Sunday, November 6, 2011

Art on the street makes walking a pleasure

One of the many benefits to walking on city streets is that it allows us to enjoy our surroundings at a leisurely pace. Instead of racing by everything along the street in a motor vehicle, we’re able to take it all in from the sidewalk as we pass relatively slowly. In Lincoln Park, we’re lucky to have plenty of things to look at as we walk, and one of the most enjoyable is works of art. 

We were inspired to cover this topic in today’s blog post because of the newest piece of art that has been added to our neighborhood landscape, pictured below. Have you seen it yet? It’s at the corner of Armitage and Burling, kitty corner from Lincoln Park High School.
A new sculpture in Lincoln Park resembles a giant blue windmill. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)

It’s rumored to be a piece by artist John Henry and erected at its current location about one week ago. It's on a private lot, on the site of a yet-unfinished new single family home. Opinions about the new addition vary, with some questioning whether the scale of the sculpture is appropriate for the lot size, and whether the beams extending over the sidewalk violate the public right of way. We’ll probably hear  more about this new piece of art in the coming weeks. But whether you love it or hate it, it’s certainly fun to gape at as you walk past.
A person walking on Armitage takes in the view of the new sculpture at Burling Street. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
That piece of art may be new to you, but below are some of the most familiar in Lincoln Park. You’ve probably seen them all so often in your walks in our neighborhood, you’ll know exactly where they are before you even read the captions.
Large-scale piece at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Fullerton and Cannon Drive.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
This sculpture of German writer Goethe is a familiar sight at the corner of Diversey and Cannon Drive.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
This sculpture draws the eye in the garden in front of the Midwest Buddhist Temple on Menomonee Street.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
The Hans Christian Andersen statute on Stockton Drive provides pedestrians and picnickers an item of visual interest.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Where can we find works of art representing the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy, and the Tin Man? Oz Park, of course.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
We love it when art is found in unexpected places. Anyone who has walked on Dickens between Clark and Lincoln Park West has spotted the cow sculpture from the famous Cows on Parade exhibit on Michigan Avenue a few years ago. It’s not on the ground, where you’d expect a cow, but up on the entry porch roof.
Look up! It's a cow, on a roof. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Some art is placed temporarily, meant to be enjoyed for only a year, or maybe even a week or two. We consider nicely done window displays as fleeting works of art.

Paper Source on Armitage is always good for a nice window display. Thanks for adding beauty to our streets!
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
This piece by Wilfredo Vilez is called "Getting Older While Standing in Line" and will be on display near St. Michael's Church in Old Town until spring 2012 and then available for sale.  (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
And finally, there’s street art. Sometimes it’s not clear whether they were commissioned murals painted with the consent of the owner, or whether they’re “impromptu” expressions of artistry, therefore technically vandalism, but when they’re done with permission and with style, they add visual interest to the street, always a good thing. (Let the record reflect we're firmly opposed to graffiti and vandalism.)

Art doesn't always have to be formal or high brow, nor does it even need to make sense. Sometimes, it's just amusing.
Part of a mural leading patrons from Clark Street down the alley to Neo. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
"I wish I could love", seen on Clark Street.  (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
What do you think of the new "blue windmill"? When you’re walking in Lincoln Park, are there any works of art you love to see every time you pass?

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