In 1920, Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury was born in the Chicago suburb of Waukegan, Illinois. While he spent his early years there, he and his family eventually moved to California, where he spent the rest of his life. Now, his hometown is looking to honor the author with a statue, and it has launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance the project.
Last fall, the Ray Bradbury Statue Committee selected a design by contemporary sculptor Zachary Oxman, whose work has been exhibited in places such as the White House and the National Museum of American Art. According to The Chicago Tribune, his statue concept “stood out because it paid homage to Bradbury's imagination,” featuring the author holding a book aloft as he rides on a rocket.
The statue will be installed outside of the Waukegan Public Library, where Bradbury had been a frequent visitor, and following his death in 2012, it received his personal library. Once funded, the stainless steel sculpture will be installed outside of the library’s front entrance, where it will stand about 12 feet tall.
The committee is looking to raise $125,000 to fund the project, and launched its campaign earlier this month. Donors who give more than $150 will be given a book from Bradbury’s library. Thus far, the committee has raised around $13,000, with another $20,000 promised. Richard Lee, the Library’s executive director and chair of the statue committee, told The Chicago Tribune that he hoped that the statue will remind area children of the famous author, and that it might inspire them to become writers themselves.