We are delighted to announce the NEW Art in Public Places project. AiPP catalogs and celebrates the extensive collection of public art in St. Charles, and invites everyone to see, learn about, and enjoy the collection. It is an inventory of public art and privately owned art in public places in St. Charles. But it is much more than that. It is a cultural experience, rich in stories, images, and detail, that includes a web site, a printable brochure, an electronic Map and Art Tour.
St. Charles is a treasure trove of art – downtown, in the library, parks and park district buildings, schools, businesses, and more. The Art in Public Places project has cataloged this collection of over 175 pieces, and beyond that has tried to learn the story of much of the art. There are woodcut prints in the Library that were part of the 1930s Federal Art Project, a WPA program established as a relief measure during the Great Depression to employ artists and artisans. There are sculptures, such as Ēkwabet or the History of Transporation friezes that have immersive historic and cultural stories, or the Wayfinders ceramic totems at East High School that are collaborative projects between student and professional artists. Many of the stories have links to other websites or sources of information that can take the viewer deeper into both the art and its history.
We encourage anyone who knows the story (or more of the story) of any piece of art in the project to contact us with that information. In addition, the web site is not static – it will be updated as new public art is sited, and we encourage the community to keep us informed of new pieces that might be added to the inventory. info@StCharlesArtsCouncil.org.
An Art Tour is available through a downloadable app. Search your device’s App Store for Otocast, find St. Charles, IL Art in Public Places on their list of art tours around the world, and tap on any of the images of the 25 pieces of art on our tour. In most cases you’ll hear the artist tell the story of the piece and their artwork. For those pieces where the artist is unknown (such as the Sons of Charlemagne – the fox sculptures on the Main Street bridge), or deceased (such as Clemente Spampinato whose Fox Chase sculpture is at the intersection of Fox Chase Boulevard and Dunham Road), family members, historians, and other people who know the artwork’s “story” have recorded them. In addition to hearing the story, you can read a bit about the artist and their piece, and follow links to relevant resources.
The web site – ArtinPublicPlacesSTC.com – is Searchable, and organized by Location (found on the Map page), Artist, Medium, Title, and Date – all of which are linked to each piece of art on the site.
The SCAC encourages everyone with an interest in art, history, and the city to grab their electronic device and/or the printable brochure and take a tour of the city to look at the artwork and learn more about their stories.
We support and promote Public Art in our community. The Art in Public Places project was created to give form to that support and promotion.
Our Thanks to Mr. Sterling Ainsworth, the City, and the Park District for their support of this project.