Rocky on Parade Unveiling Oct. 3
September 6, 2013
MACOMB, IL -- The official unveiling of the Rocky on Parade statues, a public art project coordinated by Western Illinois University, is less than one month away, but two of the artists recently allowed a WIU photographer a sneak peek of their work.
Jan Clough, an art professor at WIU, has designed, and is painting the Rocky statue purchased by the WIU Foundation, while WIU art major Linsey Lundeen, a junior from Aledo has designed, and is painting the Sports Corner @ 124's statue. The artists were selected earlier this year by the 14 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.
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, the 14 Rocky sculptures will be debuted. The bulldogs will be installed at the sponsors' location of choice following WIU Homecoming Oct. 12.
"This has been a wonderful experience watching Rocky on Parade develop into one of the largest public art projects in Macomb history," noted Howard. "The sponsors are excited about their Rocky's and have been working closely with their artists to develop unique sculptures. All the artists are hard at work developing their designs; it's exciting to see them come to life. The scholarship money we have raised and the overwhelming response from the community is a great reflection of our town and University."
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.
"I loved the idea of Rocky on Parade the moment I heard about it. It had great potential to involve local businesses, the University and the Macomb community. What a wonderful, creative project to raise money toward scholarships for WIU art majors," said Clough. "I wanted to create a design that had 'curb appeal,' incorporating Western's purple and gold colors with some kind of design around the paw print. I'm looking forward to seeing all of the finished Rocky sculptures at the Town and Gown unveiling."
Other artists and their sponsors include: Mason Karr - 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; Colleen Willey - Citizens Bank; Allison Hulslander - All Pets Veterinary Clinic; Deborah Sparrow - Nelson's Clothing; Deb Lutz - Josh and Mishelle Oaks and Ryan and Ann Ford; Charles Wright - Ken and Lorraine Epperson, Century 21 Purdum-Epperson; Amanda Bratz - Purdum Gray Ingledue Beck, Inc.