Art in the Parks: How to Install a Giant Flower

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Just South of Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park some very special flowers are in bloom. Out of the middle of a bed of boxwood and lavender two stems of perfect white orchids with bright yellow centers stand tall. Very tall. Like, thirty feet tall! These steel and aluminum giants are artist Isa Genzken’s Two Orchids. They were installed last week as part of the Chicago Park District’s collaboration with EXPO Chicago.

To a passer-by, it may seem like pieces of art go up in the blink of an eye. In reality, installing a fragile—and heavy!—work of public art is a complex process. Months of planning and preparation lead up to the big day when a team of professional art installers come out to make it all happen.

Lucky for us, photographer Sandra Steinbrecher joined us during the installation on Two Orchids and captured the process in a series of beautiful photographs that we’d like to share with you in this month’s Public Art in the Parks blog post!

All photographs © Sandra Steinbrecher 2017


Thanks for coming along on this flowery journey! Follow @ChicagoParks on Instagram and Snapchat for insider details on future installations.

Isa Genzken
Two Orchids, 2015
Stainless Steel, Aluminum
7.9’ x 6.6’ x 34’ and 6.8’ x 6.9’ x 28.6’

Michaele Strauch