Artists dressing up Springfield with Lincoln hats

April 14, 2009 (SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) And another. And another. And another.

More than a dozen artists from Springfield and beyond are designing their own variations on Lincoln's signature head gear. The hats are part of a Rotary Club project and will be placed around the city around Memorial Day.

Springfield artist Annette Johnson calls her fiberglass hat "Lincoln Springfield." It will be decorated with scenes from familiar Lincoln spots around town such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and the president's home. She plans to add quotes from Lincoln's farewell address to Springfield to her hat's brim.

"I hope this has the same kind of impact," she told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register. "It's just another way of getting the Lincoln story out."

The exhibit is patterned after the hundreds of variously decorated cows that were scattered around Chicago in 1999 for "Cows on Parade."

The large painted hats will be coated in protective sealant, mounted on concrete bases and set up around town, project chairman Brian Barstead said. Some of the hats will be smaller for storefront displays.

The artists include Thom Cicchelli of Chicago, designer of the Illinois state quarter.

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