Friday, April 21, 2017

Public Art In Chicago In, Around & Underground The Cultural Center

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) have designated 2017 the "Year of Public Art". MindsiMedia is a big fan of the city's extensive collection of public art. ChiTownView has recently added a half dozen new videos all highlighting art spanning over a hundred years all in around and underground from the Chicago Cultural Center.

The Cultural Center is a pretty amazing place and until recently I've walked past hundreds of time without going in. Located on Michigan Ave. between Washington & Randolph it's right across the street from Millenium Park. It was built in 1897 at a time when cities tried to outdo each other in constructing magnificent public spaces. For most of the first 100 years it served as Chicago's main library. Then in 1991 the Harold Washington Center opened on the south end of the loop and took over that function. Thus the CulturalCenter was born.

The building was designed by and it's architectural style is neoclassical with Italian Renaissance elements and is construction materials includes granite, marble, mahogany and bronze. Each year it holds hundreds of art exhibitions, hosts concert, screens films and much more. It is also home to two stunning stained glass domes. There is the well known world's largest Tiffany dome located off the Washington entrance. That's what first brought me into this building. 

A truly magnificent work of art is it not?  But there is another large stained glass dome that most people aren't aware of. It's on the north end of the center in G.A.R. Hall. Here is a look at that one.

From now until the end of July the Cultural Center is hosting two very interesting displays of African American public art. The first is a photo exhibition on The Wall Of Respect which was a groundbreaking urban mural that was created on Chicago's south side in 1967.

The second display consists of thirty two 10' X 4' double doors painted in acrylic that hung inside Malcolm X College until it was recently demolished. The artist Eugene Eda took two years to complete this collection.

To continue our exploration of this bounty of public art we go outside and across the street to Millenium Park to explore the "tire art" of Chakaia Booker.

And for the final stop on our one block tour we venture down into Chicago's series of underground pedways where we find an awesome display of gorgeous American Victorian stained glass. It can be found right outside of Macy's which is right next to the Cultural Center.

So there you have it six examples of Chicago's vast collection of public art all within a thousand feet of one another. ChiTownView has dozens of videos with more statues, murals etc. We collected them in the playlist Public Art; Statues, Fountains, Mosaic, Murals, Street Art etc.

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