University News

Rocky on Parade Artists

July 31, 2013

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MACOMB, IL -- The work of regional artists, including Western Illinois University students and faculty/staff, as well as students from WIU's Kappa Pi honorary art fraternity, is about to "go to the dogs."

The artists were recently selected by the 13 sponsors of Western's inaugural Rocky on Parade public art project to decorate life-size fiberglass bulldogs that will be on display throughout the community and campus. Area artists were given the opportunity submit up to three design proposals in April, and from those, the Rocky on Parade committee selected the artists, who were then matched with project sponsors.

Inspired by successful projects like Cows on Parade in Chicago, WIU Art Professor Bill Howard conceived the idea for Rocky On Parade. On Oct. 3, at the annual WIU Alumni Association's Town and Gown Celebration, 13 Rocky sculptures will be debuted. The bulldogs will be installed at the sponsors' location of choice following WIU Homecoming Oct. 12. Visitors can pick up a map at the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and other locations to follow the "dog walk" to view the Rocky sculptures. A commemorative plaque will be placed on each bulldog to acknowledge the sponsor and its artist.

Artists and their sponsors include: Mason Kerr - John and Dana Biernbaum and Joe Roselieb and Col. Rock III; Kappa Pi - McDonough District Hospital; Todd (TJ) Reedy - Blades; Nicole Rybarczyk - MidAmerica National Bank; Tyler Herald - Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Corp.; Don Crouch - Cathy Early, State Farm Insurance; Jan Clough - WIU Foundation; Colleen Willey - Citizens Bank; Allison Hulslander - All Pets Veterinary Clinic; Deborah Sparrow - Nelson's Clothing; Kitty Vaughn - Sports Corner @ 124; Deb Lutz - Josh and Mishelle Oaks and Ryan and Ann Ford; and Charles Wright - Ken and Lorraine Epperson, Century 21 Purdum-Epperson.

Artist bios:
Kappa Pi - Kappa Pi is an international honorary art fraternity with the purpose of uniting artists who care about art and its role in life.

TJ Reedy: A 2002 WIU computer science alumnus, Reedy lives in Arlington Heights and is a systems administrator in the healthcare industry. TJ's hobbies include drawing and painting.

Nicole Rybarczyk - A sophomore graphic design major and dance minor from Dalzell, IL, Rybarczyk enjoys doing anything that involves art or dance. She is a member of the Student Alumni Leadership Council and the University Dance Theatre at Western.

Tyler Herald: A WIU sophomore majoring in theatre with an art minor, Herald's focus of study is set design and acting. He is a member of Kappa Pi.

Don Crouch: A professor of art and noted American West artist, Crouch retired in 2011 after 46 years of teaching at Western. Among the mediums Crouch has taught and has created artwork in are sculpture, drawing, oil painting and paintings within a painting.

Jan Clough: An art professor at WIU, Clough is also the drawing and art adviser. She came to WIU in 1991 after earning an MFA from the University of Wisconsin Madison, and a BFA degree from Drake University, Des Moines, IA. Clough continues to work and exhibit in a variety of two-dimensional media with pencil and gouache drawing being the main focus of her current work. She is a master draftsman, and frequent first-place or best-of-show prizewinner in many regional and national exhibits. Her art is also included in a number of private collections.

Deborah Sparrow - A graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Sparrow is an artist who specializes in painting and drawing, in addition to helping with the family farm. Her artwork includes family history paintings, vintage fashion and anatomy paintings and pencil and pen bird drawings.

Deb Lutz - A 2005 WIU graphic community alumna, Lutz works as an office manager at WIU and is a freelance graphic designer. She has worked in many art disciplines, including needle arts, Ukrainian eggs, floral and garden design, quilting, ceramics, painting, jewelry-making and digital fractal design.

Charles Wright - Chair of the Department of Art at WIU, Wright currently teaches Introduction to Art. He continues to exhibit and works in a variety of sculptural media with welded steel being the main focus of his art. His special interest is in new media. His artwork has been exhibited regionally and nationally and is included in a number of private and public collections.

For more information about the project, visit

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