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4 New Pieces Added To Donovan Sculpture Garden

210720 Donovan sculptures.jpg
Joe Deacon
Bradley University art professor and sculptor Fisher Stolz, center, assists volunteers with the installation of two life-size bronze pieces added Tuesday to the Donovan Sculpture Garden in Peoria.

The new sculpture garden at Donovan Park is rounding into shape.

A volunteer-led Peoria Park District initiative, the Donovan Sculpture Garden, took a step closer to completion Tuesday with the installation of four new sculptures.

210720 Donovan sculpture - Nike.jpg
Joe Deacon
A stainless steel abstract titled "Nike" by Bradley University art professor and sculptor Fisher Stolz is one of four new pieces added Tuesday to the Donovan Sculpture Garden in Peoria.

“It's a fantastic day for us, being out here this summer day and actually getting the sculpture garden more fleshed out,” said Bradley University art professor Fisher Stolz.

The new sculptures join a piece donated by the Urbana Park District that was set in February near the intersection of Sheridan and Northmoor. A work by Preston Jackson will be the garden’s sixth and final addition later this summer.

“After that piece (is) installed, we're going to have a party,” said David Pittman, the sculpture garden’s volunteer coordinator. “We're going to have a big celebration, and we’ll invite everybody to come and have a good time.”

Stolz said all four of the new pieces were made in the Bradley sculpture studio, including his stainless steel abstract titled “Nike.”

The other sculptures added Tuesday were a second stainless steel abstract, “Surge” by Jaci Willis, and two life-size bronze pieces: “Prometheus 1” by Liz Johnson, and “Sweet Like Lemonade” by Taylor Fawcett.

210720 Donovan sculpture - Prometheus 1.jpg
Joe Deacon
A stainless steel abstract titled "Prometheus 1" by Jaci Willis, is one of four new pieces installed Tuesday in the Donovan Sculpture Garden in Peoria.

“It's a really wonderful thing for the park district to have, and letting the Donovan Sculpture Garden committee partner with them,” said Stolz. “I'd like for everybody to know that this is free and open to the public. There are no taxpayer dollars; this is all by donations.”

Pittman said the ability to appreciate artwork in a natural setting is a community asset.

“I don't pretend to be an artist by any way, shape, or form, or to have anything like a technical eye for art. What I do like is being in nature and being able to look at something and really appreciate it at my own pace,” he said.

“Here in the park, free of the distractions of, say, downtown or inside a building or museum, you can spend as much time as you want looking at a piece of art and you can look at it from different angles or directions. You can enjoy it along with the weather and see the birds sit on it. It's a wonderful way to mix nature and the creative talent of certain humans.”

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