New celebrity resident moves into East Village: Horses of Honor


Catherine Garypie and Fred Moss include Officer Fahey in a conversation about the Horses of Honor

When East Village resident Catherine Garypie went to the Horses of Honor Auction last week at the Hyatt Regency, 151 East Wacker, Grand Ballroom, she looked, with some envy, at the 16 painted horses, honoring injured and fallen Chicago Police Officers. In fact three of the horses tie to Chicago's near northwest side. 


Layne Jackson, prepares to work as the horse gazes out her studio window*

Garypie had been following the journey of another East Villager, Layne Jackson, who was one of the project artists. Starting last June, Jackson and other artists were selected to paint a horse by the Horse of Honor project headed by Bill Bracken, a principal with Agency360. Each 100 pound life-size (6 feet tall, 6 feet long and nearly 3 feet wide) horse is sculpted of fiberglass. 


Fahey on watch on Michigan Ave.

The night of the auction, Garypie opened the bidding on Jackson's  horse at $500 but was quickly taken out of the process by other bidders. She missed out on the auction and was resigned to being horseless. Then numbers were drawn for the raffle, her whole future changed. 

Officer William P. Fahey
"Officer Fahey [William P. Fahey , Star # 4194] is now at home in my living room," explains Garypie, who invited Fred Moss, the Fahey artist, to dinner. Moss was happy to reconnect with his "friend" Fahey, who was sponsored by Chicago Sports & Novelty

Graphic designer and artist, Moss generally works on canvas with oil and found that the first day of working with the horse was all about materials. The challenge was in getting the correct primer.  Painting a straight skyline on a curved surface provided his next challenge. 


"To everything there is..."

Officer Gary M. Gradle
Sponsors determined the basis for the images to be on each horse. Jackson explained that the theme she chose for her horse, sponsored by the East Bank Club, was the circle of life. "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven,"  from the Bible's Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Honoring Gary M. Gradle, Star 9366, Jackson represented the seasons with flora and fauna of Chicago and Illinois, she started on one side of the  head with spring and ends with the Illinois state bird, the cardinal, in a winter scene on the opposite side. 


St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic church depicted on front of the Ceriale horse

Officer Michael Ceriale
The St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, 835 N. Oakley, is prominent on the statue honoring Officer Michael Ceriale, Star #17429. 

Sponsored by the Officer Michael A. Ceriale Memorial Foundation, the artist is Peter Bucks. Bucks is also a Chicago Police Officer. 

The project
"Without Wintrust, we would not have been able to have this event," said Bracken about the project's major sponsor. "They are wonderful people to work with." 

"The interest and response came from across the country as well as internationally. Purchasers included someone from Los Angeles and another from Boston in addition to someone in England." 

A total of more than $22,000 will be donated to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. While the raffle brought in approximately $1,200, the statues garnered between $500 and $3,500. Total sold thus far are 90, one of which was commissioned after the event. Bracken said that they are still encouraging others to step up and order more horses. 


"Keep your horse out of the window."*

The experience
Being involved with the horses has brought out interesting experiences. Jackson had to close off the windows in her studio because she kept getting interrupted by people stopping and starring or knocking on her door.

When Moss was asked if he talked with the horse, he said "no, but his moving in and out became quite an event for my [suburban] neighborhood.  They came out and starred and a lot of people decided to take their dog out for a walk." 

If you have one of these magnificent steeds in your living room and a person walks in not knowing about your treasure, well…let's just say that it is a show stopper!


*Photos courtesy of Jean-marc Giboux



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