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Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Tag - Year of Public Art

Chicago's Year of Public Art rolls on with an exciting addition to the already amazing diversity of programs, talks, and of course, compelling new public art installations. Kerry James Marshall, the celebrated contemporary artist is bringing a massive new piece to the Chicago Cultural Center over the coming weeks — and at 132 by 100 feet — it will be nothing short of epic.

If you haven’t been to Rogers Park in some time, you know have a number of new reasons to jump on the Red Line (or the Metra) and make your way up to this diverse and dynamic North Side neighborhood.

The weather is cooler, but the #ChicagoLeafPeeping is prime. As autumn wraps the city in reds and golds, it's the perfect time to check out the harvest festivals and Oktoberfests that are popping up around town. As we cruise into a new month, take a moment to check out the biggest events happening in October, and make some time for these weekend picks (that is, if you don't stay out too late at these bars that keep the party going past last call). 

As we continue to support Chicago's Year of Public Art, I thought of Chicago's Fabulous Fountains, which happens to be a new book by local author Greg Borzo. Greg has written about a vast range of Windy City topics over the years, and he's one of the go-to experts when people want thoughtful commentary on such matters. I reached out to Greg to ask him a few questions about his favorite fountains and how these unique objects contribute to Chicago's public art landscape. 

Look Up and Enjoy Override!

Saturday, September 2, 2017 8:00 AM by Max Grinnell

Chicago’s Year of Public Art rolls on with the OVERRIDE project, which brings together a range of artists from Tokyo to Los Angeles who worked in the world of billboards. While most people might not think of billboards as a way to convey a range of artistic ideas, this cadre of talent welcomes the challenge and the visibility of such urban adornments.

If you’ve been to Millennium Park, you’ve probably looked up at the stunning fountains at the northeast corner of Monroe Street and Michigan Avenue. They are, of course, the wonderful Crown Fountain designed and executed by the Catalan artist Jaume Plensa. Since their installation in 2004, millions of people have played in the water that surrounds the fountains in the summer and enjoyed watching a rotating cast of Chicagoans projected on the screens that add a bit of whimsy to these amazing pieces of art.

Chicago’s public art continues to receive accolades from all corners and even a short walk through the Loop will reveal masterpieces by Louise Nevelson, Pablo Picasso, and Jean Dubuffet. Fortunately, 2017 also happens to be the official Year of Public Art in the city so there are a number of new and compelling installations around the city.

If you haven’t heard, 2017 is the Year of Public Art in Chicago, and there are hundreds of fascinating exhibits, talks, public programs, walks and more going on until the end of the year in neighborhoods around the city, from the far Northwest Side to Hegewisch. Not surprisingly, the Chicago Cultural Center is the nerve center of many programs, including several rotating exhibits, public conversations and other events for locals and visitors.

A trip to Navy Pier always promises a day of fun, but this spring, visitors to Chicago's top family travel destination will be invited to seesaw into the season... literally! Impulse, an internationally acclaimed, interactive public-art installation of 15 musical and illuminated seesaws in Polk Bros Park, invites both little kids and kids at heart to bounce to musical beats and beams of light at this musical playground.

At the south end of Grant Park, 106 headless and armless torsos walk aimlessly in circles. Each figure stands ten feet tall and weighs about 1,800 pounds. Some face each other, others ignore their peers.

Thankfully, these are not real human torsos, but iron sculptures, designed by famed Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz.

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