Dog sculptures to decorate downtown Naperville this summer
The Downtown Naperville Alliance will launch the dog days of summer with 20 uniquely painted pooch sculptures displayed throughout downtown.
Canines are often a top contender in the organization's selection of a theme for its annual public art project, Executive Director Katie Wood said. Other designs have taken precedence the past four summers when the downtown was decorated with hearts, golf ball chairs, cars and book benches.
This year, she said, the alliance decided it was time to appeal to Naperville's pet lovers with three different versions of dog-shaped figurines.
"People love their dogs, myself included," Wood said. "It just seemed like a very fun theme for this summer."
The sculptures are expected to be on display from June 1 through mid-September. Pet-related events, such as a pet parade hosted by Two Bostons Pet Boutique, will be scheduled throughout the season in coordination with the theme, Wood said.
The city council last week approved the locations for this year's sculptures, which will placed along Van Buren, Jefferson, Jackson and Chicago avenues and Water, Webster and Main streets. A map detailing the site of each dog will be made available online, on social media and throughout downtown.
"The sculpture program is always a welcome (addition) to our downtown," city spokeswoman Linda LaCloche said. "It signals that nicer weather is on its way, and it is just one of the many ways the Downtown Naperville Alliance keeps our downtown area vibrant."
The promotional effort originated from the former Naperville United Way, which used to display figurines downtown each summer in the 2000s before auctioning them for charity. The Downtown Naperville Alliance revitalized the concept in 2012 with holiday-themed sculptures in the winter. Three years later, the program was moved to the summer.
The sculptures are sponsored by downtown businesses and stakeholders, who can choose their own artists to design and decorate them, Wood said. This year's dogs have all been spoken for.
The canine sculptures are 3 feet tall and are anchored to a 12-inch concrete base. Wood said she expects visitors to be able to vote online for their favorite dogs.