni Holm, a West Chicago-based Danish artist, donated her time and talent to creating the mural, with funding for materials and installation for In this – together coming from the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, the West Chicago City Museum, and with assistance from the DuPage Children’s Museum. A second art piece titled In this – together (II) facilitated by Holm, which engages the community in tracing and cutting out the shape of their hands in fabric, is also planned in conjunction with In this – together and will be created for permanent installation at Leman Middle School, the site of the Community Block Party which launched the WeGo Together for Kids/United Way LIVE United Neighborhood Network.
The artist would like to acknowledge and thank the following volunteers who assisted her with the project: David Toney, Chris Lucero, Sara Phalen, Nerissa Kuebrich, Ali Mehdi Zaidi, Maja Kirstine Vestergaard Pedersen, Brittany Nickels, Diana Gabriel, Mario Contreras, Sarah Baranski and Angie Evans, and Tony Abasolo.
Public Art Project Planned for Community Block Party - July 31, 2014