Illinois Central College installed today on its Peoria Campus the Sculpture Walk piece “Prairie Walker,” a gift from John and Sharon Amdall, of Washington, Ill. The 1200 lb., 12 ft. by 10 ft. by 6 ft. sculpture made of Cor-Ten steel was created by artist James Johnson, of Charleston, Ill., in 2011. Johnson is Emeritus Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and Emeritus Professor of Art at Eastern Illinois University.
“I am honored and pleased to have my sculpture placed at the new ICC Peoria Campus student center. It's a beautiful campus and having the sculpture placed where students, faculty, and the public can view it is especially rewarding. It has been a pleasure working with Arts Partners of Central Il, their success in bring a wide range of art programs to Peoria is noteworthy and deserving of recognition, especially the annual Sculpture Walk program which has greatly enhanced the public's awareness of the arts and the contributions they make to enriching our daily lives.” Johnson said.
“We are thrilled to add this sculpture to the ICC Peoria Campus,” Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey, ICC president said. “Work of this caliber demonstrates the importance of arts at our College and in our community. We are grateful to the Amdalls for this addition to our collection by artist James Johnson, who spent a portion of his career in Illinois, helping students appreciate the arts and humanities.”
The piece was removed from its Sculpture Walk location on Washington St. in downtown Peoria to the ICC Peoria Campus, where it was placed in the courtyard near the College’s new Student Center. The sculpture joins “Spanish Dancer,” a stainless steel and slumped glass piece created by artist Jaci Willis, of Peoria, Ill., in 2013. The College purchased that piece in 2015.
According to Sculpture Walk, “Prairie Walker” reflects the artist’s experiences as a runner and impressions from his childhood of manmade structures against the heat of the horizon in the Southwest and Western United States.
The Amdalls are actively involved in many nonprofits throughout Central Illinois, including the ICC Educational Foundation, where they established the “Dreams Become Reality” Scholarship in 2012 to benefit first generation and non-traditional students. They were honored as the 2016 ArtsPartners of the Year by ArtsPartners of Central Illinois.
For more information, call Illinois Central College at (309) 694-5-ICC.