Naperville History in the Heart of Downtown

“Usually when I finish I think I’m done, I look at it for a couple of days and I always find something I want to add,” said artist Marianne Lisson Kuhn.

She’s been an artist for over 30 years, using her Naperville roots as inspiration throughout her work.

“So my ancestors settled here about when the town looked like this,” she said pointing to an old map of Naperville.

This year the fifth generation Napervillian’s love of art and history are coming to life on a heart-shaped piece for Downtown Naperville’s annual summer sculptures.

“So it’s focused on the Century Memorial Chapel, which is appropriate for the heart and love and everything,” said Marianne. “So what I did was I recreated the map from 1869 of Naperville but just focused on the section that had the chapel and the surrounding area of the map. And on the other side it has the chapel in its original position, which was up on Jefferson by the Jefferson Hill shops, it has Quigley’s underneath.”

About five to six hours of work have gone into the piece every day for the last two weeks, which is sponsored by Ron Stenger of Morgan Stanley and Naperville Heritage Society.

“It is different and I like it because I do a lot of two-dimensional art. But it always makes it more interesting to challenge yourself. And in sculptures they’re all different. This one is one of the more simple ones because it is smooth and straight up and down,” she explained.

And in truly taking the project to heart, she’s painting two hearts.

Marianne’s second will be for the Downtown Naperville Alliance, which will feature its logo and notable Naperville scenes.

The heart sculptures will be unveiled on June 9 and will be on display throughout the sidewalks of Downtown Naperville until mid September.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.

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