Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lakefront Sculpture Exhibit

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Barring a few, most pieces of public art are not popular tourist destinations, but are enjoyed by denizens of the local communities. Just as people embellish their houses with decorative arts, so they adorn their communities with sculptures, fountains, murals and paintings. There is always a sense of civic pride associated with well maintained neighborhoods..
But public art always has a price-tag!
And someone has to pick up the tab!

Anyone strolling through the north Lakefront area, would come across many sculptures and monuments. Some of these are permanent installations and some temporary. Today I'm talking about temporary exhibits, specifically, the 20 large-scale sculptures on display throughout the 43rd and 44th Wards. These are a part of Lakefront Sculpture Exhibit. The display is from spring of one year to spring of the next year. The theme changes each year. Every piece is available for auction at the conclusion of the show.
And who picks up the tab for such large-scale public art displays?

The answer from their website click here..
The Lakefront Sculpture Exhibit [LSE] is a privately funded, not-for-profit corporation. Sponsors from the community contribute financially, serve on the jury and attend related events. Their commitment to providing our neighborhood with this unique form of beautification makes this event possible every year and we could not do this without their support...

I think they are doing a very commendable job!! There is very little awareness about the behind-the-scene people, who make it happen. The Lincoln Park Lake View Art Initiative is a partnership of 43rd Ward Alderman Vi Daley and 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, with the City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs, Public Art Program.
Lead sponsors include the Chicago Cubs, General Iron, Saint Joseph Hospital, A. Finkl & Sons, the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce and the Wrightwood Neighbors Association.

I would also like to bring out another wonderful aspect, their detailed website. It has photographs of the various art-works and the artists, and few words on the inspiration behind art-work, location and information on sponsors. Very impressive!

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Case-in-point, take this installation..
Foxgloves and Fists..
The LSE website has it's image as well as the artist's image and details like..
6’ x 2.25’
Steel, Fiberglass with Ceramic and Glass
Artist: Nicole Beck
Sponsor: Newsweb Corporation
Location: Stockton Drive and Webster..
“Foxgloves and Fists” is one of the most attractive depictions of man's continuing fight with nature. Foxgloves (digitalis purpurea) are toxic to man, yet their beauty is what draws us. Fists wrap around the brightly colored mosaic. On the top of the column, the foxgloves are reflected in the sunlight. The mosaic tiles and brightly painted fists incorporate and reflect the colors of the gardens...

That's all the information most people look for, name, artist, description, location, sponsor, inspiration, year.. The website details it all! And this is just one example. Anyone can trace all their art-installations from the time the Lakefront Sculpture Exhibit began in the year 2002. I always enjoy an art installation more if I know what the artist had on mind..
So kudos for the well-maintained website!

And if anyone argues that in this age of internet it's easy to find out information on net, I totally disagree..

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Take these two images, both on the Magnificent Mile..
I have spent so much time, trying to find out information on these [temporary] installations, apparently in the year, 2007.. But I could not find much..
- Flora inspired fashion dressing forms in the Gardens of The Magnificent Mile, produced by the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association [GNMAA]. Just three years later, in 2010, when I want to see the various installations on what seems to be a fun topic, I can't find any image! What a bummer!
- Sculptural bicycles?? What's the story behind these?? What was the theme?? I wish there was more information on these..
So here's a request to GNMAA to maintain a better website and document the various art installations they sponsor! Just a few hours work and the information will be preserved forever!

Images displayed of Lakefront Sculpture Exhibit..
# Bridge.. By Jennifer Dickson..
# Boeing .. By Michael Gruza..
# Foxgloves and Fists.. By Nicole Beck

For more information:
# Lakefront Sculpture Exhibit
# Lakefront Sculptor Exhibit..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I came across your blog by accident by googling the Lakefront Sculpture Exhibition. I love your coverage of public art and I really appreciate your coverage of the exhibition. I would love to invite you to the LSE opening reception this Friday June 4th at 1544 N Sedgwick 6-9 PM. if you are interested it will give you a glimpse at the new sculptures that have been installed for the next year.

I didn't intend for this to be posted in the comments section but I didn't see any other way of contacting you

Jen Dickson