Our Stories

Five Unique Inspirations for Public Art in our Area

April 20, 2021

Public art is a pillar of any arts-loving community. The best part of public art is you don't really need to know what you're looking at to enjoy it. Like any work, however, it helps to have some context into what the artist intended to share, explore, or present to the passersby. 

In the greater Champaign County area, public art is a huge part of what makes our community Outside of Ordinary. We have an incredible array of public art to explore from murals to sculptures and so much more. Here are five that have a particularly interesting story behind their creation!

"Races" by Bobby Joe Scribner

In RACES, we can see abstract figures connected to one another as they strive forward. The idea of a race is often one of a competitive nature, but the collective goal-setting and training that goes into a race is very much a group activity. Individuals come together for their own reasons to compete and then experience the challenge together. The sculpture sits at the corner of Race and Green in Urbana. 

"A new leaf" by Don Lawler

As you explore Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden in Mahomet, you come across what looks like a few leaves trying to give you a hug. This work is a celebration of the living things all around us, which fits well with its placement in the larger Lake of the Woods area. The open, inviting energy of the sculpture is very much what it feels like to explore our local forest preserves.

"Hispanic mural" by Francisco Vargas

The initial wave of Hispanic immigration into Arcola is rooted in the opportunities for employment with broom manufacturing. This rich history is integral to Arcola's culture and community to this day and plays an integral part in our community's diversity.

"Tangera" by Patricia Corredor

Most who see Tangera in Meadowbrook Park can make out that it's a bird. That said, the spirit of these creatures is alive in this work from the bird's head to its feet...literally! The Bird is wearing a pair of ‘slippers’ as a symbol of its condition in the world. They act as well as support for survival and the graceful continuation of its journey. The sculpture is on a curved plane resembling a tree trunk with leaves on which the Bird stands ready to fly away.

"MR. Eggwards" by Kimber Fiebiger

One of the most iconic sculptures in the county, Mr. Eggwards is a staple of the downtown Champaign restaurant scene. A must-stop selfie spot to be sure. But one might ask, "what does Mr. Eggwards represent?" Simply put, Fiebiger's line of Humpty Dumpties are simply meant to inspire joyfulness and playful emotions. The question isn't "why Mr. Eggwards" but "why not Mr. Eggwards?"

Explore more public art in our area

Explore more public art in our area with our Public Art Directory. This leads you to all the great places to spot a sculpture or mural on your adventures in the greater Champaign County area. Snap a selfie when you see one and be sure to tag us! Likewise, keep up with events, news, and information from Visit Champaign County on our social media channels. Give us a like or follow on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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