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CROWN POINT — National Art Honor Society students from Crown Point High School want to help the city grow wings. 

Angel wings, to be specific. Wings that will be created by art students on a wall in the downtown square. Several of those students made their pitch recently to the Historic Preservation Committee, which would have to approve the project because it would be in a historic district. 

The public art installation by Crown Point honors students is based on the interactive Global Wings Project artist Colette Miller created for the streets of Los Angeles in 2012. They are human-sized angel wings with which people take photos, thus becoming part of the work. 

"The meaning behind it is that humans are the angels of this earth," said Callan Wichowsky, president of the National Art Honors Society chapter of Crown Point High School. "And it's a beautification to different parts of the world." 

Miller has gone on to paint wings globally, including in Kenya, Australia, Taiwan, France, Cuba and Mexico. But it was the Los Angeles wings City Councilwoman Carol Drasga saw on a trip there that inspired her to do something similar in downtown Crown Point. 

Drasga, who spearheaded the downtown statues project, enlisted the help of Crown Point High School art teacher Lindsey Harris and her students, who plan to paint the wings on the Antiques on Main building on the wall facing the alley, Hack Court.

Antiques on Main owner Cindy Walsh, at a previous meeting with the committee, gave her approval for the project, which will include two sets of wings — one for adults and one for children.

"I feel like it's easy to make it a part of social media and draw people to the spot," said Abby Novotny, who handles public relations for the CPHS National Arts Society. "People will come to see Crown Point and what we know and love about our city."

Fellow art student Reagan Beckham said they plan to design the wings specifically for Crown Point and the square "to compliment the rustic feel of downtown." She said they are choosing muted tones while adding pops of brighter colors to make it stand out.

"It's going to make the square a more beautiful place than it already is," she said.

Wichowsky said the project will not require city maintenance and will be evaluated every year to see if it needs to be touched up, which would be done by the students themselves. 

"It's important to us it remains a Crown Point Honors Society project," she said. "It's going to showcase the creativity of Crown Point's kids." 

Drasga said the students will not only maintain the wings but paint new ones on the wall every three or four years. 

"It's exciting — it's change," she said. "It brings more impact to downtown and more reason for people to come again."

Drasga will appear before the commission at its November meeting with further information on the project. If approved, the wings could be installed this year or first thing in the spring. 

Commission member Dan Rohaley said the project "is fantastic."


Lake County reporter

Rob covers urban affairs and other matters in Crown Point, St. John, Winfield and beyond. Previously he covered Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. He's also written for various magazines and pens a culture blog for The Times.