Flashes of Norman Rockwell are starting to pop up in Naperville's most populated mural.
Artists say "Naperville Loves a Parade" say the piece taking shape in "Rubin's Way" -- the alleyway between the GAP and Talbot's on the west side of Main Street -- is about 85 percent complete. So it's time to have some fun.
"The detail work is going really well so we've decided to add some humor in parts," said lead artist Diosdado "Dodie" Mondero. "I've been thinking about ways I can incorporate some Norman Rockwell humor here and there."
Some examples Mondero pointed out include a puppy sneaking a hot dog from an oblivious little girl and the group of men Mondero intends to draw in the window of the Lantern ogling a female passer-by in the spirit of Rockwell's 1960 piece titled "In Fellowship Lies Friendship."
Century Walk Corp. Chairman Brand Bobosky said he's very pleased with the mural so far and can't wait to see how far Mondero and his team get before Nov. 30, when they expect to wrap up for the winter.
"The mural is coming along very well," Bobosky said Tuesday. "We're getting an endless stream of compliments on the work being done. I'm very pleased."
Work began in April on "Naperville Loves a Parade," a full-color mural that Naperville Century Walk Corp. officials hope will feature as many as 225 people watching the adjacent "Parade of the Century" as it marches west. Each mural has a life span of at least 20 years.
The Century Walk Corp. is banking on Mondero and his team for nailing detailed expressions because it intends to use the piece to generate revenue to fund the project.
Bobosky predicted as many as 225 people would be willing to pay as much as $1,000 each -- or $3,000 for a family or group of four -- to be part of the mural and have their likenesses painted as parade spectators. Sponsorships ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 also are being sought from business owners who would like to see their company likeness included in the background of the mural.
When asked Tuesday, Bobosky declined to say how much money the project has raised but said the project is "within $10,000 to $15,000 of paying for itself."
"That was our intention," Bobosky said. "We wanted to come as close to breaking even as we can so other moneys can be allocated toward other public art."
Century Walk was created more than a decade ago to create public outdoor art to celebrate Naperville's history and heritage.