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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Kate's Brief History


Naperville Art: Naperville’s Own

Kate Gingold Host 0 16 Article rating: No rating
The Century Walk initiative started in 1996 with three works of art: “River Reveries,” “The Printed Word” and “Naperville’s Own.”

“River Reveries” is a grouping of two mosaic-adorned benches across from the Riverwalk near Egg Harbor Restaurant. “The Printed Word” was originally painted on the a wall of The Sun newspaper building until it was torn down and then repainted on a wall at Ellman’s Music until it also came down to make room for Q-BBQ. The third piece, “Naperville’s Own,” is on the wall of what is currently US Bank at the corner of Washington and Jefferson.

Back in 1996, the building was a Firstar Bank and artist S. Michael Re said he was subject to some suspicious stares as he drilled into the bank’s wall to mount the sculpture.

That corner of Washington and Jefferson has long hosted a bank, although the name and even the architecture has changed over the years. Willard Scott, and later Willard Scott, Jr. started a bank in their Washington Street store in 1854. By 1907, the First National Bank was operating on that location.

Re’s sculpture celebrates one of our community’s treasures:  the Naperville Municipal Band. Originally known as the Naperville Brass Band and later as the Naperville Light Guard Band, this organization also dates from the time of Willard Scott as it was started in 1859.

The relief sculpture is meant to show band members marching through history, from the “old” bandstand on the left side to the “new” band shell. There have been several performance centers over the years. The first bandstand was built in the 1880s. You can see a replica of it at the Naperm Settlement today. It was replaced by another wooden structure in the 1920s which was in turn replaced in the 1960s by a bigger band shell. That is the one depicted on the right side of the sculpture, the one still in use in 1996.

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Naperville Art: Reflections on Scotts Mill

Kate Gingold Host 0 44 Article rating: No rating
The DuPage River of our downtown Riverwalk is technically the West Branch. The East Branch breaks away around 95th Street. Joseph Naper’s first endeavor in town was a sawmill that he later repurposed as a flour mill. But there was a second sawmill on the East Branch operated by Stephen Scott.

In 1825, Stephen moved his family from Maryland to Grosse Point (the Evanston area). On a hunting trip in the summer of 1830, he checked out the DuPage River and decided to relocate. They moved later that year, months ahead of Naper’s settlers.

By 1839, the Scotts were operating a sawmill on the East Branch to help the growing community build homes and shops. A flood washed away the mill in the late 1800s, but by that time the Scotts had already moved into town.

Stephen’s son Willard Sr. became a storekeeper and banker for the fledgling town and Willard Jr. continued the “pillar of the community” tradition. The impressive Italianate house on Washington Street that now houses attorneys was built in 1867 for Willard Sr.

The Scott family rests in the local cemetery — all but Stephen, the first Napervillian — and no one knows where he is buried. While in his 70s, Stephen was caught up in Gold Rush fever. He started for the west in 1849 and died around 1854, but there are no other details on record.

The Scott family’s rise to prosperity, mirroring that of the town, inspired the creation of “Reflections on Scott’s Mill.”

Chicago-based installation artist and sculptor Lucy Slivinski was chosen to create this representation of Scott’s Mill. Slivinski is known for using salvaged materials in her work and this piece features old gears, chains, hooks and other metal pieces reminiscent of a 19th century water-powered sawmill.

The sculpture welcomes visitors to the Knoch Knolls Nature Center, operated by the Park District. Indoors, there are exhibits for families to learn

Naperville Art: Man’s Search for Knowledge

Kate Gingold Host 0 56 Article rating: No rating
At Jefferson Avenue and Webster Street is a brick wall mural called “Man’s Search for Knowledge Through the Ages.” Since the wall spans a corner of the Nichols Library parking lot, the title is absolutely appropriate.

The mural is a bas-relief sculpture, a dimensional mural carved directly into the brick face. The images “symbolize the human quest for learning through the ages” from the biblical Tree of Knowledge through explorers in outer space.

“Man’s Search for Knowledge” is the work of Mara Smith, a nationally-known artist who works out of Seattle, Washington. Smith intended to teach jewelry-making and metal-working, but was given the opportunity to create brick murals for a hotel in Dallas which jump-started a new career. Her work is displayed internationally and she has been called “the pioneer of modern brick sculpture" by the Brick Institute of America.

Smith originally created the wall in 1987, years before the 1996 incarnation of the Century Walk Foundation, but the mural was adopted by Century Walk in 1998.

More recently, Smith’s work suffered serious damage when in July of 2016, a driver in the library parking lot accidentally accelerated into the wall, knocking out a four foot by five foot section and shoving a large portion of the rest of it off its foundation.

A Naperville resident who worked for a Broadview masonry company contacted Century Walk and offered their services. They disassembled the wall, numbering each brick as they went, and rebuilt it to stabilize the basic structure.

Century Walk then contacted Diosdado “Dodie” Mondero, the artist responsible for other pieces downtown such as “Naperville Loves a Parade” and “Pillars of the Community,” to fit the brick pieces back together and re-create the pieces that were not salvageable. Mondero worked with a special effects company to match the color and texture of the replacements to that of the original brick and mortar.

The first installation cost about $42,000 back in 1987. The 2016 bill was closer to $50,000 for restoring the mural

Using Tech for Book Marketing

Don and Kate Gingold


Kate and husband Don have been building websites since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

As the Internet has evolved, producing books and marketing them has become much more complicated. Whether traditionally-published or self-published, authors today need to know their way around websites, blogging, social media and other online marketing tools.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs, small- to medium-business owners and not-for-profit directors. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Frequently Kate also writes about tips specific to authors, some of which are available here.

Just-for-Authors Website

Author Website

There are so many website options out there today. You can spend $10,000 or build one for free. And it's tough for most folks to figure out how much website they really need. 

Sprocket Websites put together an website package that provides a custom solution for an author's specific needs. We know what's important to successful book marketing so we made it easy to upload book images, summaries, reviews and of course, sales links. There's a calendar and a blog tool as well.

Check out all the details and you'll see why this is the perfect website for author success.

The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.


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