'Pillow' in Austin GardensFile 2007/Staff

A local group of volunteers is working to bring more attention to sculpture and murals adorning Oak Park.

The village’s Public Art Advisory Commission is putting together a podcast that highlights public art. Local art aficionados would be able to download the audio tour, pop in their ear buds and stroll around while learning more about what’s on display.

This first podcast will highlight works along Lake Street, running from Ridgeland to Harlem, said David Sokol, head of the commission. If the effort goes smoothly, the group may create more recordings in the future.

“It’s just part the expansion of knowledge about the art that’s here, in the same way that we try and make people aware of the architecture,” Sokol said.

The idea was first suggested by a younger commission member who has since moved to Hawaii. After she got the “old farts” of the group acclimated to the idea, Sokol said, it took off.

The commission hopes to have artists record a little spiel about their work for the podcast. And for those pieces where the artists are long gone — such as the war memorial in Scoville Park — commission members would likely step up to the mic. One muralist, Hector Duarte, wants to record his speech in both Spanish and English.

Other art on the tour will include the mural “It’s About Movement” next to the high school’s soccer field and the “Interchange” sculpture near the Oak Park Avenue Green Line station. Unity Temple will also be included.

Sokol said the commission originally wanted the tour to be broader in scope, but they worried people wouldn’t want to walk to spots off the beaten path — such as the “Pathfinder” sculpture at village hall or “Traveler” on Chicago Avenue near Austin.

“No one’s going to do it. We have to be realistic and have a 15-minute, walkable straight line,” Sokol said.

The commission also has about $500 for a professionally designed map for the tour. Sokol hopes the podcast is available for use this summer.

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