Last July, the Chicago chapter of the CreativeMornings community held their 55th monthly gathering with speakers Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero, the couple behind art-installation studio Luftwerk. Regarding public art, they recommend: “Let it live. Let it go wild.”
When art is installed—even integrated—into public areas, it begs to be noticed. While traveling through Chicago and elsewhere, I recalled a few examples of artistry, in the open, that happened to catch my attention.
This tree, in a Chicago South Loop neighborhood, wrapped in yarn.
This parking lot, in Downtown, illustrated with a mural.
This tree stump, at Starved Rock State Park, carved into a sculpture.
Each demonstrated a physical transformation of both the object and its surroundings. Visitors are likely to take a pause to feel a bit of wonder. Encountering each interpretation of art, situated in the public, reawakened a sense of delight. I smiled with my eyes.
I’d like to think this is the fundamental purpose of public art. That no matter how arid a person is in the inside, seeing something imaginative and unexpected helps facilitate a positive impression, a taste of the extraordinary, even if the resulting experience is short-lived. The artistic pulse beats on, especially in common spaces—the public wild.
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Big thanks: to Braintree, The Nerdery (Host), Hannah’s Bretzel, Green Sheep Water, Lyft, for being Partners of monthly Chicago CreativeMornings #55; to organizers Kim Knoll and Kyle Eertmoed who both spoke at Chicago CreativeMornings #7; to the team of volunteers for greatly helping to have CreativeMornings happen monthly in Chicago.
Especially big thanks: to Tina Roth Eisenberg—Swissmiss—for inventing CreativeMornings in 2008. The fifth chapter was launched in Chicago, June 2011—my write-ups and photos.
Read more about the people who make the Chicago chapter of CreativeMornings possible.
• • •My coverage: read more write-ups about CreativeMornings; view photos of CreativeMornings/Chicago gatherings.
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2011 was Chicago CreativeMornings’ debut year. Download the entire collection of selected insights.