With Gratitude to Sharon and Vern Oie
Sculpture Design Artist – Guy J. Bellaver
Glass Artist – Amy Simpson
Fabrication – Guy J. Bellaver, Vector Fabrication, and Duroweld
Donated – to the city of St. Charles through a fundraising campaign undertaken by Dr. C. Alfred Patten and a group of Community Volunteers
Sited – along the Riverwalk (west bank of the Fox River) at the Pedestrian/Bike Bridge
The Gratitude Project: Sharon and Vern Oie
As the next piece of public art in the Gratitude Project, Dr. C. Alfred Patten announces the fundraising campaign to purchase and site a sculpture to express the community’s gratitude to Sharon and Vern Oie.
Oie project committee members are Jim Breen, Diana Brown, Jim Enck, Heide Hughes, Doris Hunt, Steve Hunt, Sue Klinkhamer, Larry Maholland, David Oie, Al Patten, and Guy Bellaver. Supporting the project are the St Charles Arts Council, the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, and the River Corridor Foundation.
Sculptor Guy J. Bellaver’s piece entitled The Key was chosen for the Oie piece. It will be sited on the west side of the Fox River, along the Bob Leonard Riverwalk. The Oies are very pleased to have one of Bellaver’s sculptures created in their honor and to have it grace their beloved downtown and Riverwalk. They have pronounced the sculpture “beautiful”.
The Key will be constructed of two pieces, 9.5 feet high by 8.5 feet wide, with an offset depth of 4 feet. The monolithic and circular pieces will be painted, with the exception of the “cap” elements, which will be glass. The caps will be lit from within by LED strip lighting.
The Key’s circular section focuses the eye, to draw it through the piece, suggesting a keyhole that can be peered through or opened to what lies within and beyond, and the key that can be metaphorically inserted in that keyhole represents one’s vision. LED lighting behind the glass framing, draws one’s eye to the keyhole.
The Oies have long been noted for their vision for St. Charles. They have been instrumental in the founding and functioning of organizations such as the Downtown St. Charles Partnership and the River Corridor Foundation. As a couple, they have won the Charlemagne, Barth, and Golden Turtle Awards.
The two-piece design represents a couple who have worked together to make St. Charles a better place – one that celebrates community and the joy of nature and art. The pieces are painted with a color palette that is both vibrant and subtle, celebrating the vibrancy of volunteerism and the subtlety of the sculpture’s natural surroundings.
The Key will be sited along the Riverwalk in an orientation that allows the keyhole shape to frame a segment of the Fox River or the Riverwalk environment, both of which are near and dear to the Oies’ hearts.