By MARC MONAGHAN
Bill Eager (POAH) (from left), Steve Weaver (Chicago Public Art Group), Bernard Williams (Sculptor), Scott Gendell (Terraco), Leon Walker (DL3 Realty), Jean Clark (West Woodlawn Coalition), Vincent Green (Jewel-Osco), Aarti Kotak (City of Chicago) and William Suenkens (formerly of Fifth Third Bank currently with US Bank) pose next to Williams’ sculpture, “Wonder of Woodlawn,” which was dedicated April 5, during a ceremony at the northwest corner of E. 61st Street and S. Cottage Grove Avenue, near the recently opened Jewel-Osco store.
Standing 17 feet tall, the sculpture, which incorporates African patterns and motifs, was inspired by the Ferris Wheel of the World’s Columbian Exposition. “The piece honors former residents of Woodlawn – Gwendolyn Brooks, Oscar Brown Jr., Sun Ra,” said Williams. “It’s not just my creation, it really is a collaboration with the community,” he continued.
Developer Leon Walker of DL3 Realty, one of the benefactors of William’s sculpture, said during the dedication ceremony, “Bernard’s sculpture encapsulates … that feeling and sense of pride about the past, but also an expectancy about our future.” “Woodlawn will shine and be bright in the future,” he concluded.