Tours five sculptures along lakefront from 48th Street to Adler Planetarium.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Park District General Superintendent Mike Kelly, James Rondeau, the curator of the Art Institute of Chicago, artist Robert Lowe and members of the arts community today toured five sculptures that have been recently installed in public areas along the lakefront.
“Public art installations allow Chicagoans to be active participants in arts and culture, and as part of the Chicago Cultural Plan, we’ve made progress on a number of fronts to bring the arts directly to Chicago neighborhoods,” said Mayor Emanuel. “From Sculpture on the Boulevards to art installations on the lake front to more than 1,000 events through Night out in the Parks, we’re embracing the City’s thriving arts community and making it more accessible to all residents in neighborhoods throughout the City.”
These public art installations are part of Mayor Emanuel’s efforts to bring public art directly to Chicago neighborhoods and fits into his citywide vision for art and culture, as outlined under the Chicago Cultural Plan. The temporary art installations will be on display for one year.
“The Chicago Park District is pleased to provide access to art and culture in its parks,” said Superintendent Kelly. “Public art serves as a vehicle for community engagement, and creates a positive impact on park users.”
The group first viewed three sculptures by Alice Aycock. Painted aluminum sculptures Twin Vortexes and Spin the Spin have been installed on Lake Shore Drive bike path at 47th and 48th streets. A third reinforced fiberglass sculpture, Waltzing Matilda, has been installed on Lake Shore Drive bike path at 46th street. The artist describes these sculptures as the movement of wind energy, and all three were previously displayed on Park Avenue in New York City.
The group then traveled to the Museum Park Campus at the intersection of McFetridge and Museum Drive near Soldier Field to view artist Robert Lobe’s sculpture, entitled Nature’s Clock. The artist described his piece to the group; this sculpture fits a set of boulder and tree forms snugly into the lawn like a forest in the garden. Trees in the piece cross as if hands on a clock suggest that time is ticking. Another installation by Robert Lobe is Eastern Hophornbeam, which is located at Diversey Harbor Inlet North, but was not part of the tour . The artist describes the sculpture’s embracing limbs as “lovers in the forest.”
For the final stop, the group visited Adler Planetarium to view Ai Wewei’s sculpture, entitled Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads. In this piece, the Chinese contemporary artist has reinterpreted the twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac that once adorned the famed fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan, an imperial retreat in Beijing. It is the centerpiece of a global, multi-year touring exhibition that is being presented in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Each artist donated their artwork for display and the Park District covered the installation costs.