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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Kate's Brief History


Naperville 1920 / 2020 - Setting the Stage

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Naperville Art: The Grinch

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Since it’s December, it seems appropriate to wrap up the past year of learning about the artwork sponsored by Century Walk with a holiday-appropriate piece: “The Grinch.”

This faithful three-dimensional adaptation of the beloved Dr. Seuss character was installed in 2012 outside of the Naper Boulevard library. It was the third Dr. Seuss statue that Century Walk placed in front of a library. “The Cat in the Hat” was installed at Nichols Library in 2007 and “Green Eggs and Ham” was installed at the 95th Street Library in 2008. Now each of Naperville’s libraries has a Dr. Seuss statue to greet the city’s youngest readers.

All three of the statues were created by artist Leo Rijn. Audrey Geisel, the widow of Theodor Geisel (who wrote as Dr. Seuss), started The Art of Dr. Seuss Collection six years after her husband’s death and Rijn was chosen to create bronze renditions of these favorite books.

Theodor Geisel actually created quite a lot of art in addition to the book illustrations, most of which was never displayed during his lifetime. Not only did Geisel illustrate his books and paint, but he also created the Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy. He “stuffed” and “mounted” totally invented creatures similar to those in his books, often using actual horns, beaks and other parts from deceased zoo animals. Audrey fulfilled his wish to share his “secret art” with the public by launching the Dr. Seuss project in 1997. The collection includes limited edition reproductions of his original art as well as interpretations of his work by other artists, such as these sculptures by Rijn.

A number of bronze statues were created by Rijn for the the first Tribute Collection. In addition to the three installed by the Century Walk in Naperville, other characters he sculpted include Horton, the Lorax and the Turtle Tower.

Rijn was also commissioned by Universal Studios to develop scale models of Dr. Seuss characters to be used at their theme park in Orlando. Seuss Landing, for the youngest park visitors, features several of Rijn’s Dr. Seuss sculptures and the buildings and decor were all influenced by his art direction.

When not sculpting Dr. Seuss characters, Rijn works on Hollywood film projects. His art has appeared in films from “Masters of the Universe” to “Star Trek” to “Thor” and he has worked

Naperville Art: Faith, Hope and Charity

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The trouble with murals is that when the wall goes, so does the mural. Planning ahead, the 40th piece in the Century Walk art collection was painted on a removable board that was taken down a couple of years ago and recently re-installed. 

“Faith, Hope and Charity” was sponsored by Euclid Lodge 65, the Naperville chapter of Freemasons, and first unveiled in 2011 on the west wall of Russell’s Dry Cleaners. But after 50 years in business, Russell Breitwieser retired in 2017. The building needed to be torn down, so the Masons put the mural in storage. The outdoor outfitter, Filson, opened in that space this past September, but without the mural. 
Naperville’s Euclid Lodge was founded on October 2, 1849, which means they just celebrated their 170th anniversary last month. In honor of the occasion, they held an open house at their headquarters and rededicated the mural at its new location. You can now find “Faith, Hope and Charity” on the south wall of the Gap on Main Street. 

The mural was painted by artist Marianne Lisson Kuhn. Kuhn, who was born and raised in Naperville, is a familiar sight in the local art community. Other Century Walk art pieces she created are “Naperville Loves a Parade,” “World’s Greatest Artists” and “The Way We Were.” She has also painted several of the fiberglass sculptures that are part of the downtown scene every summer. 

“Faith, Hope and Charity” depicts George Washington and Joseph Naper wearing their Masonic aprons as well as many other symbols of the Scottish rite. 

On Washington’s side of the painting are listed notable Masons such as Winston Churchill, Wolfgang Mozart and Theodore Roosevelt. On Naper’s side are listed local notable Masons such as James Nichols, Lewis Ellsworth and Willard Scott. The first Worshipful Master from 1848, Keith Aylmer, is not listed and others on the list were not Masters at all. 
Behind Naper, Kuhn painted the current lodge meeting hall. The Masons built it in 1916-17 after outgrowing several of their earlier halls. Before 1977, the first floor housed the Naper Theater and the Naperville Running Company currently operates out of the space. During the mural rededication, the hall was open for visitors to tour and ask questions of the members.

Other places Euclid Lodge used to meet include the east part of Empire’s building, Blue Mercury (which was Sta

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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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