Shelbyville CityWalk Presents – The Painted Figures Family Fun Art Tour
About the Painted Figures
The Painted Figures portray a little taste of life in Shelbyville, Illinois and are modeled after everyday people and families in town. It is an ongoing art project and a scavenger hunt created by artists Carol Kessler and Dan Modzelewski.
From a distance, the figures look like they are actual people with a shadow cast on the walls, but they are actually on sheets of aluminum metal attached to the buildings.
Ms. Bonnie Potter, a local resident of Shelbyville and a long term supporter of the Shelby County Art Show, brought the idea of the painted figures and murals that she had seen in Greenville, IL to Dan and Carol.
Since 2004, “Painted Figures” has been featured in multiple area news including the Herald-Review, Decatur, IL. It is brought to you by local businesses and organizations helping to showcase Shelbyville as a charming and interesting place to visit and to live.
Enjoy! Check out the tour video and let the artists take you behind-the-scenes of the Painted Figures tour now.
A – “Play It Safe. Wear a Life Jacket” by Carol Kessler
Coming from Rt 16 E, you will find the first stop of this tour by the USACE Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center at Dam East. While you are here, check out the wonderful exhibits inside the visitor center and discover all the fun activities around the lake. Free public parking and restrooms are available at the center.
B – “The Gardener” by Dan Modzelewski
Make a Right upon exiting the visitor center – follow the road along the lake. At the stop sign, turn Left onto E North 9th St. Go straight, you will find Forest Park on your Right. Enter and the road will lead you to this painted figure at the Memorial Sunken Garden. Park & Explore!
C – “Safety First” by Dan Modzelewski
This painted figure is also at the Forest Park and is located inside the Family Aquatic Center. It is within walking distance from the garden and is open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Along the way, visit Shelbyville’s historic Chautauqua Auditorium, over 120 years old.
D – “Home Delivery” by Dan Modzelewski
Upon exiting Forest Park, make a right onto N 9th St. When you reach Broadway St, make a Left to continue the tour in downtown Shelbyville. Go straight and cross Main St. Park your car at the S Broadway public parking lot on your left. Walk back toward Main St to see this next painted figure on the corner of the Daily Union building. You will also find the beautiful downtown Sister City Mini Park right across from “Home Delivery.” If you are hungry, enjoy some delicious burgers, pizza, or sweet treats along Main St.
E – “Go Fly a Kite” by Dan Modzelewski
Proceed on and you will find this lovely painted figure right by the corner of E Main St and S Morgan St Along the way you can pick up beautiful quilts, local T-shirts, chocolates and fun knick-knacks as gifts for yourself and friends.
F – “So Many Things to Do” by Dan Modzelewski
Continue on E Main, you will find this painted figure on the wall of the Shelby County Tourism Office located across the square. While you are here, visit our tourism office and find out more fun activities to see and do around Shelby County! There is a family restaurant nearby the square if you would like to sit down and enjoy a nice meal.
G – “Wood Floors Our Specialty” by Carol Kessler
Walk down the north side of E Main St and make a right when you reach Morgan St. At the corner, make another right on to N 1st to see this painted figure. If you are looking for fine dining, you will find a delicious restaurant at the corner.
H – “Family on the Dacey Trail” by Dan Modzelewski
Across from N 1st St, you will find the Condov Plaza where this painted figure is located. If you haven’t had a chance to visit the General Dacey Trail-a MUST.
I – “Curiosity” by Carol Kessler
Turn away from the Condov Plaza and head S on Morgan St. You will find “Curiosity” close to the corner of E Main and N Morgan St.
J – “$3.00 Ticket Please” by Carol Kessler
Proceed on the north side of E Main and you will find the beautiful historic Boarmans Roxy Theatre where this painted figure is located. While you are here, find out what’s playing. You will also find public restrooms and area literature next door.
K – “Afternoon at the Movies” by Carol Kessler
You will find “Afternoon at the Movies,” in between the theater and the Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce. While you are here, come in to find out any special sales around town.
L – “Red Hat Damsels” by Carol Kessler
Walking down the street towards all the cute antiques, clothing, and gift shops, you will find this painted figure around the corner on N Broadway. On your walk stop in local antique shop and stores for some pretty souvenirs to bring home.
M – “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall” by Dan Modzelewski
After souvenir shopping along E Main, cross Broadway an get a creative photo with “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall” around the corner.
N – “Our Awesome God” by Carol Kessler
Continue on W Main St, you will find the gorgeous structure of the First United Methodist Church where this painted figure resides.
O – “First Day of School” by Carol Kessler
Just right next to the First United Methodist Church on W Main, you will find this painted figure at our Main Street Elementary school. For a fun photo, enter the playground on W Main when school is out.
P – “I remember When” by Carol Kessler
Cross Main St and you will find this painted figure at Boarman’s Chevy BelAir Museum. While you are here, come in and admire the beautiful collection of Chevrolet automobiles. Afterwards, make sure you walk down W Main and visit the stunning historic home built in 1858 where you can also bring home some unique souvenirs. When you are done, head back for your car. You will need your vehicle to continue the rest of the tour.
Q – “Check Us Out!” by Carol Kessler
From the parking lot, drive up S Washington St and make a left on to W Main St. You will find “Check Us Out!” on your Left.
R – “Your Future Starts Here” by Carol Kessler
Make a right from W Main onto N Douglas and loop around to visit the Shelbyville High School. See “Your Future Starts Here” at the school entrance.
S – “Agriculture Through the Year” by Carol Kessler
From the High School, turn right onto N 6th St, and another right onto Cedar St / Rt 128 N to visit this family fun artwork at the Shelby County Farm Bureau.
T – “Looking Back” by Carol Kessler
Turn around and head back on Cedar St. At the intersection, make a right onto W Main St. You will find this painted figure on your right.
U – “Family Pleaser” by Carol Kessler
You will find this painted figure by continuing on W Main St / Rt 16 W at the drive-through of Monical’s Pizza Restaurant. Grab a yummy slice here before continuing on your trip.
V – “While Parents Shop” by Carol Kessler
Continue on W Main St/Rt 16 W and turn Left into Johnstowne Mall. The last painted figure is right by Ace Hardware. From here, continue your trip on Rt 16 W or head back into town to enjoy a memorable ROXY movie experience and a nice stroll along Lake Shelbyville and the Dacey trail.
About the Artists
Being raised in Central Illinois, but having the opportunity to travel, Carol tries to portray the beauty she experiences. The plains, the mountains and hills, friends, and family and the everyday motivations of life become subjects of her art mostly in oils and pastels.
Having graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Master of Fine Arts degree, she taught art for twenty-four years in the Pana school system. She carries that art interest into retirement, encouraging others to experience the creativity within themselves, whether through visual art, music or dance and bringing that to the community to view and promote.
Her latest adventure is the opening of Flourishes Gallery and Studios in downtown Shelbyville where all the arts are mentored through exhibits, workshops, classes and presentations. With room for all, the gallery and studios are always full and the ballroom stage opens the first of each month for First Sunday Sing which is open to the public at no charge due to the performers giving of their talents.
Carol is a member of Gallery 510 located in Decatur and has had her art displayed there as well as the Decatur Title Company, Decatur Public Library, Madden Arts Center, Decatur Airport and Wildflour Artisan Bakery and Cafe. She belongs to a group of artists, Painted Ladies, Artists with a View, The Community Council for the Arts in Pana, and co- directs the Shelby County Art Show. She enters regularly in area art shows and encourages others to do the same, both for display and for a learning experience.
Dan Modzelewski knew at the age of five, that he would become an artist. His early commitment and talent was supported and encouraged by his family as he grew up in Chicago Heights, Illinois.
He graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago and later received a master’s degree in psychology. While working as a commercial artist, he began teaching Saturday School at the Art Institute. His own passion for all things artistic was merged with a commitment to teach and to inspire young people.
Dan taught for thirty years at Downers Grove South High School where he was head of the Art Department. For fifteen of those years he also taught drawing part time at the College of Dupage. After retirement, he supervised the student art teachers at Northern Illinois University, and taught part time at Grayslake High School.
Dan’s works reflects his fondness for portrait drawing. He captures the human figure in all walks of life. He finds inspiration in the works of Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Andrew Wyeth.
Dan and his wife, Cheryl, moved from northern Illinois in 2002. They were attracted to the quiet charm of Shelbyville. They live in a house Dan designed, nestled against the woods a short walk from the lake. Dan’s goal is to support the community through his art. He has completed seven large scale outdoor figure paintings in Shelbyville and at present is co-chairman of the Shelby County Art Show. With passion and commitment, Dan uses his talents and skills to raise awareness and appreciation of all things artistic.
Learn More About the Painted Figures in Shelbyville
Schedule a visit to the Flourishes Gallery and Studios (217-827-5690) in downtown Shelbyville to see more artwork by Carol Kessler, Dan Modzelewski and area artists. For information on all CityWalk tours, contact Shelby County Historical and Genealogical Society (217-774-2260), Shelby County Tourism (217-774-2244), and USACE Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center (217-774-3951).
A printable PDF version of this tour is available here