CROWN POINT — Summer days in the city are usually bookmarked with a trove of statues around the square.
This year, however, the lifelike statues are noticeably absent as the three-person Art in Point Project Committee continues its hiatus.
Councilwoman Carol Drasga, who has been on the committee since its inception, said the committee took a break from displaying work from American artist Seward Johnson after the 25-foot "Embracing Peace" statue went up at the Crown Point Sportsplex in 2018.
"We have used, I think, the best of the Seward Johnson," Drasga said. "I think we really went out with a bang with the nurse and the sailor. So that, I think, was the year we decided no more Seward Johnson because you just couldn't beat what we had done."
Initially, the group planned to take a year or two off to examine other options and give sponsors a break. Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Now, Drasga isn't sure when public art might grace the square again.
Typically, Johnson's statues would be displayed beginning in April and taken down in the fall. As soon as the statues left, Drasga said the committee would begin planning for the next round.
"Nothing is fast with this stuff because there's waiting lists on different figures, and then there's cost," Drasga said. "There's some fabulous art out there, but my goodness is it unaffordable to bring into the community ... some of the art that is great, isn't really in our budget either."
Councilwoman Laura Sauerman, who also sits on the committee with Kim Geisen, said finding a replacement for the Johnson statues will be "a little bit tricky."
"The Seward Johnson project was pretty unique in that it offered municipalities a chance to have that interactive art, where it's outside and they want people to be touching and taking pictures," Sauerman said. "Most places — even if they let you use their art — they want it housed in a building and temperature controlled, things like that."
Illinois residents can go to work, exercise at the gym, dine indoors at a restaurant and see a movie at the theater starting today as the state moves further into resuming some semblance of normal living during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.