Couple comes forward to cover costs

After The Journal Times article about Visioning a Greater Racine's plan to restore "The Last of Ike," by artist Nic Noblique, a local couple reached out to Kristina Campbell of Visioning a Greater Racine and offered to foot the cost. 

RACINE — Admirers of artist Nic Noblique’s work have offered to cover the cost of restoring the Uptown sculpture known as “The Last of Ike.”

Kristina Campbell, owner of The Branch, 1501 Washington Ave. and chair of Visioning a Greater Racine’s revitalization team, said that after The Journal Times published an article two weeks ago about the initiative to get the sculpture that fronts Washington Avenue near the railroad tracks powder-coated, she was contacted by Wallace and Sam Hepkema of Racine.

The Hepkemas own another Nic Noblique sculpture and said they wanted to see his work restored. They offered to donate the estimated $1,800 to $2,000 needed for the project.

The City Council last week approved VGR’s request to re-coat the sculpture. Campbell said that once all the paperwork is finalized, crews from D&D Industrial Coatings, 1640 Racine St., hope to remove the sculpture within the next week and begin work. It is estimated that it will take approximately two weeks to finish the job.

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Public art is a big part of the revitalization team’s plan for Uptown according to Campbell. Visioning a Greater Racine paid artist Nicole Miller to refresh the mural of a cardinal at 1347 Washington Ave. The organization has so far raised about $2,000 for other public art projects, including more murals.

At the “Make Your Mark” community art and fundraising event planned for this week, attendees can paint 12-inch by 12-inch squares that will be incorporated into a large mural that will hang in Uptown.

The fundraiser is planned to 6 p.m. on Thursday and 2:30 p.m. on Friday at The Branch at 1501, 1501 Washington Ave.in Uptown.

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Christina Lieffring covers the City of Racine and the City of Burlington and is a not-bad photographer. In her spare time she tries to keep her plants and guinea pigs alive and happy.

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