Rick Harney says he talked with Roger’s widow, Chaz, throughout the project and did his best to humanize Ebert.
“He worked hard. He fell in love. He got sick. Those are things that everyone can relate to. I tried to make it so he didn’t look to statuesque. I just tried to see him like a regular guy,” says Harney.
Chaz Ebert says her husband would have felt honored that the statue was built, but embarrassed because he was modest.
The sculpture will remain outside the Virginia Theater during this year's EbertFest, which ends Sunday. Those who commissioned it hope to have it permanently installed this summer.
Ebert, a longtime Chicago Sun-Times critic and Urbana native died last April.