The Century Walk Corporation


June 11, 1999 — Source: Naperville Sun, The (IL) — Author: Kathy Millen

The two newest works of art on the Naperville Century Walk will be dedicated Sunday, June 13, in downtown Naperville.

"Genevieve," a statue of the late Naperville Sun writer Genevieve Towsley, will be unveiled at 2 p.m. outside the Barnes and Noble book store at Washington Street and Chicago Avenue.

The "River of Life" mosaic, created by Naperville students, will be dedicated at 2:30 p.m. outside Anderson's Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson Ave.

A reception will follow at 3 p.m. at Lou Malnati's Pizzeria, 131 W. Jefferson Ave.

"Genevieve" was sculpted by artist Pamela S. Carpenter, a former Naperville resident who now lives in Glen Ellyn.

The life-size statue depicts the writer sitting on a bench holding a pen and a note pad.

Towsley, who died in 1995 at the age of 88, had written about Naperville people, places and events for almost 50 years in her Grapevine and Sky-Lines columns.

A collection of those columns on the city's history was published in 1975 as "A View of Historic Naperville."  The book was last printed in 1990.

Brand Bobosky, president of the Century Walk Corporation, said that the approach of the Millennium is an appropriate time to commemorate Towsley for her contributions to Naperville.

"When we are talking history of the community, she was the archivist," he said.

"We have so many newcomers.

There's a lot of people that need to know, should know, some of this really fascinating history that we have.  And it starts with Genevieve."

A few blocks away on the exterior wall of Anderson's Bookshop is the "River of Life" mosaic consisting of four ceramic quilts illustrating the diversity of life in Naperville.

The piece was created by more than 250 students from Naperville Central High School and Jefferson, Kennedy, Lincoln, Madison and Washington Junior High schools working with their art teachers and artist-in-residence Corinne Peterson.

The project was inspired by artist and children's book author Faith Ringgold, who spoke to the students last September.

The Century Walk is a 10-year initiative to place public artworks depicting significant Naperville people, places and events, in the downtown Naperville area.

It was begun in 1996 by Bobosky, a Naperville attorney who formed the nonprofit Century Walk Corporation.

The program is financed by the Illinois Arts Council, the city of Naperville (through an increase in hotel taxes,) local banks and private donations.

"Genevieve" and "River of Life" are the 11th and 12th works to be added to the Century Walk. Others are "A City in Transit" at Washington Street and Chicago Avenue; "River Reveries" at Riverwalk Plaza on Jackson Avenue; "Heartland Harvest" at Main Street and Jefferson Avenue; "Naperville's Own" at Washington Street and Jefferson Avenue; "Growth and Change" at Jefferson Avenue east of Washington Street; "The Printed Word" at Van Buren Avenue and Main Street; and "Search for Knowledge," "Naperville Geography" and "Reading Children," all located outside Nichols Library.

The goal of the Century Walk board is to add three works of art to the exhibit each year for a total of 30.

Sun columnist and Naperville historian Genevieve Towsley in 1993.


Section: NEWS — Page: 16