The Century Walk Corporation

Addition to Century Walk in unveiled

May 20, 2004 — Source: Naperville Sun, The (IL) — Author: Donna DeFalco

Naperville residents have an opportunity to not only support public art in the community, but actually be a part of it.

The Century Walk Corp. unveiled its latest public art project Wednesday at a special reception at the Holiday Inn Select. The newest addition to Century Walk, a collection of outdoor art pieces in downtown Naperville, is a mural titled "The Great Concerto" and will be painted on the large doors of the Community Concert Center in Central Park.

For residents to be featured in the mural, which will be the Century Walk's largest, the group is asking for a $1,000 donation. The first 50 people who send in donations will have their face included. After June 30, the cost will increase to $1,500. Only two people per immediate family will be included in the mural.

Five additional faces will be raffled off. Raffle tickets will cost $10, or three tickets for $25, and will be available at various locations downtown and at the Naperville Municipal Band concerts during July. A raffle drawing will take place at each of the five Thursday night band concerts.

Although the artist for the mural, Barton Gunderson, lives in Colorado, he grew up in Elmhurst in a family of artists and moved to Naperville after high school. His mural features the history of the Naperville Municipal Band from its roots as the Light Guard Band in the 1800s to its current director Ron Keller and master of ceremonies Ann Lord.

At the centerpiece of the mural is Elmer Koerner, longtime leader of the Naperville Municipal Band from 1930 to 1965. After his death, the baton was handed to Keller, who has performed with the band for 50 years.

Keller is merely continuing a family tradition. His great-grandfather, Joseph Bapst, was director of the Light Guard Band for many years. His mother, father, sister and uncle all played in the Municipal Band.

"The roots for me in Naperville are so deep," Keller said. "Even though there are 140,000 people, we still have this feeling of being a small town. I think that's what made it so successful."

Lord didn't know she was included in the mural until the artist unveiled his work.

"I'm very flattered that he thought to do that," she said. "It's been a privilege to be a part of it."

Gunderson, 40, who has been doing murals for 20 years, said he plans to start on it next week. The mural, which is 30 feet tall by 75 feet wide, should be completed in six months, weather permitting.

"I love huge art," he said.

In another nod to the Municipal Band, developer Steve Subachis funding the rebronzing of Century Walk's first sculpture, titled "Naperville's Own."

The sculpture is a relief of the band at the northeast corner of Washington Street and Jefferson Avenue.

Michael Re, the sculptor who created the piece, said he is excited to be working in bronze. He kept the molds of the sculpture stored at various locations through the years. The new piece will be cast in a foundry in Oregon, Ill.

Century Walk founder Brand Bobosky said Naperville's display of public art brings culture to the city.

"It's what makes us unique," he said.


For a $1,000 donation, Naperville residents can be featured in the newest addition to Century Walk, "The Great Concerto." For more information about the mural, or to make a donation, call Century Walk Corp. at (630) 355-5553.

Contact staff writer Donna DeFalco at ddefalco@scn1.com or (630) 416-5279.

The newest addition to Naperville's Century Walk will be a mural titled "The Great Concerto." The mural, which depicts three centuries of Naperville's people, growth and cultures, will be painted on the large doors of the Community Concert Center.



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