The Century Walk Corporation

Book shows different picture of Century Art Walk attractions

July 25, 2010 — Source: Naperville Sun, The (IL) — Author: Hilary Decent

A new book celebrating all 35 pieces of the Century Art Walk has been described as a "labor of love" by its author Jini Clare.

Clare, a former board member, spent two years compiling the book, which was commissioned by the Century Walk and paid for by a Special Events and Cultural Amenities grant, and Dwight and Ruth Yackley.

The public is invited to celebrate the launch of the book Wednesday at the Wentz Concert Hall. Several of the artists are expected to attend.

Invitation to dedication and book signing

The invitation to the dedication and book signing of Century Walk: Art Imitating History, written by Jini Clare. Submitted photo

If You Go

Author and artists' book signing of "Century Walk: Art Imitating History" is from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville. Tickets are available from Anderson's Bookstore. The event includes a free reception and an introduction by the author.

The book costs $39.99.

"I loved it. I was inspired by the artists, and it was fascinating to learn more about each piece," Clare said. "It's quite remarkable."

"Century Walk: Art Imitating History" is a 112-page, full-color coffee table book with 300 photographs. It costs $39.99, with proceeds going to the Century Walk.

"I was on the Century Walk board, so I really knew and understood the concept from the very beginning," Clare said. Three pieces were commissioned annually over a 10-year period, depicting the history of downtown Naperville. In 2000 the mission was changed to incorporate other works of art in other parts of the city.

Initially the book was just going to document the art walk pieces, but Clare decided to track down the artists for interviews. In the end she met all of them, apart from the original artist of the Dough Boy, which stands in Burlington Park. The artist and its restorer passed away.

"The more I researched, the more I felt it was important to interview the artists because they have some very inspiring stories of what made them become artists," said Clare, whose parents met in art school. "What I like about this book is that people see the art downtown, but they don't know why it's there. We have a body of artwork that our residents should be very proud of."

Clare's favorite piece is Symbiotic Sojourn, the fountain that stands at the rear of the Main Street Promenade.

"Naperville was very early to take part in the recycling movement and this piece shows two children collecting items for recycling," she said. "Mother Earth is also depicted and the work looks at the symbiotic relationship between taking care of the Earth and one another."

The work was originally meant to be viewed from all sides, but the Yackleys, who own the Promenade, asked if it could be placed against the wall to be used as a fountain.

This isn't the first time Clare has written a Naperville book. In the 1990s she produced three Naperville-area handbooks and "Naperville: Reflections of a Community" for the Chamber of Commerce.

As well as telling the stories behind the artworks, Clare also has included information on the techniques used to produce them, from murals and mosaics to sculpture.

She took many of the photos herself, with others by photographers Don Manderschied and Robert McKendrick.

"That the book be made in the USA was also very important to me," Clare added. "So RR Donnelley did the prepress work in Elgin before it went to Ohio for printing."

Free tickets for the book signing at the Wentz are available from Anderson's Bookstore.

Hilary Decent would like to hear your stories about great women in the community. E-mail her at hilarydecent@yahoo.co.uk.


Section: Lifestyles — Page: online