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ILLINOIS CENTRAL COLLEGE PURCHASES “SPANISH DANCER” SCULPTURE

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Photo: Jeanette Kosier

Sculpture Walk Peoria is excited to announce the fourth sale of sculpture. Illinois Central College has purchased “Spanish Dancer,” created by Jaci Willis of Peoria. This piece of public art is currently displayed on the Sculpture Walk in the Peoria Warehouse District.

Kari Schimmel, ICC Dean of Arts and Communication, said, “It is important to beautify public spaces with awesome art, and we wanted to participate in that initiative.” The choice of purchase was difficult due to the amazing talent displayed on the Sculpture Walk, but Schimmel gravitated toward “Spanish Dancer.” When Jennifer Costa, Teaching Chair of the ICC Art Department, said she recognized the sculpture and the artist was a former student, the decision was confirmed.  ICC purchased “Spanish Dancer” with restricted funds from the ICC Educational Foundation’s Fine, Performing, and Applied Arts Fund. In late spring, the sculpture’s new home will be on ICC’s North Campus, currently undergoing renovation.

The creation of “Spanish Dancer” was inspired by the flow of a flamenco dancer’s skirt. The dynamic curves of steel express the energy and strength of the dancer as she moves her skirt.

“I was thrilled to hear ICC was placing “Spanish Dancer” on their North Campus, said sculptor, Jaci Willis. “It embodies the soul dancing  which is how I feel about learning and discovering new experiences.” Willis attended ICC, and later graduated from Bradley with her MFA in sculpture and taught at Bradley for 5 years.  She is a former board member of the Chicago Sculpture International.  Willis has completed three life-size bronzes and is working on a fourth. She is one of  the only women in America who has completed a life-bronze from clay to bronze by herself. Willis will be starting a stainless steel and glass sculpture for Chicago in March.

For more information on Sculpture Walk Peoria, please ‘like’ the Facebook page or visit  www.scupturewalkpeoria.org.  Sculpture Walk Peoria is an initiative of ArtsPartners of Central Illinois, Inc.

ArtsPartners of Central Illinois promotes the arts as a vial component of central Illinois’ cultural and economic development. Founded in 1999, ArtsPartners of Central Illinois, Inc. is a 501(c)(3)tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to build awareness and strengthen the arts as an economic catalyst for the Peoria area.

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