Elk Grove Village hopes heart-shaped swing brings lots of love
Inspired by a tourist attraction he saw in the Bahamas, Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson is bringing a decorative heart-shaped swing to town that could likewise attract plenty of photo ops.
The 12-foot tall custom interactive art installation will be installed near the clock tower on Wellington Avenue, in between village hall and the library. With a swing big enough for at least two that hangs from the top of a large red heart, Johnson hopes the piece serves to instill a sense of community pride and unity.
The top of the heart will declare in large letters: "I Love Elk Grove Village!"
"What a better way to feel about this community," Johnson said. "You wait and see how many people are gonna enjoy this and get their picture together with it. ... Who knows? People are even gonna see each other get married (under) this archway."
The mayor got the idea for the decorative installation on his most recent trip to the Bahamas for the village's sponsorship of the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl. Staying at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort the week of the Dec. 20, 2019, game, Johnson saw a similar interactive heart sculpture and swing from his balcony.
The piece, commissioned by Atlantis and installed last summer in the resort's Flying Fish Knoll garden, is the work of Bahamian artist and resort art consultant Antonius Roberts.
"It was amazing. People lined up all day to get their picture on it," he said.
When he returned to Elk Grove, Johnson conferred with fellow village board members about his idea to install a similar art piece in the village. Earlier this week, the board approved a $33,666 contract with Elk Grove-based Rebechini Studios to design, construct and install the swing. Rebechini has made the village's gateway signs.
Plans are to have the heart swing installed in time for the village's summer concerts in July.