Favorite thing: This striking mosaic decorates one of the entrances to the Savings of America Building at 120 N. LaSalle in the Loop. Its full title is "Arts and Sciences of the Ancient World: the Flight of Dedalus and Icarus," and it is the work of the late Chicago artist Roger Brown (1941-1997). Glass for the mosaic came from a studio near Venice.
Favorite thing: Mayor Daley's tenure has been marked by a growing recognition of the identity and significance of Chicago's neighborhoods. One neighborhood which has seen a great deal of new economic activity in recent years has been Greek Town, just to the west of the Loop along Halsted Ave. In 1998, Greektown received in own "entrance mark," in the form of the ""Peristyle temple" at the corner of Van Buren and Halsted. The sculpture is the work of local artist Andy Pappas.
This "Moose on the Loose" is currently grazing in front of the Tribune Tower, just off Michigan Ave. north of the drawbridge.
It's the work of Chicago-area sculptor John Kearney, who has created a number of similar creatures scattered through the Chicago area.
(There are three deer grazing on the elevated plaza just to the side of the Aon Tower on Randolph.)
Here's a little known corner of Chicago. At the base of the rather forbidding Aon Center tower is a small sculpture garden - in one of which stands a small grove of trees. There you will find these three metalic deer, seeming to chomp away at the foiliage.
At first I thought they were horses - but what would horses be doing in the middle of a clump of trees?
Anyway, they are the work of Chicago-based sculptor John Kearney (1924- ). Kearney was educated at the Cranbrook Academy in Michigan, and the University per Stranieri in Perugia Italy, and was the co-founder (in 1950) of the Contemporary Art Workshop here in Chicago. Apparently, he learned how to weld when he was in the US Navy during World War II!
Another one of his heroic animals, the Moose on the Loose, can currently (2007) be seen in front of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. Itsfunhavingfun (Kevin) tells me that there are other pieces of his scattered throughout Chicagoland.
Marc Chagall (1885-1987) was one of the greatest muralists of the 20th century, and the Loop is home to one of his most impressive: a 70 foot by 14 foot mosaic called (appropriately, since it is outdoors) "Four Seasons." It was unveiled in 1974, and for many years was unprotected, but in the 1990s a protective layer of glass was affixed to its front.
The Chagall mural is in the sunken Exelon Plaza, at the corner of Dearborn and Monroe. (It was originally First National Plaza, and has gone through many name changes over the last thirty years. Bank mergers!) If you like Chagall, be sure to get over to the Art Institute to see the America Windows, brilliant blue panels created by the artist to commemorate the US bicentennial in 1976.
Favorite thing: Located at Michigan Avenue at Randolph St., the MILLENIUM MONUMENT designed by Chicago architects OWP/P. is a nearly full-size replica of the original, semi-circle peristyle of Doric-style columns that graced the northwest corner of Grant Park between 1917 and 1953. In appreciation of the park's founders, the monument displays their names along its base.
Favorite thing: Located near the Cook County Administrative Building at 69 W. Washington St., the playful image of Joan Miro's MIRO'S CHICAGO is derived from the artist's memories of his homeland in Catalonia Spain. Using his unique visual symbolism, Miro envisions the mystical presence of an earth deity, both cosmic and worldly.
Favorite thing: The Frank Geary designed JAY PRITZKER PAVILION is located in Millennium Park on Randolph Street between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. Chicago's newest masterpiece of architecture and design, it is the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States. The music pavilion showcases billowing curves of stainless steel and includes a vast steel trellis, which forms an accoustical canopy extending south over the Great Lawn. It was an absolutely stunning presence.
Favorite thing: The great bronze LIONS guarding the entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago, have been a presence and a symbol of the museum for over 110 years. Larger than life-size, Edward Kemeys "Lions" are realistically depicted, but have inspired more affection than fear over the years. Their poses are similar although not identical. One is "on the prowl" and the other "stands in an attitude of defiance". As it was the Christmas Holidays, each one was adorned with a big red bow.
Favorite thing: Located near the entrance to the Chicago Cultural Center (Washington and Michigan Ave ), Nathan Mason's COW is a bronze sculpture 57 inches high amd 92 inches long. It was a gift of the Hanig family and anonymous donors to the people of Chicago
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