The Century Walk Corporation


September 5, 1997 — Source: Naperville Sun, The (IL) — Author: Julie Busch

Some local students may be giving a lasting gift to the city.

Over 150 middle and high school students in Naperville School District 203 may get the chance to create portions of a mural to be displayed in the downtown area as part of the Century Walk, a public art project that celebrates people and events of Naperville's past and present.

Still in its infancy stage, the "Ceramic Quilt Project" would be created by the students with input from African American artist and storyteller Faith Ringgold, best known for her painted story quilts, and District 203 art coordinator Stacy Slack.

On Wednesday, the project got a push forward with the donation of $1,000 from Bravo, the film and arts cable network.

The network's "Arts for Change" program awarded 17 grants, four national awards and 13 regional awards, in July and August.

However, there are some temporary setbacks.

The estimated $12,000 project cannot begin until the money is raised.

So far, only about $3,500 is in the bank from Bravo, Marshall Field's and the Naperville Education Foundation.

Slack said she hopes to have the funds in place by the spring so work could begin next fall.

School District officials have yet to formally approach the Century Walk group to include it in the project, but most are confident the idea will be embraced.

The project would be the first Century Walk piece completed by students.

Brand Bobosky, who came up with the idea of Century Walk and serves on the project's board of directors, said Wednesday the quilt project would be a good addition to the works already in place downtown.

The "quilt" will be a mural made of ceramic tile consisting of a main interior painting surrounded by tiles along the outside edges that tell different stories, Slack said.

The center painting will be done by high school students and the outer tiles will be painted by middle school students.

The project will also be done in relief form, meaning aspects of the artwork will not be flat but will stick out from the tile, she said.

Slack hopes to bring Ringgold from New York to Naperville to discuss her work with students, who will then create the quilt under the supervision of a Chicago artist.

The students will research local history, keep personal journals and plan and create the quilt to depict origins of Naperville's cultural diversity, Slack said.

The quilt may also contain written historical accounts to provide a visual and verbal picture, Slack said.

"The two can work together wonderfully," said Slack, who got the idea after seeing Ringgold's work in a museum.

"Our goal is to build one more bridge between our schools and community."

Jones Intercable, a business education partner with the School District, sponsored the entry in Bravo's campaign.

"(The students) will all feel they have made a contribution," Slack said. "They can go see the work when they are grandparents."


Section: NEWS — Page: 12