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posted: 5/19/2012 4:02 PM

Sculptor comes up with grand idea for Fine Arts Centre

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  • "Ekwabet" by sculptor Guy Bellaver overlooks the Fox River in St. Charles. The Batavia High School Class of 1954 commissioned Bellaver for artwork for the new Fine Arts Centre at Batavia High School.

    "Ekwabet" by sculptor Guy Bellaver overlooks the Fox River in St. Charles. The Batavia High School Class of 1954 commissioned Bellaver for artwork for the new Fine Arts Centre at Batavia High School.
    Courtesy of Greater St. Charles Education Foundati


St. Charles sculptor Guy Bellaver seems to keep awfully busy with his various projects, but it was good to see he had time to work on something special for the new theater at Batavia High School.

Batavia High School Class of 1954 members wanted to create a "class gift" for the newly expanded Batavia High School, so they turned to Bellaver last summer to talk about creating this gift.

Fundraising began as the classmates decided a gift of original art would send the proper message about the new Fine Arts Centre and other additions to the high school. Bellaver was commissioned to do the work.

He was on top of his game in coming up with the idea for five bronze reliefs, or panels, titled "The Arts Together" to place in the new center.

The five panels will represent visual and performing arts -- vocal music, dance, instrumental music, theater and visual arts.

For those who may not know, Bellaver created the Pottawatomi Indian statute along the Fox River in St. Charles, as well as many others that adorn our cities.

No Rome here: It's been said that Rome wasn't built in a day. But I bet it was built faster than the seemingly endless intersection work we're seeing at Fabyan Parkway and Randall Road.

Smelling salts needed: After opening my real estate tax bill, it took only a few minutes for my wife to revive me with smelling salts.

After clearing my head from what has become an annual shock to my senses, I was left with this thought: I feel sorry for any government entity that comes to the conclusion it has to go to the public with a tax hike referendum. I don't see one of those passing any time in the near future.

However, if anyone ever came up with a way that we could vote to actually lower our taxes, you'd see 100 percent turnout at the polls.

Adorning the walls: Whenever you decide you've got some perfect spots on your walls for artwork, it's always nice to find art that means something to you.

That's why we're admiring the cool posters we bought at the Geneva History Center. One represents a collage of Geneva landmarks, the other is a tight shot of the Fabyan Forest Preserve windmill.

Because we spend so much time walking around Fabyan Forest Preserve, the windmill painting is especially deserving of a spot on our wall.

Grille finally opens: I spoke to Jim Nicolaou nearly two years ago to this date, and he was pretty excited about opening a new restaurant on Geneva's east side in the location where the Rib House once operated.

The economy hasn't allowed anything business-related to happen quickly the past few years, so it is not surprising that it took some time before Nicolaou was able to open Riganato Old World Grille.

The restaurant, which features food of Greek, Italian, Spanish and African influences, opened its doors a few weeks ago.

But no word here: And no, as of early last week, it doesn't appear much of anything is going on at the Golden Corral shell at Randall Road and Main Street in Batavia. Wasn't there some sort of hoopla again about this restaurant opening in July?

Well, I suppose that's still possible. And I suppose I could win the lottery this week, too.

Sandwich hits spot: After getting a few rave reviews from readers about the Reuben sandwich at DeGeo's Burgers and Gyros on the east side of St. Charles, I went to take a taste for myself.

No disappointment here. The sandwich was indeed quite good, though I am not certain I can declare it better than my favorite Reuben at Augustino's near Routes 64 and 59 in West Chicago.

But owner Louie Niforos slings burgers and sandwiches right behind the counter at DeGeo's, and everything looks mouthwatering. Hopefully, this burger joint will have more staying power than others that have come and gone at the 2704 E. Main St. location in the Butera shopping center area.

Hikes and eats: Speaking of a good sandwich at a great place, I ran into one when my wife and I recently spent a day at Starved Rock State Park in Utica. We ate lunch at the park lodge and I had a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich that was the size of the entire plate.

This isn't a sandwich I am likely to get at home, so it was a nice treat.

Aside from the good food, Starved Rock remains one of the greatest places to visit within a two-hour ride of the Tri-Cities.

It provides plenty of interesting hikes and history lessons about what went on around here a couple hundred years ago.

Liking this Oil move: It didn't take Joe Stanton long to figure out that the best way to pitch an idea to build something where a historic Geneva fixture sits, is to make the fixture part of the idea.

That's why he went back to the Geneva Historic Preservation Commission with a new plan for his Pure Oil building at 502 W. State St. that calls for a future bank to incorporate the building as drive-through bays for the bank. The commission approved the plan last week.

Considering most banks have nice landscaping as well, this could be a great way to save the building from eroding. And it's a far better idea than knocking down a building that has a soft spot in residents' hearts, though much of that has to do with the old gas station site serving as the colorful, eye-catching Pure Gardener location.

When Pure Gardener leaves in a few months, what happens next? That's why I like Stanton's new idea. And, lest we forget, he does own the place.

Plugging away: This guy could rival the Energizer Bunny any time. Melvin Peterson of St. Charles enters his 69th year on the Baker Community Center board of directors when he attends Thursday's meeting. He's mostly kept tabs on building maintenance, which helps explain why he knows so much about the historic structure.

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