Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Robert J. O'Connor

Event Details

Aurora Public Art Commission Garden Planting Party

The Aurora Public Art Commission, working in cooperation with the Tuesday Garden Club of Aurora, The Growing Place, and the City of Aurora’s Downtown Services and Parks Departments, will plant a bird and butterfly garden in the recently installed Aurora Sculpture Garden at 20 East Downer Place. Planting begins on Thursday, October 2, at 10:00 A.M.  The Tuesday Garden Club of Aurora and other volunteers will plant grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees that are attractive to birds, butterflies and honey bees. This organic, indigenous garden will grace the area around the River Benches: three hand-carved limestone benches created by sculptor Walter Arnold. The Public Art Commission will host a reception from 3:30-6:00 to celebrate the creation of both the benches and the garden.

The Aurora Public Art Commission garden planting event reflects the City of Aurora's commitment creating a sustainable environment for the community.

River Benches by Walter Arnold

Walter Arnold is an artist and artisan who carves sculpture and architectural ornament in limestone and marble. He is versed in the traditional skills and quality standards of the past. Arnold has created hundreds of sculptures throughout the U.S. and Internationally. Notable projects in the Chicago area include duplicates of panels from a damaged art deco frieze at the Chicago Board of Trade building, restoration carvings at the Chicago Tribune tower, and the monkey panels at the entrances to the Brach Primate House in Lincoln Park Zoo. Working at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. for five years, he produced more than 90 architectural carvings, as well as, working on the Creation triptych over the front entrance.

The Tuesday Garden Club of Aurora

The Tuesday Garden Club of Aurora was organized July 1936. One of the oldest garden clubs in Illinois, it has been a place for members to learn and grow in the knowledge of gardening and to express the love of plants and issues pertaining to care of landscape, flowers and horticulture. Monthly meetings feature speakers on interesting topics from innovative floral designs with vegetables to understanding the role of clean water in our communities. TWC has been an active philanthropic group that has contributed widely to projects surrounding Aurora; in 1999 the club was awarded the volunteerism award from the City of Aurora for it’s role in many community gardens, and activities at schools, such as supplying flower boxes, and for monetary contributions for open space preservation. Garden Club member Linda Volz has said: “Members would say it is a wonderful way to share the joy of gardening with friends and the community.” The current president of the TWC is Rosalie Cassiday.

Green City

The City of Aurora supports a wide variety of green initiatives. The Aurora Public Art Commission is currently redesigning the curricula of ARTWorks and the Artist’s Studio Project to incorporate principles of sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. ARTWorks is a fine arts career exploration initiative in which Aurora high school students work with paid professional artist/mentors from a variety of fields. Students who complete ARTWorks classes receive full credit from their high schools and from Waubonsee Community College. The Artist’s Studio Project provides comprehensive, engaging and innovative arts education to children and adults in the Aurora area.

The expanded curriculum will include the study food systems, transportation, architecture, and energy. For example, an ARTWorks design class might include units on designing an all-weather bicycle or a rain garden. This spring the Artist’s Studio Project, in partnership with Waubonsee Community College, will offer a series of Friday night workshops on topics such as bicycle maintenance and building, cooking with locally grown ingredients, and restoring buildings using LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines.

Location: Aurora Public Art Commission Sculpture Garden, 20 East Downer Place, Aurora, Illinois

Contact: Rena J. Church, Director, Aurora Public Art Commission, (630) 906-0654,


October 2nd, 2008*

10 a.m.

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