The story behind Kenosha’s visiting giraffe sculpture

Matt Bellefeuille is a renowned master metal sculptor from Winthrop Harbor, Ill., whose captivating sculptures have been thrilling visitors at art galleries and exhibitions throughout northern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin for the last 10 years.

Although Bellefeuille has always had an artistic eye and a creative spirit, it was not until he learned how to weld at his public works job for the Village of Gurnee (going on 23-plus years) that he found the medium he was meant to use.

Using both recycled metal (such as old car parts, nuts and bolts, grates, springs, tools, sewing machine pieces and even silverware) and other found metal objects along with new metal pieces, Bellefeuille attempts to — and succeeds — in giving these cold, hard components a soft and elegant look in his works of sculptural art.

Receiving consistent growing acclaim and popularity, Bellefeuille took on his most ambitious sculpture to date in the spring of 2021 and created “Inner Peace,” an 8-foot tall metal, illuminated, free-standing giraffe, which first debuted at the Lemon Street Gallery in Kenosha in late summer. The sculpture took approximately three months to complete and required torching, cutting, welding and grinding to execute.

Currently on display for viewing in the lobby at the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, 5500 Sixth Ave. (open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays), the commanding, award-winning sculpture is now ready to find its permanent home.

Read more at the Kenosha News.

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