A sculpture to honor the founders of the Naperville Area Humane Society is getting a boost from a Naperville organization with a strong role in producing public art.
Century Walk Corp. is helping with placement, installation and landscaping for the sculpture of a cat standing on a dog's back, which is scheduled to be dedicated at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, east of Centennial Beach along the Riverwalk.
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Humane society member Gail Diedrichsen said assistance from Century Walk will ensure the sculpture honoring founders Ardis McCallion and Cleo Keller is not just a statue, but another "jewel."
"We had the money to buy the sculpture and buy a plaque," Diedrichsen said. "Century Walk stepped in and they are really giving it a beautiful environment, beautiful surroundings."
The nonprofit art group is working with Hitchcock Design Group and Hursthouse landscape architects to create a setting for the sculpture by artist Dale Rogers, which the humane society bought to mark its 35th anniversary.
"Our mission of creating public art throughout the community is catching on in that other organizations see the value in doing that," said Brand Bobosky, Century Walk chairman.
The 7-foot-tall and 8-foot-long depiction of a cat and dog will be the 46th piece of art Century Walk has installed in Naperville since 1996. It comes after pieces honoring town founder Joe Naper, longtime Mayor and "Officer Friendly" George Pradel, and prominent builders, veterans and families.
Diedrichsen said humane society members are appreciative of the partnership as they celebrate their organization's past and growth.
"I thought that was really a great opportunity because Century Walk is all about celebrating the history of Naperville," Diedrichsen said.
Century Walk is raising funds for landscaping and installation of the cat and dog through a crowdfunding website it turned to once before. On citizinvestor.com, the "Best Friends" project shows $16,000 out of the necessary $25,380 has been raised.
Bobosky said the site helped raise $77,000 for a 1920s-era sailor sculpture installed last October in Burlington Square Park. So Century Walk is using Citizinvestor again in hopes of tapping into the pocketbooks of animal lovers who support the humane society's mission.
"We're hoping the humane society aspect about the good work they do is going to appeal to people nationally, Internet-wise," Bobosky said. "Hopefully they'll pick up on this rather than just the local Naperville slant."
Residents can join in the humane society's anniversary celebration by voting online for what the cat and dog in the sculpture should be named or participating in a children's coloring contest using an outline of the sculpture.
Coloring submissions are due Sept. 30 to the society at 1620 W. Diehl Road, and children could receive gift certificates to the Cupcakery, Dairy Queen, Einstein's Bagels, Haagen Dazs or It's a Bling Thing.
As far as the naming contest, Diedrichsen said she's rooting for Cleo and Mac, to further honor founding member Cleo Keller and founder Ardis McCallion. Other options include Angie and Petey, and Jefferson and River.