Mundelein's next public arts project: Stars

Downtown Mundelein will be full of stars this summer - and you can be part of the excitement.

The village's next public arts project will feature 15 large, fiberglass replicas of Mundelein's star-shaped logo. The Mundelein Arts Commission will hire artists to decorate the stars, which will be displayed starting in June.

The volunteer commission will give each artist $500 to cover materials and time. Preference will be given to artists from Mundelein and Lake County, but anyone can submit a proposal.

Mayor Steve Lentz encouraged local artists to submit concepts.

"This is a great opportunity for local artists to add to their portfolio," he said. "The stars will be a fixture in downtown for at least a few years, and an artist with a unique vision can have a real impact."

Made from a custom mold, each star is 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. The stars will be sprayed with a protective coating to preserve them after they're decorated.

In addition to artists, local businesses or groups can apply to sponsor the stars. The names of the artists and sponsors will be engraved in plaques on steel bases supporting each star.

The application deadline for artists is 5 p.m. Feb. 10. Proposals should not contain violent or otherwise inappropriate content, nor should they feature commercial messages or logos.

For more information or an application, go to

Chicago and the suburbs have a colorful history of public art displays using painted fiberglass figures, starting with 1999's "Cows on Parade" effort in Chicago. To name a few: Lincolnshire has displayed giant apples, Buffalo Grove commissioned painted bison, Arlington Heights had horses, and Naperville has shown off painted sculptures of books, hearts, cars and other objects.

Mundelein's previous public art projects include painted cows and utility boxes, and a large mural on the side of a building in the downtown area.

Trustee Ray Semple said arts projects make the town more attractive and inviting. They also encourage community members to show off their artistic abilities, he said.

Trustee Kara Lambert likes how arts projects make Mundelein stand out from other towns.

"I like anything that differentiates us as a community," she said.

The project is the first since the village board created the Kracklauer Fund for the Arts to acquire and display public art in town. The fund, named after a former Mundelein family, was launched last week with $10,000 in village funds.

  Jen Kehrer poses in 2014 with the utility box she painted as part of a village public art project. A new art project, using star-shaped models, is coming to town. Russell Lissau/, 2014
Mundelein officials celebrated the completion of a mural on the side of a downtown building in September 2018. Daily Herald File Photo, 2018

Public art in suburbs

2019: Chairs, Wauconda

2019: Pianos, Rosemont

2019: Dogs, Naperville

2018: Hearts, Naperville

2018: Coolers, Wauconda

2017: Benches, Naperville

2017: Planters, Wauconda

2016: Cornhole sets, Wauconda

2015: Sailboats, Algonquin

2014: Utility boxes, Mundelein

2014: Apples, Lincolnshire

2010: Snowmen, Libertyville

2009: Horses, Barrington

2000: Cows, Mundelein

2000: Ponies, Arlington Hts.

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