Fantastical Traveler

Submitted by Zachary Oxman

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Client: The Waukegan Library

Location: Waukegan, IL, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $160

Project Team

Richard Lee

The Waukagen Library

Ray Bradbury Sculpture Committee

Overview

Fantastical Traveler tells the story of a town’s beloved icon brimming with unbridled imagination and curiosity. Cast in stainless steel, a larger than life-size Ray Bradbury sits astride a hand-fabricated vintage styled rocket bound for places yet to be explored. Cogs and gears interlock and harmonize intimating the perpetual churning of a vibrant and curious mind.

Goals

The sculpture site, the exterior entryway to the Waukegan Library, was the very place that young Bradbury fell in love with reading, and this was a story that needed to be preserved and told. Located in the center of town, the artwork also needed to be a place-maker for community engagement. Custom benches encircle the sculpture inviting the public to gather. The sculpture needed to be relatable to all ages- to inspire new readers and avid readers alike. Bradbury ascends to the cosmos with book pages fanned beckoning all of us to read stories yet untold.

Process

I worked closely with the director of the Waukegan Library and the Ray Bradbury Committee. Although I was given enormous artistic freedom for the sculpture design, we all worked together on the installation and dedication ceremony. It was truly an outpouring of community collaboration and engagement, a most memorable and inspiring experience.