Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Museum Campus: Adler Planetarium Plaza [America's Courtyard - by Denise Milan and Ary Perez]

America's Courtyard ...
Artist: Denise Milan and Ary Perez
Description: granite and marble block installation,
56 pieces granite and 4 pieces marble ...
Location: Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum
1300 S Lake Shore Drive Museum Campus ..
City of Chicago Public Art Collection ..

The plaque reads ...
" America's Courtyard
A Symbolic Intergration of the Americans
by Denise Milan and Ary Perez
Appropiate to its location adjacent to the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, this sculpture embodies the spiral shape of the galaxies, while being reminiscent of ancient observatories.
At it's center, the thin spaces between between the four stones align with the north-south and east-west compass points.
Leading away from these four center stones are four open avenues through the spiral of stones. These avenues aim to the skyline where the sun rises and sets at the June and December solstices.
Any clear morning or evening during the year, park visitors may check the progress of the seasons by seeing where the sun rises or sets between these two extremes."

Composed of stone blocks of various colors and origins America's Courtyard is a tribute to ethnic diversity in America. The installation was designed to be modular, allowing the sculpture to be reorganized in relation to its surrounding. The arena was stones was originally located near the Art Institute of Chicago but was later moved to a permanent location on the lawn of the Adler Planetarium. here the sculpture was reconfigured to resemble a spiral-shaped galaxy. Artists Amy Perez and Denise Milan worked in conjucture with Adler archeoastronomer Phyllis Pitluga to orient the sculpture to mark the sun's passage through seasonal euqinoxes. The foiur pathways from the center of the piece correspond to the points on the horizon where the sun reaches its northernmost and southernmost settings on the solstices.

For more on Grant Park ..
# Public Art in the Grant Park .. click here ....
# Gardens in the Grant Park .. click here ..
# Often overlooked but remarkable features like pedestrian crossings, the railway lines underneath, the street lamp posts, balustrade, corbels, the Y-symbols .. click here ..
# For a brief history of Grant Park .. click here ..