Just one of the things that makes our city great is Chicago’s Best Public Art Outdoor Sculpture walk. See Cloud Gate – or The Bean – and Picasso. Discover the story behind the faces on the Crown Fountain and a related sculpture exhibition, 1004 Faces. Engage in a debate on the beauty or lack thereof of Monument With Standing Beast in front of an equally debatable building, the Thompson Center. Murals, fountains, traditional sculpture, and carvings all add to Chicago’s great beauty.
We can begin with the highly recognizable Picasso – and we just call it The Picasso as it is unnamed – stands in downtown’s Daley Plaza. The Black Slate sculpture is over 50 feet tall and weighs in at more than 60 tons. We were a skeptical lot when it was unveiled in 1967 but have come to love it dearly. Now let’s take a walk down the street for a lesser known piece by an equally great artist, Marc Chagall.
Four Seasons is a colorful mosaic located in Chase Tower and was created using thousands of hand chipped glass and stone fragments. Rich and amazing it can hold your attention for a long time, however, we must move on to see a few more iconic Chicago pieces. Bowman and Spearman lead the way toward the Chicago lake front. The Bronze warriors watch over our city from Congress Plaza. Head toward the lake for our amazing fountains, Buckingham Fountain and Fountain of the Great Lakes. Catch Buckingham’s amazing light show at night – it is the symbol for a free and open lake front of which the city is so proud.
Take a short hike south along the lake front and you’ll find two more exhibitions – Agora, 106 nine-foot tall torso sculptures created from bronze, steel, and iron. A little further down south, Northerly Island is home to one of our favorite characters, Daphne in the Daphne Garden by Dessa Kirk is a stunning group of statues.
Back to the traditional and back downtown we find “Flamingo” in the Federal Plaza, a well recognized Chicago artwork by Alexander Calder. Move north this time and cross the Michigan Ave. Bridge to view amazing Art Deco stone carvings as you make your way to the Mag Mile.
We love our public spaces in Chicago and there are so many more sights to see. Peruse around, find your favorites, and let us know your discoveries in the comments! We’re always looking for Chicago’s Best.