Silver Wings’ Sculpture Welcomed To Central City Intersection

Jenny Song

By Jenny SongThe Daily Northwestern

Two 15-feet-tall, silver half-arches now tower over the intersection of Green Bay Road and McCormick Boulevard, greeting motorists driving into central Evanston.

The stainless steel sculpture, “Silver Wings” by North Shore artist Ferdinand G. Rebechini, was welcomed into Evanston Sunday as part of the conclusion of Arts Week Evanston.

Duke Realty Co. donated the piece after the Westmont, Ill., business park where it was originally located was redesigned and the sculpture was displaced.

The artist’s daughter, Alice Rebechini, who is a member of the Evanston Plan Commission, helped find it a new home in Evanston.

Rebechini said its new location, with all of its open space, complements the sculpture.

“It’s designed to reflect the light,” she said. “It was meant to be set out in landscape.”

Rebechini said her father, who died in 2003, liked to work with circular forms and had a good aesthetic intuition for creating interesting shapes. He gave the work the name “Silver Wings” after its completion.

The abstract quality of the sculpture makes it relevant to everybody, said Gerry Macsai, co-chairwoman of the Evanston Public Art Committee.

“It really represents (Ferdinand Rebechini’s) interpretation of the feeling of freedom,” she said. “But it’s abstract. You kind of interpret it as you feel. That’s why it’s a beautiful piece.”

For Ald. Elizabeth Tisdahl (7th) the sculpture represents literal flight.

“I feel like I’m soaring every time I go past it,” she said.

Tisdahl said sculptures are important for Evanston, a community that is so involved with public art.

“The city is more than just roads and fire service and garbage service,” she said.

“Silver Wings” has been well-received by many Evanston residents, who said the sculpture makes a visible and appealing “gateway” into central Evanston.

Finding a suitable location for it was difficult, said Jeff Cory, Evanston’s cultural arts director. And because art is a matter of individual taste, it can sometimes be controversial, he said.

“Penelope,” a plastic glass and steel sculpture at the corner of Emerson Street and Ridge Avenue, became problematic when the Evanston City Council and some Evanston residents found the statue unsightly.

“Public art can be dicey sometimes,” Cory said. “It takes time for pieces to grow on people. But I’ve heard nothing but positive comments (about the new sculpture).”

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