Around Town finds art events and Jane Eyre this week

2018 Arts in the Dark lit up State Street with costumed performers. (Arts in the Dark photo)

There is so much going on in and around Chicago that it is easy to miss something good.

Here are just a few of the fun things to do this week.

See “Jane Eyre,” The Joffrey Ballet’s production. It opens Oct. 16 at the Auditorium Theatre (at Roosevelt University) 50 E. Ida b wells drive (Former Congress parkway). For tickets and other information visit Joffrey.

Find art for you house while The Art Center holds its annual Recycled Art Sale. Works have been donated by private individuals and corporations so TAC can raise funds for its classes and exhibitions. The art work is offered at a fraction of its market cost. General Admission Benefit tickets for Oct. 18 are $85. The rest of the weekend is $5. But check TheArtCenter for more information. TAC is at 1957 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park.

Go downtown Oct. 19 to State Street for Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m. starting at Lake Street on the north and continues south to Van Buren Street. It’s theme honors “Year of Chicago Theatre” so the parade features several theater companies and other groups such as The Joffrey Ballet. Visit Arts in the Dark.

Visit Intuit, the Outsider Art Museum Friday night from 6 to 9 p.m. because museum officials understand it is hard to fit in a visit during the day. The museum is at 756 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.  For all extended hours see IntuitArt.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Exceptional art fills Regenstein Center

Joseph Pozycinski has been bringing fine glass sculptures to ACE for more than 25 years. (J Jacobs photo)
Joseph Pozycinski has been bringing fine glass sculptures to ACE for more than 25 years. (J Jacobs photo)

Expect to see really good ceramics, fiber art, metal work, wood working, jewelry and other crafted items when walking through the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden this weekend. But also, expect the unexpected.

While browsing the American Craft Exposition during a Thursday preview party that benefited mental health services at NorthShore University Health System, an attractive wall piece that looked as if it could have been painted clay turned out to be wood.

Marquette, MI artist Joseph Graci's wall piece is actually wood. (J Jacobs photo)
Marquette, MI artist Joseph Graci’s wall piece is actually wood. (J Jacobs photo)

There was also a charming floral wall arrangement that might have been aluminum or steel but was pewter and works that appeared to be oils and water colors were actually fine stitchery.

But it’s not all serious. A booth of unusual and fun objects turned out to be jewelry.

Middlebury, VT artist Danielle Gori-Montanellimakes unusual jewelry. (J Jacobs photo)
Middlebury, VT artist Danielle Gori-Montanellimakes unusual jewelry. (J Jacobs photo)

Just don’t expect a visit to ACE, as it is known in the art show world, to be a quick walk through.

A highly competitive, juried show of nearly 150 artisans, ACE booths stretch from a tent at the north end of the Regenstein Center through the building to the Greenhouses at the south end and into rooms and hallways on either side.

St. Jospeph, MI artist Rebecca Hungerford's flowers are pewter. (J Jacobs photo
St. Jospeph, MI artist Rebecca Hungerford’s flowers are pewter. (J Jacobs photo

Visitors will likely see old favorites but many crafters, such as St. Joseph, MI artist Rebecca Hungerford who works in peweter and Marquette, MI artist Joseph Graci who works with wood, are first timers and good show addiions.

However, as glass worker Joseph Pozycinski of Pozycinski Studios in Sparta, Missouri  said, pointing to its high quality.. “I’ve been coming over 25 years. It’s a very good show.”

A former graphic artist, John Stanicek. Aura, IL, now translates his ideas into ceramic sculptures. ( J Jacobs photo)
A former graphic artist, John Stanicek. Aura, IL, now translates his ideas into ceramic sculptures. ( J Jacobs photo)

Tip: Don’t neglect the side rooms indicated to by signs that say More Art. The works there are just as good as what is seen on the main walkways.

DETAILS: The American Craft Exposition is at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., just east of Edens Expressway, Glencoe, IL, through Sept. 22, 2019.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is by three-day passes, $18 for Garden members and $20 non-members. A three-day pass with one-day parking is $35. General admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden is free but parting costs $25 weekdays and $30 Saturday and Sunday.

For tickets and more information visit American Craft Expo or Chicago Botanic.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Chicago Architecture Biennial tells impact stories

 

Chicago Cultural Center is a perfect backdrop for the 2019 Architecture Biennial. (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Cultural Center is a perfect backdrop for the 2019 Architecture Biennial. (J Jacobs photo)

 

It’s free. It’s open to the  public beginning Sept. 19, 2019. And it’s a very different experience and scope from two years ago.

Titled” And Other Such Stories,” this year’s exposition focuses on neighborhoods, their make-up and revitalization in countries and cities across the globe, environmental and industrial impact and it encompasses North America’s indigenous populations.

 

Rethinking what has been done and what can be done is an architecture biennial theme. (J Jacobs photo)
Rethinking what has been done and what can be done is an architecture biennial theme. (J Jacobs photo)

 

The main venue is the gorgeous Chicago Cultural Center, a city treasure at 78 E. Washington St. formerly known as the People’s Palace, where there is a southern marble staircase lined with beautiful mosaics, a third floor that has two glass domes including one by Tiffany and exhibits on first, second and fourth flours.

 

What is the impact of fire, water and ice on structures? (J Jacobs photo)
What is the impact of fire, water and ice on structures? (J Jacobs photo)

 

Off-site curatorial venues range from the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 8000 S. Halsted St. and the former Anthony Overton Elementary School at 4935 S. Indiana Ave. to the National Public Housing Museum at the Jane Addams Homes, 1322 W. Taylor St. and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago at Homan Square, 906 S. Homan Ave.

 

Find out with his is all about up on the Fourth Floor of the Chicago Cultural Center. (J Jacobs photo)
Find out with his is all about up on the Fourth Floor of the Chicago Cultural Center. (J Jacobs photo)

 

In addition, are more than 100 institutions partnering with the biennial such as The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Architecture Center, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Beverly Arts Center and Dusable Museum of African American History. Go to the Chicago Architecture Biennial for a complete list and more exhibition activities and places.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Around Town mid-September looks up and down

 

 

Birds Eye cafe at Lincoln Park Zoo. (J Jacobs photo)
Birds Eye cafe at Lincoln Park Zoo. (J Jacobs photo)

For kids, there’s a redone, restaurant up at tree-level in Lincoln Park Zoo. For adults, there’s an art show to view high on a building on Wacker Dr. And for adults who want to relive a kids-experience, there’s a museum field-trip night that will take them down a shaft.

 

Restaurant at Lincoln Park Zoo

When entering the main entrance at Lincoln Park walk straight ahead and look up, tree-level for the Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill perched above the gift shop. There is a ramp around the side for strollers and folks who can’t do stairs.

Formerly the Café at Wild Things, the space is geared to families with Foosball and air hockey tables, and games such as Jenga plus a menu that includes burgers and BBQ sandwiches. But there are also salads and flatbreads.

Recently opened, the restaurant is seasonal with hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p., Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  However, the space can be booked for private events. Lincoln Park Zoo is at 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago. Admission is free. For more information visit lpzoo.org.

Coal Mine at MSI. (Photo courtesy of Museum of Science and Industry)
Coal Mine at MSI. (Photo courtesy of Museum of Science and Industry)

MSI adult field trip

Adults get to go down to the popular Coal Mine, board the U-505 Submarine and visit Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle and other stuff at the Museum of Science and Industry after hours (age 21+) on Sept. 20 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Some things they didn’t have when on a kids’ field trip is Improv Comedy iO Theater Chicago doing behind-the-scenes MSI stories  and a chance to play such board games as Clue, Operation, and Guess Who (courtesy of Lakeview’s Bonus Round Café). Plus take part in a scavenger hunt.

Try hands-on experiments. And, oh yes, receive “boozy”juice boxes and “grown-up” lunchables.

Admission is $30 (MSI members: $25). It includes free parking in the underground garage, coat check, light snacks, a complimentary drink, and access to select exhibits. A cash bar will also be available. For more information visit msichicago.org/fieldtripnight

 

Art on theMART starts new projects. (Photo courtesy of theMART)
Art on theMART starts new projects. (Photo courtesy of theMART)

Mart art

New art projected on theMART (former Merchandise Mart) kicks-off Sept. 21 with food trucks and a DJ on Wacker Drive at 6:30 p.m., the projection starting at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at 8 p.m. The projections feature works by Charles atlas and Petra Cortright. For more information visit visit artonthemart.com.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Free museum days offer end of summer fun

 

Art Institute of chicago has a free family center and also has free hours Thursday evenings. (J Jacobs photo)
Art Institute of chicago has a free family center and also has free hours Thursday evenings. (J Jacobs photo)

There still are a few days left to explore the Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Science and Industry and some of Chicago’s other world-class museums without dipping into fall school supply funds.

Some museums are always free. Others have free admission on certain days or hours of the week. But check what is available with free admission because at some museums general admission is free but there still are ticketed exhibits. A valid ID with proof of residency is needed. if the free day is for Illinois residents or Chicago youth.

 

Art Institute of Chicago

Children under age 14 always admitted free. Chicago teens under age 18 are also admitted free. In addition, admission is free to Illinois residents on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. The Ryan Learning Center near the Modern Wing entrance is always free to families and children’s care givers.

The main entrance is at 111 S. Michigan Ave. but there is also an entrance around the corner at the museum’s Modern Wing, 159 E. Monroe St. For hours and more information call (312) 443-3600 or see artic/visit.

.

Museum of Contemporary Art

The museum is at 220 E. Chicago Ave. just east of Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile. Admission is free for youth 18 and younger every day and for Illinois residents on Tuesdays. For hours and more information call  (312) 289-2660 or see MCAChicago/visit.

 

Chicago History Museum

The museum is free to Illinois residents Tuesdays from 12:30 to 9 p.m. and always free to Illinois youth under age 18. Located at 1601 N Clark St., the museum is on the edge of Lincoln Park. For more information call (312) 642-4600 or see ChicagoHistory/visit.

 

DuSable Museum of African American History in Washington Park. (Photo courtesy of DuSable Museum)
DuSable Museum of African American History in Washington Park. (Photo courtesy of DuSable Museum)

 

DuSable Museum of African American History

Located at 740 E. 56th Place in Washington Park at 57th and cottage Grove, the museum’s exhibits feature augmented reality when tied to an app that can be easily downloaded. Admission is free every Tuesday.

For more information call (773) 947-0600 or see DuSable Museum/Visit.

 

The Field Museum

The museum is at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive at the west end of Chicago’s Museum Campus. It has free basic admission for Illinois residents on Wednesdays from Aug. 14 to Nov. 13, 2019.

Go to FieldMuseum/exhibitions then click on the individual exhibits to see which ones are included in basic admission or needs an All Access or Discover Pass. For more information call (312) 922-9410 or see Field Museum/visit.

 

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

Think of this museum as an iceberg with much of what there is to see below the Michigan Avenue and Upper Wacker Drive level. It is inside the Southwest Bridgetower but entry is down at river level at 99 Chicago Riverwalk at the northwest corner of Michigan and Wacker. Sundays are free.  Visitors learn about the historic structure, the river’s bridges and the Chicago River.

For more information call (312) 939-0490 ex. 28 or see Bridgehousemuseum/visit.

 

Wired to Wear is the new hit exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. (Photo credit to JB Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
Wired to Wear is the new hit exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. (Photo credit to JB Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

 

Museum of Contemporary Photography

The museum is at at Columbia College Chicago, 600 S. Michigan Ave. near Harrison Street. It is always free but donations are welcomed. For more information call (312) 663-5554 or see MOCP/about.

 

Museum of Science and Industry

Located  at 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive in a building from the 1893 Columbian Expostion, MSI is among the world’s largest science museums so there is plenty to see on free general admission days for Illinois residents even though they don’t include the ticketed exhibits. Coming free days are Aug. 26-28, 2019.

For more information call  (773) 684-1414 or see MSIChicago/visit.

 

National Museum of Mexican Art

The museum is at 1852 W 19th St,  in the Pilsen neighborhood, south west of downtown Chicago. Admission is free, daily. For hours and more information call (312) 738-1503 or see National MuseumofMexicanArt/faqs.

 

Shedd Aquarium

The Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, is the second building on Chicago’s Museum Campus. Lines are long any day but particularly on free days so go early. Capacity is limited so some people reserve their tickets on line for a $3 transaction fee. Illinois resident free days are Aug. 26-28, 2019.

Illinois residents get access to  all exhibits, chats, presentations and Stingray Touch. For more information call (312) 939-2438 or see Shedd/visit.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

Four tickets to get now

 

Cast of ‘Miracle’ at Royal George.

Three shows leave and a hit returns

Instead of saying “oops” after “Miracle,” “Manet” and “Head Over Heels” have left Chicago, fit in the one you really hoped to see. Then, if good at planning ahead, look for tickets to “Six.”

 

“ Miracle”

Tickets are available just through Sept. 29, 2019 for this fun show that ties the life of a Wrigleyville bar-owning family to the Chicago Cubs. “Miracle,” whose full title adds on “A musical 108 years in the making,” is at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St. For Tickets and other information call (312) 988-9000 or visit MiracletheMusical. For the review visit Wrigleyville and Cubs story make great theater.  For the backstory see Miracle Musical.

 

“Manet and Modern Beauty”

At the Art Institute of Chicago, this extensive exhibit on Manet’s later works and transitions of style leaves Sept. 8, 2019. This is a ticketed, dated exhibition. For tickets and more information visit ARTIC/manetand modernbeauty.  For a review see Art Institute turns the spotlight on Edouard Manet.

 

“Head Over Heels”

Two weeks have been added to Kokandy Productions’ hit musical comedy but after Sept. 8, 2019 it will be gone. The show is at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. For tickets call (773) 975-8150) or visit KokandyProductions or stop by Theater Wit. For the review please see Head over Heels has got the beat.

 

“Six”

The sold-out concert-style show about Henry VIII’s wives just closed at Chicago Shakespeare but even though it is headed to Broadway it will return to Chicago in 2020. The touring production will open July 8 at the Broadway Playhouse next to Water Tower Place and the Ritz-Carlton through the Broadway in Chicago series. Groups of 10 or more can get tickets now. Watch for the Broadway in Chicago single tickets this fall. For group tickets visit GroupSales@BroadwayInChicago.com. For more information and single tickets visit BroadwayInChicago.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Around Town stops to gaze at theMART

 

Photos courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago
Photos courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

 

Be sure to look at what is being projected on the Chicago River side of theMart. See if you can identify which great work of art is now on the building’s 2.5 acre façade.

It could be “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,” the popular 1884 painting by Georges Seurat.

Or it might be “The Bedroom,” a famous 1889 work by Vincent van Gogh.

Art on the MART” has been doing digital projections across the huge building that used to be known as the Merchandise Mart on the north side of the Chicago River since the end  September 2018 in partnership with the City of Chicago and privately funded by theMART owners Vornado Realty Trust.

Now, as of Aug. 1, 2019, those projections will be digitalized pictures of works from the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection. They can be seen from Wednesday through Sunday for about two hours each night beginning about half an hour after sunset.

Also geared for projection is Georgia O’Keefe’s “Yellow Hickory Leaves with Daisy and Grant Wood’s “American Gothic.”

Digitalized projections on the MART rotate each season.

“The Art Institute is thrilled to share some of our most iconic works with the city through our partnership with theMART- a landmark architectural site and a new platform for public art in Chicago,” said Robyn Farrell, Art Institute of Chicago Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art.

Explaining that part of Art on theMART’s mission is to make public art space available to  cultural institutions and artists, Executive Director Cynthia Noble said, “We are honored to work with the Art Institute of Chicago to offer unprecedented access to four beloved, yet transformed, works from the permanent collection.”

 

Jodie Jacobs

Art fairs for the August and September calendars

 

Deerpath Art League holds 'Art on the Square' downtown Lake Forest. (J Jacobs photo)
Deerpath Art League holds ‘Art Fair on the Square’ downtown Lake Forest. (J Jacobs photo)

Art fairs are a chance to see a Chicago neighborhood or a suburb while trying to get in your “fitbit” goal for the day. They also are a way to find the perfect painting or sculpture for your abode or a terrific piece of pottery or pair of earrings for yourself or a gift.

 

August

 

3- 4 Glenview

Art at the Glen features 175 artists in the Glen Tower Center, 2030 Tower Drive, Glenview. Hours: 10 am – 5 pm. For more info see Amdur Productions.

 

10-11  Lincolnshire

More than 100 artists participate in the annual Lincolnshire Art Festival held on the Village Green just east of Milwaukee Avenue at Old Half Day Road in north suburban Lincolnshire. Hours are 10 am – 5 pm.  For more info see Amdur Productions.

 

24- 25 Oak Park

On the western edge of Chicago look for more than 130 exhibitors at the annual Oak Park Avenue-Lake Arts & Crafts Show in Scoville Park at Oak Park Avenue and Lake Street. Hours: Saturday 11 am – 7 p.m. Sunday 9 am – 5 p.m. For more info see American Society of Artists.

 

24-25 Highland Park

The Port Clinton Art Festival, among the Midwest’s best art fairs, spreads across downtown Highland Park from its center at 600 Central Ave. to feature about 260 artists from across the globe. Hours are 10 a.,. to 6 p.m.For more info see Amdur Productions.

 

24-25 Chicago

About 200 artists exhibit their works at the annual Bucktown Arts Fest held in Holstein Park  22-2200 N. Oakley Ave at 2300 W. Lyndale St. Hours: 11 am – 7 pm. For more info see Bucktownh Arts Fest.

 

 

September

1-2  Lake Forest

Sponsored by the Deer Path Art League, the Annual Art Fair on the Square fills the town’s Historic Market Square and Western Avenue with 180 artists on Sunday and Monday of Labor Day Weekend. Hours: 10 am –5 pm.  For more info see Deer Path Art League.

 

7-8 Oakbrook

The shopping center’s Fine Arts Festival is 100 Oakbrook Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For information visit Amdur Productions.

 

 14-15 Chicago

About 150 exhibitors will be at the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts at Broadway From Belmont to Hawthorne.  Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more info see Lakeview East Festival of the Arts.

 

14-15 Naperville

West suburban Naperville features 140 artists at its Riverwalk Fine Art Fair held downtown along the Dupage River and at Eagle Street and Jackson Avenue. Hours: 10 am to 5 pm. For more info see Riverwalk Fine Art Fair.

 

14-15 Park Forest

Sponsored by Tall Grass Arts Assn., the Park Forest Art Fair is held downtown and has 90 exhibitors. For more info see Tallgrass Arts.

 

20-22 Glencoe (ACE at Chicago Botanic Garden)

Among the best shows in the country, the American  Craft Exposition (ACE) takes over the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd.,in Glencoe just east of Edens Expressway. Hours: Friday & Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am – 5 pm. For more info see American Craft Expo.

 

21-22  South Barrington

The Arboretum of South Barrington Art Festival is at the Arboretum, 100 W Higgins Rd
South Barrington from 10 a.,. to 5 p.m.. For more information vist Amdur Productions.

 

28- 29 Barrington

Art in the Barn brings 166 exhibitors to the grounds of Good Shepherd Hospital, 450 W IL Highway 22. Hours: 10 am – 5 pm. For more info see Art in the Barn.

 

28-29 Chicago

The Edgewater Arts Festival, a neighborhood fair that welcomes the whole city is at 1040-1190 W. Granville Ave. The fair features more than 100 exhibitors and several bands. Hours  11 am – 6 pm. A $5 donation is suggested. For more info see Edgewater Artists.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

Around town from an art fest and Ravinia to Edge Fest and Egypt

 

The Martin Theater is near the Ravinia Festival Gate at the Metra train stop, accessible by St. Johns Avenue and the Green Bay Road parking lot plus Ravinia bus shuttles. (Photo by J Jacobs)
The Martin Theatre  is near the Ravinia Festival Gate at the Metra train stop, accessible by St. Johns Avenue and the Green Bay Road parking lot plus Ravinia bus shuttles. (Photo by J Jacobs)

 

Celebrate summer while it’s here.  This weekend, art booths fill downtown Glencoe and Renee Fleming is doing Stoppard’s “Penelope” at Ravinia. Next week the Oriental Institute in Hyde Park has Hieroglyphics for kids and the Edgewater neighborhood celebrates summer with food,beverages and music

 

What: Festival of Art

When: July 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Where: Center point is 700 Vernon Ave. near Park Avenue west of Green Bay Road in north suburban Glencoe.

Admission: free

Info at: Amdur Productions/Glencoe.

 

What: Renee Fleming and actress Jennifer Ehle perform Tom Stoppard’s and Andre Previn’s “Penelope” (based on Homer’s Odyseey) at Ravinia Festival.

When: July 28, 4 p.m.

Where: Martin Theatre and carried on large screens on the lawn at Ravinia Festival Park in north suburban Highland Park between Green Bay and Sheridan Roads north of Lake Cook Road.

Admission: Lawn $10 (as of this printing the Martin is sold out)

Info at: Ravinia Festival/Renee Fleming

 

What: Intro to Hieroglyphs Family Workshop with an Egyptologist (recommended for ages 8-12), then go into the Oriental Institute’s galleries to translate artifacts.

When: Aug. 1, 10:30a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1155 E. 58th St., Chicago

Admission: Registration needed. General $14, members $10 (child and one adult)

Info at: Intro to Hieroglyphs

 

What: EdgeFest, a music, food, brews party thrown by the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce

When: Aug. 3-4 from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday (Pet Parade Sunday 4 p.m.

Where: Broadway from Thorndale to Ardmore

Admission: Suggested $5 donation at gate (donors receive community discount Edge Card.

Info at: Edgewater/Edgefest.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

Cows return to Chicago

‘Holy Cow’
(Photo courtesy of Harry Carey’s Restaurant)

About 20 of the original herd of more than 300 cows are returning to downtown Chicago for the month of July. Look for them in the Jane Byrne Park abutting Chicago’s historic Water Tower. But who knows, a few may pop up elsewhere.

The bovines in the park mark the 20th anniversary of 1999’s “Cows on Parade,” thanks to the Magnificent Mile Association which is calling the return exhibit “Cows Come Home.

The cows lived mostly on Michigan Avenue and in the Loop from June 15 through Oct. 31 1999 until they were auctioned off (money went to different charities).

Mooving Eli. Eli, the cow, sports roller blades to keep on moovin' toward a big slice of cherry topped cheesecake! Eli is also carrying a large cherry cheesecake with a fork and cake server sculpture in case he runs into any other cows and wants to have a dessert party. Eli's spots are in the shape of the state of Illinois. (Photo courtesy of Magnificent Mile Asociation and Eli's Cheesecake.)
Mooving Eli. Eli, the cow, sports roller blades to keep on moovin’ toward a big slice of cherry topped cheesecake! Eli is also carrying a large cherry cheesecake with a fork and cake server sculpture in case he runs into any other cows and wants to have a dessert party. Eli’s spots are in the shape of the state of Illinois. (Photo courtesy of Magnificent Mile Asociation and Eli’s Cheesecake.)

A check of the records show that Peter Hanig (think shoes) brought the idea to then Chicago Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg in 1998 after he spotted and liked a  Zurich, Switzerland cow display.

Chicago’s fiberglass cows were constructed in three poses (head down, up or prone body) by the same Swiss company, then offered by the Department of Cultural Affairs to various artists to decorate as a Public Art Project.

What followed was that Chicago’s cows achieved international coverage and spawned similar art projects in other cities using different shapes.

'Lady Bug' cow decorates the front of The Talbot Hotel on Chicago's Gold Coast. (Photo courtesy of The Talbott Hotel)
‘Lady Bug’ cow decorates the front of The Talbot Hotel on Chicago’s Gold Coast. (Photo courtesy of The Talbott Hotel)

Among the famous cows that have returned, look for “Holy Cow!” a nod to Hall of Fame Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray (which likely will return to Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch Restaurant), the “Lady Bug” cow last seen climbing? up the front of the Talbott Hotel and “Mooving Eli,” which usually resides at Eli Cheesecake  World.

Take advantage of the cows’ temporary grazing location to go across Michigan Avenue to the other half of the park’s historic campus. Visitors can go into the Chicago Water Works across the street to view and photo its unusual interior and also find out what its resident Lookingglass Theatre is doing this summer and the rest of the season.

. “We are excited to see the artful, whimsical installations on display and hope our patrons will find as much joy in them as we do,”  said Lookingglass Theatre Artistic Director Heidi Stillman.

“As part of the Water Tower Arts District—a district filled with theatre, art, music and culture—Lookingglass Theatre Company is glad to welcome back the Cows on Parade to our neighborhood, ” Stillman said.

Visit the Mag Mile Assoc. blog for more info.

Jodie Jacobs