All posts tagged: Washington Park

Reflections of the ECLIPSING Festival

I’ll begin at the end. Arms raised, knees levering, booties popping, we danced to the beats served by DJ Hijo Pródigo in the Currency Exchange Café, which had turned into a bar for the night, serving up cocktails loaded with activated charcoal. We had an hour before been perched next door on stools and benches for a reading at the BING art books store, and an hour before that stood chatting with cheese cubes on napkins in the Arts Incubator gallery. Nearly a festival in itself, it was the closing night of the monumental ECLIPSING festival: three months that included a performance series, a group and a solo exhibition, workshops, a vegan market, and a “performative lecture” in four arts venues around Chicago. The festival, whose full title is ECLIPSING: the politics of night, the politics of light, was organized by Amina Ross and took place between January and March. The word Ross used to describe the robust programming is “holistic.” An eclipse is a drama, a shifting in the relationships between the looker, the looked-at, and the …

Smiling Behind the Sun: An Interview with Vincent Wade

Libyans sometimes refer to being arrested and taken away without warning as being “taken behind the sun.” This interview series celebrates—through conversations with formerly-incarcerated artists and their allies—the ways in which an artistic, creative life can transmute the impact and redefine the legacy of an experience within the Prison Industrial Complex.  In 1984, Vincent Wade was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, based on a confession tortured out of him by Chicago police detectives. He spent 31 years in state prison, teaching and working as an artist in every available medium, sharpening his skills for the day he would walk free. On August 14, 2015—years after proof of systematic torture and coercion by the Chicago Police Department was uncovered—Vincent was finally released. While groups like Chicago Torture Justice Memorials continue to fight on behalf of Chicago police torture survivors, Vincent remains focused on the thing that got him through more than three decades behind bars: his art. We sat down just south of Washington Park to talk about Vincent’s artistic mentors, his …

Mental Strikes Again

Mental 312, the artist already responsible for one large piece of street art visible from the Green Line has recently created another. The new piece adorns an abandoned three-flat near the Garfield stop. It is the same geometric style as his other recent piece (near the Green Line Indiana station), except rendered in purple instead of teal. If you find yourself in the Washington Park area, I recommend taking a closer look.

Hyde Park Public Art (1 of 5)

In the earlier decades of the twentieth century, Lorado Taft may have been Chicago’s most famous artist. His was a name I’d never heard before, but after a little research I realized I’d seen his sculptures all over town. I first saw his “Fountain of The Great Lakes” outside the Art Institute in high school and discovered his two Graceland Cemetery sculptures, one a crusader and another titled “Eternal Silence”, back in October. Beyond that, Taft’s pieces can be found in places like the University of Illinois (his alma mater), over in Oregon, Illinois, and at Union Station in Washington DC. Taft also contributed to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 by creating plaster sculptures along the Midway Plaisance between Washington Park and Jackson Park. Taft began work on “Fountain of Time” in 1908 after being inspired by a couplet by Austin Dobsen: Time goes, you say? Ah no, alas, time stays. We go. He considered the sculpture something of a magnum opus and it took him and his team of sculptors 14 years to complete. …