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PUBLIC ART GEMS: THE REST OF CHICAGO

Our city's lesser-known gems, mixed in among more surprising places like a police station and an airport.

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Snow Sculpture for Chicago (2004)

Snow - Public ArtFor visitors that miss the snow in summer, treat yourself to an all too realistic Snow Sculpture for Chicago (1613 W. Chicago Ave.). Artist Tony Tasset created a realistic replica of a Chicago snow pile including crafted debris like matchbooks and a coffee cup. The artist states, "these piles of snow are sublime; both ugly and beautiful, like life."

Running Table (1997)

Running Table - Public ArtDan Peterman's Running Table (201 E. Randolph St.) is a 100-foot long eating space located in busy Millennium Park, but unknown to many as public art. The table is made up entirely of recycled plastic – equivalent to some two million milk bottles! The piece is a dynamic expression of consumerism, recycling, and society's relationship with the environment.

The Haymarket Memorial (2005)

Haymarket - Public Art On May 4, 1886 policemen were ordered to break up a labor protest when a bomb went off, killing eight police officers and four civilians. Mary Brogger's sculpture represents the rewards and consequences inherent in society's pursuit human rights and justice.

 

The Body of Lake Michigan (2002)

Body of Lake Michigan - Public Art Todd Slaughter's The Body of Lake Michigan hovers above a security checkpoint at Midway Airport. It's a three-dimensional, fiberglass model of Lake Michigan that was constructed using data provided by the NOAA. The piece depicts the lake's volume as determined by the underlying topography of the Earth's surface.

Other Notable Pieces:

Build Your Ship
Messages of inspiration aren't limited to bumper stickers and high school football coaches; you can also find them through art, thankfully. The Build Your Ship motif incorporates ships amongst other modes of transportation to remind us that life is a journey. Artist Thomas McDonald hopes that the motif and "Build Your Ship" phrase will inspire viewers to examine their personal paths of life. 

14th District Police Station
What colors do you picture when thinking about a police station? Blue? Red? How about neon? The 14th District Police Station (2150 N. California Ave.) ditched the drab fluorescent light bulbs of most offices for neon tubes in 1985. Abstract artist Stephen Antonakos utilized the ceiling of the police station lobby as a continuous backdrop for his over one dozen neon tubes.

A Delicate Balance (1995)
Through his use of rudimentary materials in finely constructed forms, sculptor Terrence Karpowicz tells a cautionary tale of our existence. A Delicate Balance (7506 S. Racine Ave.) is a spherical object sitting carefully atop a silo of weathered granite. The globe-like object and its delicate steadiness represent the unease and struggle of our future.

Warm Fuzzy Fun (2001)
Art doesn't always have to be a profound journey or philosophical representation of life, sometimes it's just cool to look at. Christine Tarkowski's Warm Fuzzy Fun (1240 S. Damen Ave.) is composed of 180 four-foot-squares that have been screen-printed with stuffed animals along the façade of the Chicago Children's Advocacy Center.


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