- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

SYCAMORE, Ill. (AP) - Lynden Bute of Sycamore has many titles: artist, painter, snow sculptor and wood carver. He also can add to the list: a living, breathing museum piece.

Bute is one of the more than 50 people featured as part of the Sycamore History Museum’s new exhibit, “Faces of Sycamore: Our Community, Our Story.”

“Every artist likes to be known and appreciated for what they do,” Bute said. “People in the area probably don’t know I exist, and they might not know any of these other people. The exhibit allows us to tell our story and to put who you are and what you do out there.”

The exhibit, which uses photos, artifacts and short biographies of people in Sycamore who have made a difference in their community, will run for a year.

“In our exhibit, we include a quote from Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy, and he describes generosity as contagious,” said Michelle Donahoe, the museum’s executive director. “The exhibit tells different stories of people in the community and how they generously helped Sycamore. It was hard to decide who to include.”

Each room of the museum houses a different theme: arts and entertainment; construction and preservation; athletes; medical first responders and military; and agriculture. The last room, “Friends of Sycamore,” gives examples and a brief description of local nonprofit and charitable organizations in DeKalb County.

“The last room gives examples of how you can make a difference in Sycamore,” Donahoe said. “In the room, you have the opportunity to write thank you notes to let others know how thankful you are for what they do.”

The exhibit includes multiple personal artifacts, including a horse hair coat worn by Rupert Jordan around 1900 while he worked on the farm during the winter, arrowheads from the Lenschow Family Farm from the 1850s to the present, and souvenirs from the Northern Illinois Steam Power Show.

The exhibit also features a portrait painting and a clay model of Sycamore teacher Cora B. Miner, created by Bute. Miner taught for 45 years in Sycamore School District 427 and for 20 years out of her home after retiring. Bute hopes to later carve a statue of Miner out of a tree on the museum’s property.

Diane Rodgers of DeKalb visited the Sycamore History Museum for the first time to see the new exhibit.

“I loved the exhibit, and what I liked most about it is that it’s people you don’t expect to see in a museum,” Rodgers said. “The exhibit is a great idea. It showcases the behind-the-scenes people, letting everybody learn more about them and their lives.”

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Online: https://www.sycamorehistory.org/

Source: The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle, https://bit.ly/1YHZwLl

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Information from: The Daily Chronicle, https://www.daily-chronicle.com

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