Filed Under art


"Ripples" was created by Don Lawler, a sculptor living in Kentucky. This piece of art can be found at One Main Plaza in Champaign and was sponsored by the Noel Family.

The circles of the sculpture swirl around one another; some are briefly linked, every so slightly touching, others entirely encompass another ripple. Artist Don Lawler from Stephensport, Kentucky, sees this sculpture as a “reflection on the ‘circle of Acquaintances’ we have with neighbors, friends and family.” The sculpture is unified in color. The white appears pure and creates a striking variation from the natural lush green landscape of One Main Plaza in Champaign. The texture of the sculpture itself appears soft through small ridges and details, but upon further investigation the object itself is very sturdy. Each ripple contains small parallel lines that add more depth.

Each circular element relies on its understructure to hold it all together. Similarly, each connection an individual element makes with surrounding ripples gives it strength. This parallels the idea that through our support systems of family, friends, and neighbors, we grow stronger. Like the web of our personal relationships, some touch one another while others are separated through distance but indirectly linked all the same. The ripples overlap and twist around one another.

It is the unity of these systems, and the ripples of the sculpture, that create function. The grooves between each circle and ripple delve deeper into the sculpture itself, but like relationships, they are not entirely separate from one another, they are connected through their base in the same way we are all connected through community at the most basic level. Lawler states, “Like ripples on a pond, they touch our lives and the lives of others.” If it were to rain, the falling water would fall into the crevasses of the sculpture and flow through the grooves of the ripples. Like the falling individual drops, they would be brought together as individuals come together to support one another.


View of Ripples at One Main Plaza Source: ExploreCU Team


Northeast corner of Neil and Main Streets. Area in front of and directly west of 1 E Main St, Champaign IL, 61820


Ali Sunseri, “Ripples,” ExploreCU, accessed June 30, 2022,