According to Americans for the Arts, the arts are integral to the lives of our citizens. We appreciate them for their intrinsic benefits—their beauty and vision and how they inspire, soothe, provoke, and connect us. The arts ennoble us as people, providing bridges between cultures and embodying the accumulated wisdom, intellect, and imagination of humankind.
Simply put, the arts are essential to the health and vitality of our communities and our nation. They enhance community development, spur urban renewal, attract new businesses, draw tourism dollars, create an environment that attracts skilled, educated workers, and improve our quality of life.
The Decatur Parks Foundation, along with the Decatur Park District, Children’s Museum of Illinois, Decatur Area Arts Council, and Neuhoff Media, began conversations in October 2015 for an exciting, accessible, outdoor art development in Scovill Park. Shortly thereafter, the idea was proposed to a private philanthropist, who invested $250,000 to fund the project in its entirety.
The Scovill Sculpture Park lies between Scovill Zoo and the Children’s Museum of Illinois. Every year, the zoo hosts 100,000 visitors, and the Children’s Museum of Illinois sees 65,000. We hope that these visitors, and many more, will take advantage of the unique, sometimes whimsical, thought-provoking sculptures positioned along 800’ of walkways connecting the zoo and Children’s Museum.
If you haven’t yet visited the Sculpture Park, stop by! This beautiful venue is free and open year-round.
The Scovill Sculpture Park is comprised of 12 sculptures that are rented from the artists for a two-year period. By renting them rather than purchasing them, we will provide a new arts experience for the community every couple of years! An additional, purchased, permanent sculpture will be the centerpiece of the park.
In the call for temporary art pieces, 106 different items form 41 artists were submitted. The artists come from across the United States – from Las Vegas to New York and everywhere in between! The sculptures represent a diverse group of size, media, and subject matter.
People’s Choice Award
The 2016 winner of the People’s Choice Award goes to Please Sit Down, Read Me a Story by Douglas Guizenga. Mr. Guizenga, from Interlochen, MI., will receive $2,500. Renee Stivers and Shataea Irons of Decatur each won $250 for participating in the contest. Congratulations!