July 1, 2022
  • July 1, 2022

Sculptures and statues along Lake Shore Drive

By on April 27, 2022 0

Whether Chicagoans stroll the trail or take the intercampus shuttle on the freeway, they’ll discover that the shore of Lake Michigan is home to an array of diverse works of art.

The pieces that line the lake between the Loyola campuses range from works of historical significance to personal and creative works. For those hoping to look out the window for a distraction from potholes or want a more exciting walk, here are eight lakeside artworks.

Sculpture “Peace and Justice” by Margot McMahon

In the center of the Peace Garden at 4200 Lakefront Trail, this sculpture depicts two children jumping for a ball in the air. This work was created in 2010 for Daisaku Ikeda, the former president of the Japanese Buddhist religious movement Soka Gakkai.

Artist Margot McMahon chose to honor Ikeda because she witnessed a violent act of discrimination against a child in Lincoln Park on October 9, 1960, according to the statue base. Along with this explanation, the piece includes three quotes attributed to him.

“I promise you that I will build a society truly worthy of your love and pride,” Ikeda said. “We – indeed, all people – are brothers and sisters of the infinite past who share the mission of bringing peace and happiness to the world in which we live.”

Totem “Kwanusila” by Tony Hunt

Carved mostly from red cedar and located in south Lincoln Park, this totem pole depicts several creatures from Native American imagery: kwanusila the thunderbird, a whale with a man on its back, and a sea monster.

Near the Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary, this piece is an exact replica of a totem pole donated to the city in 1929 by James L. Kraft, the founder of the food manufacturing company, according to the totem plaque. .

Tony Hunt of the Canadian Kwagulth Tribe sculpted this recreation in 1986 and since then it has stood in front of the Lincoln Park tennis courts.

Sculpture “Self Portrait” by Keith Haring

In 1989, Keith Haring founded an organization dedicated to preserving his art and advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS. In the same year, he created a four-foot-tall green sculpture titled “Self-Portrait”.

Thirty years later, a 30-foot-tall recreation was placed next to Belmont Harbor at the center of what would become AIDS Garden Chicago. The wandering angles the limbs face create an ambiguous pose. Viewers wonder if he walks, dances, or just stands strangely.

Haring died of AIDS a year after creating his self-portrait, according to The New York Times, but his art will live on by the lake.

Statue “The Alarm” by John J. Boyle

The statue depicts a Native American standing proud, with his wife kneeling beside him, a child in her arms. To the left of the man’s feet, his dog stands ready to defend the family.

The base of the statue is a work of art in itself. The four sides feature a different scene carved in stone: ‘The Corn Dance’, ‘The Peace Pipe’, ‘The Hunt’ and ‘The Forestry’.

Now tarnished in green, the man who commissioned the coin in 1884, fur trader Martin Ryerson, wanted the coin to represent Native American honor rather than perpetuate stereotypical savagery, according to the Chicago Park District.

Sculpture “Herringbone” by John Henry

“Chevron” is Lake Michigan’s largest piece, loaned to Chicago in 2015 by artist John Henry.

From a distance, the room almost looks like a windmill. Up close, passers-by have the ability to walk under and through the steel slabs.

Looking at the sculpture from the inside creates a whole different context. Henry described this gap as an “intimate enclosure” on OtoCast, an app that provides audio descriptions and art placements across America.

Statue “A Signal of Peace” by Cyrus Edwin Dallin

The second Native American-inspired piece along the Jean Baptiste Point Parkway of the Sable Lake Shore was made in 1889.

Utah-born artist Cyrus Edwin Dallin constructed the piece and exhibited it in Paris in 1890. Dallin became known for depicting Indigenous peoples and historical events, according to the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum.

Beneath the leader on his horse, the plaque says it was a gift from Lambert Tree, an Illinois judge who purchased the monument from Dallin in 1893, according to the Chicago Park District.

Statues “Ten Thousand Ripples” by Indira Freitas Johnson

Nine identical Buddha heads rising from the ground can be seen directly beside the highway. These fiberglass sculptures were designed by artist Indira Freitas Johnson.

When the project started ten years ago, 100 heads were settled in the city in different neighborhoods, such as Pilsen and Uptown. A Buddha head can even be seen on the Loyola campus at the corner of North Sheridan Road and West Albion Avenue.

The Buddha’s head is meant as a “symbol of peace and self-realization” and is meant to spark conversations in their neighborhood, according to Johnson’s website.

Statue “Charitas” by Ida McClelland Stout

Ida McClelland Stout’s “Charitas” features a woman with one child perched on her shoulder and the other held in her arm.

Stout had won a student contest organized by the Chicago Daily News that funded his project in 1922, according to the Chicago Park District.

Although the woman’s bronze legs are frozen, her statue has moved around Lincoln Park several times over the century. Now it is adjacent to West Fullerton Avenue, facing the Theater on the Lake.

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