An Artist Behind the Naperville Book Benches

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“Usually when I’m painting on a dark surface I’ll start with a lighter color and then I’ll go over it with the color it’s supposed to be later,” said Angea Graefenhain, a local artist who’s painting a book bench.

Angela Graefenhain has been painting for over 30 years. As an artist she’s participated in painting the Naperville sculptures many times now, and this year her story is an open book…

“My bench was inspired by the book the ‘Language of Flowers’ by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and it was a book I read a couple years ago and really stuck with me. It’s basically about how flowers years ago had meanings and so a flower if given to someone it had meaning behind it. So I thought that would be a fun meaning for this bench,” said Graefenhain.

Titled “Bloom,” the bench took Angela about 60 hours to paint various roses, tulips, lilies and poppies which symbolize love and happiness.

Each bench is sponsored by a local business who works with the artist to create the design and add their own special touches to it. Angela’s business sponsor is Gail Niermeyer with Coldwell Banker.

“My sponsor had requested that I paint a cardinal somewhere on the bench and I have this nice spot for one right here…so I’m going to draw a branch right here,” explained Graefenhain as she was painting the bench.

In just a few short weeks the bench will be placed on Jefferson Avenue near The Naperville Running Company along with 14 others that will be scattered around town, bringing a new view and place to sit in the town.

“It’s extremely rewarding and a lot of fun to do something that connects so well with the community and I like that they’re a bench but also something to sit on, its utilitarian and fun,” she added.

All of the book benches will be unveiled in Downtown Naperville Friday, June 16.

Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.