By Anna Lothson
Oak Park's commitment to enhancing public parkways with artwork is back again this year. Another dozen sculptures are in full view.
The event, hosted by the village of Oak Park and Downtown Oak Park, has returned. The outdoor event officially opened June 1 and will spotlight 12 pieces of art from sculptors installed in pedestrian-friendly areas throughout downtown.
Artists were selected for the sculpture walk through a juried competition. Sculptures in the exhibit are constructed from a variety of materials, including steel, clay, glass and wood.
The 12 installations are located within a four-block radius near the Frank Lloyd Wright and Hemingway historic districts.
"One of the great things about public art is its ability to create a conversation and encourage people to pay attention to their surroundings," Colleen Berg, sculpture walk manager, wrote in a news release. "With downtown Oak Park as the backdrop to this year's walk, we hope to engage a broader audience and increase the visibility of public art in our community."
The sculpture walk will be open to visitors through Sept. 2. After the event closes, the village may consider purchasing one or more pieces of art. Three sculptures were purchased after last year's inaugural walk.
Last year, two sculptures were knocked down by vandals, but were quickly returned to their rightful positions with the help of a group of dedicated neighbors.
The sculpture walk is organized by the Public Art Advisory Commission, citizen volunteers who promote the acquisition and placement of public art that reflects diversity and artistic expression, and enhances the aesthetic environment of the village.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To view a brochure and an interactive map designed for convenient display on smart phones, visit oak-park.us/sculpturewalk. Guests interested in the self-guided tour are also encouraged to stop by the Oak Park Visitors Center, 1010 Lake St. to learn more.