Flossmoor officials and residents of the Ballantrae neighborhood mingle in the shadow of "Paradise" by the late Hubert Phipps after a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 31 to mark the installation of the sculpture in Ballantrae Park, 1404 Lanark Ave. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
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Flossmoor features new public art, fundraiser for art program  

Art aficionados can now enjoy new public sculptures in the Village of Flossmoor. This spring the village added new sculptures to its permanent collection of public art, plus it incorporated a new sculpture into its rotational collection.  

At the west end of Flossmoor, located in Ballantrae Park, 1404 Lanark Ave., a 9-foot bronze sculpture “Paradise,” created by late artist Hubert Phipps, and is reminiscent of the landscape of America’s West. 

Flossmoor officials and residents of the Ballantrae neighborhood mingle in the shadow of "Paradise" by the late Hubert Phipps after a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 31 to mark the installation of the sculpture in Ballantrae Park, 1404 Lanark Ave. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
Flossmoor officials and residents of the Ballantrae neighborhood mingle in the shadow of “Paradise” by the late Hubert Phipps after a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 31 to mark the installation of the sculpture in Ballantrae Park, 1404 Lanark Ave. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Phipps had said that the piece evokes the natural wonder and other-worldliness that he found in places out west, such as Monument National Park along the borders of Utah and Arizona. Flossmoor was fortunate to accept the sculpture as a permanent donation from the artist’s estate.  

In May, Chicago-based artist William O’Brien came to the village to place three related sculptures together at the southeast corner at Brassie Avenue and Flossmoor Road, in Flossmoor Park. O’Brien’s donation of “Blue Moon,” “The Purple Rising” and “Spine, Spindle Heart” add vibrancy to the corner of a busy, active recreation area in Flossmoor. 

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The three powder-coated steel sculptures were made from reclaimed metal that survived a fire in O’Brien’s studio in 2012. He said to him they are symbols of triumph and renewal.  

Three sculptures installed in May at the southeast corner at Brassie Avenue and Flossmoor Road, "Blue Moon," "The Purple Rising" and "Spine, Spindle Heart," are by William O’Brien. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
Three sculptures installed in May at the southeast corner at Brassie Avenue and Flossmoor Road, “Blue Moon,” “The Purple Rising” and “Spine, Spindle Heart,” are by William O’Brien. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

In the center of Flossmoor, a new rotational sculpture “Eternal Flame,” made by Michigan-based artist Fritz Olsen, has been added to Leavitt Park, 1010 Leavitt Ave.  

"Eternal Flame," by Fritz Olsen was added to the Leavitt Park sculpture collection in May. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
“Eternal Flame,” by Fritz Olsen was added to the Leavitt Park sculpture collection in May. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

This piece was the artist’s first sculpture in a metal medium, and he said it is his tribute to first responders and the sacrifices they make for people every day. The sculpture is on lease to Flossmoor and will be on display through May 2027.  

“The village is widely recognized for its dynamic public art collection, and this May was an exceptional month for our program,” Mayor Michelle Nelson said. “Our sculptures attract regional attention, spark conversations and inspire people to dream and create.” 

The public art program in Flossmoor was first established in 1998 through private donations and an Illinois FIRST grant. Since that time, the Flossmoor Public Art Commission has worked to grow and maintain the collection, which has expanded to twelve permanent sculptures and seven rotational sculptures. 

The public art program continues to be funded by private donors. The Public Art Commission secures funding for future pieces and for the conservation of its permanent collection through various fundraising, including the sale of engraved bricks and benches in Flossmoor’s downtown.  

New this summer, the commission is launching its Garden Art Online Auction, which opened Thursday, June 20 and running through Thursday, July 25. Supporters can bid on one-of-a-kind, custom garden sculptures, birdhouses and yard art, with all proceeds going to Flossmoor’s public art fund. 

Highlights of the auction include a sculpture from local artist Jason Verbeek, who currently has two rotational sculptures on display in the village: “Land Jacks” and “Vertical Vegetation.” 

The auction also includes an Adirondack chair that was custom built and hand painted by Nelson. The chair features a scene of downtown Flossmoor in the summertime. 

“The illustration on the donated chair represents my first view of Flossmoor more than 20 years ago, the view that drew me in and inspired me to purchase a home and to build a family and a life here,” Nelson said. “It represents several of Flossmoor’s values: public art, village services, small businesses, architecture and inclusion. 

“Please consider bidding on items in this auction to help us continue the incredible public art program in Flossmoor that benefits so many.”  

Learn more about public art in Flossmoor and how to bid on Garden Art auction items at www.ArtFlossmoor.org.

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