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Willowbrook students participate in sculpture show at Lilacia Park

LOMBARD – Among the maze of sculptures at Lilacia Park are a zebra and a birdbath created by Villa Park teenagers.

Although Conor Keeling and Stephanie King are younger than many of the established artists who were displaying Saturday at the sculpture show, their work was selected to be featured in the annual event.

Keeling and King, 18-year-old seniors at Willowbrook High School, take a sculpture class with John Epple, an art teacher at the school.

Since she started Sculpture 3 in January, King said her goal was to participate in the DuPage Invitational Sculpture and 3-D Art Show in Lombard.

“I went into it wanting to enter [my sculpture] into a show,” she said. “I originally wanted to enter three, but I ran out of time.”

King created a sculpture of a zebra emerging from a flat board. The idea behind the piece is when it hangs on a wall, it looks like the zebra is walking out of the picture and into the room with people.

She had wanted to create similar pieces with a giraffe and an elephant.

“I like sculpture more than pottery, and I wanted to carve the zebra stripes,” she said. “The idea just came together.”

King has taken art classes each year she’s been at Willowbrook and, although she enjoys art, she plans to study nursing at Concordia University Wisconsin.

“Art is a pastime that I would like to continue to do outside of school in my spare time,” she said.

Keeling previously has entered artwork into a student art show at Elmhurst College, but this was his first time participating in the one at Lilacia Park. He entered a birdbath that featured a coiled base.

“It just sounded like a cool thing to do,” he said. “Everyone seemed to like it.”

Much of Keeling’s senior year schedule has been filled with art classes. During the first three years of high school, he said he worked on getting graduation requirements out of the way so he could focus on art in his final year.

He plans to study product design at Columbia College Chicago.

“Originally, I wanted to do mechanical engineering, but I got more interested in the aesthetic design than the actual function,” he said.

The sculpture show takes place each year at Lombard’s Lilacia Park during Lilac Time. The show is open to high school and college students and established artists who have some tie to DuPage County.

Both local students visited Lilacia Park last weekend to view the other entries and answer questions from visitors about their work.

“It was really pretty,” King said. “There were a lot of pretty pieces there. I just sat in the back and watched the groups of people. I saw some smiles. It was nice to see people enjoy it.”

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