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Statue to depict Reagan running to save swimmer

Statue will be at Lowell Park

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 3:30 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 3:34 p.m. CST
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
An artist's rendition of a planned 7-foot-tall statue of a young Ronald Reagan was unveiled Thursday afternoon at Dixon City Hall. Artist Omri Amrany and Gary Tillery will create the statue from their Chicago studio.

DIXON – The artist's rendering of Dixon's next Ronald Reagan statue was unveiled at City Hall today.

The statue will be 7 feet tall and have a base about 3 feet wide, according to sculptor Gary Tillery. The artwork, which will be placed at Lowell Park, will depict a young Reagan running toward the Rock River to rescue a swimmer.

Work on the statue could take a little more than 2 months, Tillery said.

The city plans to raise funds from private donors as well as having four musical tributes to raise the estimated $200,000 needed for the project, Mayor Jim Burke said.

Funds for the initial work were donated by KSB Hospital, Midland States Bank, Dixon Tourism, John Weitzel, Lee County Republicans and the Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce, Burke said during a news conference.

The statue will be done by Rotblatt Amrany Fine Arts Studio, of Highland Park, a Chicago suburb. The gallery's previous work includes the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center and a statue of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

The city decided to go with a nationally known art gallery, Burke said, to help with the fundraising.

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