artwork Peter Fagan Sculpture


The Spirit of Illinois

Cast bronze with walnut base
14.75"h x 4.5"w x 4.5"d

A gift from the artist to the University of Illinois Athletic Association.

Edition limited to no more than 100.

Click here to see an animated version of the piece in 360 degree rotational view.

18 September, 1998
Artist's Statement:

The sculpture I've created for the Loyalty Circle Award Donors to the Fighting Illini Scholarship Fund, "The Spirit of Illinois", is a tribute, not only to students who strive for excellence in athletics, but also to those who are willing to make sacrifices to achieve a superior performance in their field, whatever it might be.

In spite of it's small size, it is a sculpture which stands on its own quite well. At the same time it is also very much a "maquette, or 3-dimensional sketch, for a piece which I would love to see enlarged to monumental scale and placed in a permanent outdoor location on the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois.

The bronze castings of the sculpture are all made from the same mold, using the ancient Lost Wax Casting Process. They were done here, at the University of Illinois, by an undergraduate sculpture student working under my supervision. While the castings may appear to be quite different from one another, this is because of natural variation in the copper nitrate finish of each. Because of the processes used in producing them (they are literally hand made) each has its own set of "imperfections", but careful examination of any two together will show them to be almost identical.

Each of the pieces is also numbered: 1/100, 2/100, 3/100, and so on. It is the intention of the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to make an edition of no more than 100 of these objects. Additionally however, as the artist who has donated his time and energy to this project, I am entitling myself to produce up to 10 "artist's proofs" which will be differentiated from the "edition" by a separate numbering system: 01/10, 01/10, etc. It is my intention that these proofs will never be offered for sale.

The piece looks its best under incandescent flood lights or daylight. Try to avoid flourescent lighting. It requires no maintenance except for occasional dusting of the bronze and perhaps a coat of Johnson's Paste Wax on the Black Walnut wood base every now and then.

Also, it will last for hundreds of years.