Local Artist Commissioned for Planned Miller Park Memorial Commemorating Bloomington Firefighters

 A Bloomington Fire Department special committee wants to commission Andrew Jumonville, the local artist behind the Lincoln-Fell-Davis statue at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, to create a lifesize statue of a firefighter for a planned service memorial at Miller Park. (Photo: Andrew Jumonville/ Exhibit Artists )

A Bloomington Fire Department special committee wants to commission Andrew Jumonville, the local artist behind the Lincoln-Fell-Davis statue at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, to create a lifesize statue of a firefighter for a planned service memorial at Miller Park. (Photo: Andrew Jumonville/Exhibit Artists)

Bloomington’s Fire Department wants to commission a 6-foot bronze for a planned fire service memorial at Miller Park.

A special committee has been raising funds to build the memorial commemorating the department’s 150th anniversary. At the center of the planned memorial is a bell first hung in 1868 at the City’s No. 1 Firehouse at the northwest corner of Front and East Streets. The memorial would preserve the bell’s history as well as serve as “a permanent reminder of the sacrifice and a life of service” of Bloomington firefighters.

The project also includes a new brick surface and two adjacent sites, each with a bronze statue. City Parks and Recreation staff will coordinate with committee members to give the site a new look.

To date, the committee has raised $100,250 of the $125,000 needed to complete the entire project by 2022.

With council approval Monday night, the committee will pay local artist Andrew Jumonville $40,000 to design, create and install one of the artworks, a lifesize statue modeled after a Bloomington firefighter.

Jumonville is a specialist in creating both animal and human figurines made of bronze, earning both his bachelors and masters from Illinois State University. He is known locally for creating the statue outside the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, “The Convergence of Purpose,” depicting Abraham Lincoln and Bloomington-Normal natives Jesse Fell and David Davis.

City staff expect the statue to be completed in time for the department’s 150th celebration event at Miller Park October 13.