Chicago Art Magazine’s Week in Review by Kathryn Born

July 23rd, 2010

A Post About Public Art

Printable guide! Let’s start with a complete weekend list – If you look at the Chicago Art Map calendar tab, you can see the vast array, some 30 events. Too many to begin shout outs for, but lots of eclectic stuff.

Today’s blog post will be about the art on the street. We did a piece on Manilow Sculpture Park  (including how to apply to show sculpture there) and how they’re totally re-vamping the effort, including a book with paper models of all the art, which sounds outstanding.

So I’m writing a post exclusively about public art for one simple reason, once you read a few posts and look at these pictures, something will happen — you’ll start noticing public art everywhere you go.  Also, I discovered this blog Public Art in Chicago. This blogger who goes by Jyoti has a completely comprehensive and image-laden guide. It’s a one-stop shop for the armchair culturist.

So from the Native Americans stripped of their weapons to the guy on a beam in Evanston, and even to “God Bless America”, the American-Gothic based statue that looked like the biggest Hummel you’d ever seen —  it’s public art (even though it’s on private property and privately commissioned). For all practical purposes, if it’s sitting on the street, it’s public art.

Public Art is fascinating in that, as a rule, the art world is a private world that doesn’t take pride in being particularly inviting to non-art people. But then come these city-funded initiatives (Percent for Art Ordinance) that are built into real estate development efforts, and then art and the real world collide.  So keep your eyes open, on some level, the clash between art and the public is the eye of the art world storm. Speaking of which, this Eye is pretty hard to miss.

-Kathryn Born

Kathryn is the Editor-in-Chief of Chicago Art Magazine, which includes a network of additional websites about arts and culture. She is a conceptual artist and writer, whose work  has appeared on Chicago Public Radio, Time Out, RedEye and Chicago Tribune.  She has three books due to be published, the first being The Lovers, the Death, and the Crimes, published by StepSister Press due for release on September 23, 2010.

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