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Restoring “Mr. Cub”

Above

From left, COREY KINSMAN ’04, KYLE CHIPMAN ’06, patineur Ramsey Truitt, and sculptor Lou Cella pause with the Ernie Banks statue in Bradley’s Heuser Art Center. The artists burned off the original finish, sandblasted and degreased the surface, reapplied powder pigments and chemicals, and used a stronger protective sealant to prevent premature aging.

Visit bradley.edu/hilltopics/go/banks for a video and more information.

Ernie Banks may not have played for the Bradley Braves, but the living legend’s bronze sculpture paid a visit to campus on November 9, leaving Wrigley Field for a cap-to-cleats restoration. The 7-foot, 400-pound “Mr. Cub,” sculpted by Lou Cella, was discreetly delivered to Heuser Art Center’s sculpture studio for a two-day touch up from KYLE CHIPMAN ’06 and Ramsey Truitt. 

Chipman, a former Bradley hockey club goalie, accepted Bradley’s offer to bring this high-profile project to campus while his studio is being built in nearby Washington, but he was adamant that he puts his “heart, love, and tears into every project. It’s great to work on Ernie Banks, but I put the same effort, care, and craftsmanship into all my work. At the end of the day, it reflects on me.”

Restored and sporting Cubbie Blue on a Bradley red campus, the Hall of Famer was returned to his location near Addison Street at Wrigley Field on November 11.

It’s the first project for the Hot Scotsmen Fine Art Foundry owned by Chipman, a lead foundry artisan, and COREY KINSMAN ’04, who manages the business. “We had talked about starting a business,” Kinsman said, “but the call from Lou inspired us to do it now.” Kinsman also works for FPI Consortium in Downers Grove.

Cella previously supervised other larger-than-life-size figures with Chipman and Truitt, a patina artisan, including his Ron Santo sculpture that was recently installed at Wrigley. Once installed, Cella said the contrast in quality between Banks, installed in 2008, and Santo was apparent.  The vibrant blue was “oxidizing too fast and turning green.”

“It’s remarkable that you can attain a chemical patina that matches the Cubs’ uniform so well,” Bradley’s associate professor of sculpture Fisher Stolz said. “It’s been a learning opportunity for our art students.”

— Karen Crowley Metzinger, MA ’97; Photography by Duane Zehr

 


 

Fighting SIDS

CAITLIN MARUYAMA ’10 was instrumental in passing Chicago’s new ordinance banning the sale of bumper pads for cribs. Caitlin’s brother died of SIDS in October 1985, and her testimony to the Chicago City Council on behalf of her family and Sudden Infant Death Services of Illinois led to the passing of the law on September 8, 2011.

A native of Crystal Lake, Caitlin is a longtime volunteer for SIDS of Illinois. She became a peer educator at age 16, and she also is an infant teacher at Bright Horizons Family Solutions in Elgin. Her mother Nancy is the SIDS of Illinois executive director of education and outreach.