PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Tuesday morning, four new sculptures went up at Donovan Park in Peoria to mix art with nature.

The idea for a sculpture garden started in 2019, but plans were disrupted by the pandemic. But in February, the first sculpture was installed. The project is privately funded through fundraising efforts by a committee with the Peoria Park District. Starting Tuesday, the Donovan Sculpture Garden became a reality.

“Today we installed four pieces, two of them abstract, two of them figures, all of them really interesting all of them by local artists,” said David Pittman, volunteer coordinator for the Donovan Sculpture Garden. “It’s our intent here at the sculpture garden to use local artists exclusively.”

The first sculpture to go up was by Bradley Sculpture Professor and artist, Fisher Stolz. His installation is titled “Nike.”

“It’s kind of a modern interpretation of the wing goddess of victory and it seems really appropriate to use this piece to start the sculpture garden because I feel like this is a great victory for our community,” Stolz said.

Artist Jaci Willis made sure her abstract piece was positioned precisely with the sun and shade to complement the stained-glass elements of the art.

“It’s already a great community, but I found that every city that I’ve placed it just seems to add positive feelings, and we all need that right now, don’t we?” Willis said.

Pittman said the sculptures will be on a two-year rotation.

Peoria artist Preston Jackson will be the sixth sculpture to go up, but the installment date is to be determined.

More information, as well as how to donate to the sculpture garden, can be found here.