Sept. 19, 2008
Huskies on Parade Photo Gallery
DeKALB - Two members were added to the Huskie family, Friday, as the Northern Illinois athletics department unveiled a pair of life size Huskie statues, designed by NIU student athletes.
The fiberglass canines are part of the "Huskies on Parade" program initiated by the cities of Sycamore and DeKalb and Northern Illinois University.
The program celebrates the bond between Northern Illinois University and the greater DeKalb/Sycamore community. With the participation and generous sponsorship of local businesses and organizations,
The NIU dogs were designed by men's soccer player Joe Zimka (Algonquin, Ill./Jacobs) and volleyball player Meagan Schoenrock (Sylvania, Ohio/Northview), both visual communication majors. Zimka's creation, located outside the north entrance of the Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Center, is black with white outlined lettering spelling out his take on what it means to be an NIU student-athlete. The words include "unity," "dedication," "values," and "family."
"I came up with a lot of the words myself, but I called up a couple of the players I know from other teams and asked them if they had any words for what was important to their teams," Zimka said.
The senior goalkeeper hand-painted the dog's body and face, then added decals of the words horizontally and vertically to achieve the final effect.
Schoenrock, who's dog sits out front of the entrance to the athletic department offices at the Convocation Center, went a different direction with her art.
"He was going the typography route, so I really wanted to get some images of our athletes on mine," Schoenrock said.
By manipulating photos of Huskies in action, then printing them to decals and applying them to the dog, Shoenrock was able to make a unique and impressive canine creation. In addition to the high-contrast photos, Schoenrock painted the Huskie in black and cardinal.
"I like the colors, I think it's very eye-catching." she said.
The uplifting public art project seeks to capture the vibrancy of the united community and university. Fiberglass Huskies have been and are continuing to be transformed into creative representations of the unique attributes of the DeKalb/Sycamore region. Brightly painted Huskies are popping up to form numerous points of interest for sidewalks and storefronts all over town.
Zimka said the NIU Athletics representatives to the "Huskies on Parade" hold a special meaning.
"The dogs are for the community, but this dog in particular is about the athletic family," he said.
Schoenrock agreed, which is part of the reason why she included actual photographs in her project.
"I felt that it was really important to show all the athletes together, because it's really cool what we have here," she said. "Everyone is connected, and everyone is supportive of each other."
Huskies on Parade will culminate during NIU's Homecoming weekend, Oct. 18, when the decorated dogs will ride proudly in the Homecoming Parade. The Huskie pups will be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to the February 14 Scholarship Fund.
"Huskies on Parade" is being coordinated by a group of community volunteers, all of whom are dedicated to acknowledging and enhancing the bond between NIU and the community. For more information visit www.huskiesonparade.com.