Stars align in Mundelein for village's new public art display
Fifteen large, decorated replicas of Mundelein's star-shaped logo are adding some color to the downtown area this week.
Bearing titles like "Alice in Wonderland," "Starry Night" and "Birds of Lake County," the fiberglass stars comprise the village's latest public art exhibition, dubbed Stars on Parade. The name pays homage to the "Cows on Parade" exhibit in Chicago that attracted attention -- and tourists -- in 1999.
"This public art initiative is a fun way to beautify the village," Mayor Steve Lentz said in a news release. "I applaud each artist for their creativity and enthusiasm for the project."
Made using a custom mold, each star is 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. They're on metal stands that are secured in place.
The stars are being installed near businesses including Ace Hardware, 609 E. Hawley St., Mauri's Family Restaurant, 510 E. Hawley St., and Luke's of Mundelein, 551 N. Lake St. They'll also be at village hall, 300 Plaza Circle, near a mural at 18 E. Park St. and in other locations.
The stars have been treated with a clear coat usually used on automobiles to help them withstand the elements and extend their life span.
"We are very hopeful that our residents and visitors (will) enjoy seeing these unique works of art around town for years to come," Lentz said.
A volunteer group called the Mundelein Arts Commission hired artists to decorate the stars, paying $500 for each star. Local businesses and groups sponsored the stars, too.
A plaque on the base of each star identifies the name of the piece, the artist and the sponsor. The artists chose the themes of their pieces and the materials used.
"Our hope is that the community really enjoys seeing these when they are out and about, and that these sculptures bring some brightness during a time when joy is in shorter supply," said Colleen Malec, staff liaison for the arts commission.
The stars originally were supposed to go on display in June, but the project was delayed because of the COVID-19 crisis.
But it turned out the delay was a blessing for the artists, who had more time to complete their projects, Malec said.
"They had so much more time to spend on the details," she said.
Mundelein's previous public art projects include painted cows, painted utility boxes and a large, village-themed mural on the side of a building in the downtown area.
Many other suburbs have hosted public art exhibitions featuring gaily painted objects, including Lincolnshire, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove and Wauconda.