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posted: 7/20/2012 4:11 PM

Sculpture gift from alumni to grace Batavia High's arts center

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  • The Batavia High School Class of 1954 has donated "The Arts Together" to the Batavia Fine Arts Center at the school.

      The Batavia High School Class of 1954 has donated "The Arts Together" to the Batavia Fine Arts Center at the school.
    courtesy of Bob Popeck

 
 

A generous gift will connect Batavia High School alumni who never attended the present campus to future students enjoying the new Batavia Fine Arts Center.

The BHS Class of 1954 will dedicate "The Arts Together" at 6 p.m. July 23 at the school, 1200 W. Wilson St.

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The alumni, during their last reunion, discussed how they could show their appreciation for their alma mater. They decided to present a "meaningful gift" in recognition of the schools' recent expansion, which concluded with the opening of the Batavia Fine Arts Center in the fall of 2011.

The alumni commissioned sculptor Guy Bellaver of St. Charles.

"The Arts Together" consists of five bronze panels that depict vocal music, dance, instrumental music, theater and the visual arts. It includes a whimsical sculpture-in-progress of a bulldog, the school's mascot.

It cost "a little over $20,000," said Bob Popeck, one of the remaining 43 graduates, out of 65, in the Class of 1954.

The idea of a gift came up during a reunion in 2009, he said. One alumni offered to pay for half, if the rest matched the donation.

"We've never done anything like that," Popeck said. The sculpture is in the main entrance hallway of the center.

There will be a reception at the center after the dedication.

For more information, call Bob Popeck at (630) 879-6290, or send an email to winmill2@comcast.net.

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