[photo: Janet Austin, Mr. Big Beetle Finds His Way, Indian Boundary Park]
The Chicago Park District has 15 Cultural Centers geographically distributed throughout the city that serve as creative hubs for their communities.
Each Cultural Center provides a wide range of offerings for patrons of all ages, including arts partnerships, after schools arts programming, art camps, visual art exhibitions, and more. When you enter a Cultural Center, you can see, feel, and hear the art happening—whether it’s an exhibit of woodshop art at the South Shore Cultural Center, a play rehearsal at Berger, or an art class at Hamilton.
As a visual signifier of the art happening within and around these buildings, each Cultural Center is home to a work of public sculpture. Since 2013, the Park District public art program has partnered with Chicago Sculpture International to rotate a new piece of public art to each of the 15 Cultural Centers every year. The curation and placement of these sculptures are specific to each Cultural Center.
Artist Margot McMahon, whose sculpture Hawk and Dove sits on the lawn in front of the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, says of the initiative:
“Sharing sculpture at Lincoln Park’s Cultural Center offers an identity to the community and the opportunity for families, visitors and friends to engage in visual dialogue that may inspire making art.
Hawk and Dove, in cast marble, are resting dichotomous birds, the vertical warrior hawk and the horizontal dove of peace. This contemporary totem reflects the community, along Chicago’s flyway, whose experience of urban nature is heightened by the presence of sculpted birds… Public sculpture builds community by reflecting a neighborhood’s sensibility that is then strengthened by a shared symbol.”
Cultural Centers encourage all Chicagoans to explore and embrace the visual and performing arts and their power to enhance individual quality of life, neighborhood development, and community dialogue.
Visit a Cultural Center in a park near you today to see what great things they have to offer!
Tess Little, Imagine Peace
Indian Boundary Park
Janet Austin, Mr. Big Beetle Finds His Way
Margot McMahon, Hawk and Dove
Austin Town Hall Park
Austin Collins, Black Wedding Cake
Paul Russell, Ancient Protocol (on temporary loan through July 8th, 2017)
Mark Warwick, People and Places
Austin Collins, White Wedding Cake
Melanie Cooper Pennington, Witness Your Self
Hilde Debruyne, Wings of Change
Ted Sitting Crow Garner, Bumble
Kai Schulte, Facing Forward
Nicole Beck, Asteray
South Shore Cultural Center
Eric Stephenson, Emergence #11
Andrew Arvanetes, Tin Man, Too
West Pullman Park
Bobby Joe Scribner, Moonshine