Current Temporary Artworks
These pieces were selected through an invitational process guided by a partnership between The Trust for Public Land, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Artworks are listed in alphabetical order by art piece title.
Artist: Jenny Kendler
Location: Between Kimball Ave and St. Louis St on Bloomingdale Trail
Birds Watching is a 40-foot long sculpture composed of a “flock” of one hundred reflective bird’s eyes mounted on aluminum, created for Storm King’s exhibition Indicators: Artists on Climate Change. The luminous eyes wrap a hill of native grasses in a ten-foot-high band of color, “gazing back” when illuminated. Each eye belongs to a species of bird considered threatened or endangered by climate change in the United States—creating a potent portrait of what we stand to lose.
Within the gaze of these many others, the work asks us to consider our own responsibility for climate change’s myriad effects on other beings. Have we allowed birds and other nonhumans—with their unique and wondrous lifeways—to become the sacrifice zones of extraction capitalism? As Surrealist André Breton suggested, in order to change ways of being, we must first change ways of seeing.
For more on the piece and the artist visit: https://jennykendler.com/section/466865-Birds-Watching.html
Artist: Chakaia Booker
Location: Damen Arts Plaza
Since the 1980s Chakaia Booker has been addressing ecological concerns and explorations of racial and economic difference, globalization, and gender. In the 1990s she began recycling discarded tires into complex assemblages and creating the type of objects for which she is most widely known. The worn and patinated finish of the rubber parallels human diversity, while the tire treads suggest images as varied as African scarification and textile designs. The visible wear and tear on the tires evokes the physical marks of human aging. Equally, Booker’s use of discarded tires references industrialization, consumer culture, and environmental concerns. Her work, as yet untitled, will be installed during the opening season and remain up for at least one year, with the possibility of a one-year extension.
Booker has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Rutgers University and a Master of Fine Arts from the City College of New York (CUNY). Booker’s inspirations embrace a wide range of disciplines ranging from African dance, ceramics, weaving, basketry to t’ai chi.
Children Are Our Future
Artists: John Weber and Catherine Cajandig
Location: California Ave and Bloomingdale Ave (under the Bloomingdale Trail)
Organizations: Chicago Public Art Group and Youth Service Project
Originally installed in 1979 by the artists in collaboration with Youth Service Project as part of The United Nation’s “Year of the Child,” the current project brings the original partners together to reimagine that work. The original work at Bloomingdale and California gained historic importance as the first post-modern mural in the Midwest, substituting text for images, using bilingual texts and using mixed materials symbolically. Cement relief portions never vandalized in any way, over 35 years demonstrates the effective communication of non-figurative elements.
The “renewed” mural will tell current residents that they are part of an on-going neighborhood history and serve as a message from one generation to another.
“Pay Attention” “Halo Chart”
Artist: Louis de Marco
Location: Churchill Field Park Dog Friendly Area
Organization: Project Onward
Louis DeMarco (b. 1985, Chicago) is an artist with autism who has developed visual strategies for both describing and coping with the anxieties, obsessions, and distractions that sometimes overwhelm him.
DeMarco painstakingly catalogues the “clouds” (each with its own distinct color) that appear above him when neuroses and fears overtake him. The Cloud Chart is a sort of emotional periodic chart that reflects the artist’s effort to understand his own negative behaviors. DeMarco counters the negativity of the Cloud Chart with the more hopeful Halo Chart, an inventory of positive behaviors that are cloud antidotes. Similarly, Pay Attention is an example of his text-based series Words to Live by, which includes positive reminders and motivational messages carefully rendered in yellow block letters against a background of blue skies and puffy white clouds.
An alumnus of Gallery 37, the City of Chicago’s youth arts program, DeMarco joined Project Onward in 2005. As a Project Onward artist, his work has been featured in exhibitions all over the world, including the Museum of Everything’s Exhibition #4 in London, featuring his text-based drawing “You’re Not Only Human” on the cover of the exhibition catalogue. In 2012 he was commissioned by Chicago musician and educator Matt Baron to create the 16-page album art for Songs for Learning, the debut CD by Baron’s band Future Hits. In addition to being a highly skilled visual artist, Louis DeMarco is also an accomplished bass player and songwriter for the rock-and-roll band DHF Express, fronted by fellow Project Onward artist Adam Hines.
Project Onward is a nonprofit studio and gallery dedicated to supporting the career development of visual artists with mental and developmental disabilities. Located in the Bridgeport Art Center, Project Onward provides workspace, art materials, and opportunities for professional growth to artists who have exceptional abilities but face challenges ranging from autism to mental illness.
Location: Bloomingdale Ave, between Kimball Ave and Central Park Ave (south facing walls)
Organization: Kuumba Lynx
A collective of artists representing a multi-generational cross-section of crews painting in Chicago, have organized a series of permission walls that will include crews that have been painting along Bloomingdale Avenue since the 1980’s as well as international and emerging artists. These crews originally formed as an alternative to street violence and many work to promote strong communities.
Location: Milwaukee Ave Bridge on the Bloomingdale Trail
Inspired by the Living Work of Art that is The 606, “Turning Sky” is an ephemeral lighting station that visualizes local weather and atmospheric conditions on the trail. Patterns of clouds varying in speed coincide with wind data, velocity, and direction, and the ever-changing colors represent temperature.