When the Playground for Everyone at Butterfield Park opens in mid-2016, the playground won’t be the only eye-catching element on display. Thanks to Elmhurst College art students and their Instructor, Dustan Creech, the park will be the proud home of sculptural bike racks designed and built by students in the ART 235 Sculpture Studio course offered on campus. Creech has had the idea of incorporating public art projects into his course since 2009. Students would “design, propose and ultimately build” bike racks as part of his ART 235 Sculpture Studio Course. Creech felt the project would be “an incredible experience for students to learn the process involved in preparing a professional proposal for a public work of art”. Speaking about the project, Creech says, “These real-life experiences are priceless, and provide a wealth of knowledge about the lives and careers of professional artists.”
In the summer of 2015, Creech and Desiree Chen, the Elmhurst College Director of Communications and Public Affairs, met with Elmhurst Park District staff and discussed the idea, with Creech proposing the project for Butterfield Park. Park District staff were thrilled with the idea. As one of the larger parks in Elmhurst and the future home of the Playground for Everyone, Butterfield Park was a perfect location to highlight the impact public art and creativity can have on a community. The image of children holding hands is appropriate for The Playground For Everyone because it symbolizes the idea that all children are welcome to play, just as the playground provides the opportunity for them to do so.
Student proposals were submitted during the fall of 2015 to Park District staff and student Jocelyne Mandujano’s design of children holding hands was the selected winner! Course students will soon begin working on a scale model of the design, with the actual bike rack set to be constructed in spring 2016. Click here to learn more about The Playground for Everyone.