Walsh Park: Playground Art
In the summer of 2000, the Chicago Park District staff met with community members of the east Bucktown neighborhood to make plans for a renovation of Walsh Park. Countless individuals and local businesses donated funds for the improvements, which included a new playground surface and equipment, landscaping, and a dog park.
As part of the renovation, a series of knee walls surrounding the new playground were decorated with glazed ceramic tiles. Artist Jen Z. Johns created the artwork, which portrays a repeating pattern of tightly knit, soft-green leaves. Pops of bright pink flowers brighten the composition. In additional to the flowers, pink circular medallions appear every few feet. The medallions display the names of the community members and local businesses that helped sponsor the renovation. The artwork is thus a fitting tribute to the community’s effort to beautify their park and make it a more welcoming space.