“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
― Jane Jacobs,
I went on a trip to Chicago for the Alternate Break program through Keene State College. Each break is themed and works with a specific partner, or partners, depending on their theme. I was selected to join the “arts as a social change” group, where we drove to Chicago, IL, for the week of spring break. Fortunately for us, it was Chicago’s “year of public art”, where art decorated the streets. Sculptures, park developments, and other temporary pieces were installed all around the city as a celebration to its famed art scene.
Giordano’s, a famous chain pizza place for its deep-dish style, has a blog which directs tourists to the 200+ art galleries around the city. On top of these many art galleries, many public sculptures line the streets. One Keene State professor, Dr. Marin Sullivan, lives in Chicago during breaks and even gave us a public art tour in the middle of the snowstorm!
We saw Picasso’s controversial sculpture, Cloud Gate, and many more installments by local artists from around the city.
While this was cool, I was encapsulated by the incredible buildings and its diversity, which really made me feel like everybody was accepted in this particular city. Small, old-fashioned Roman buildings were paired next to modern steel skyscrapers which paired up with tucked away brick buildings all cluttered the streets in this niche fashion that I could not keep my eyes away from.
Art is a reflection of who we are, and how we see the world. We create art based off of our experiences, or someone else’s – and architecture is very similar. Buildings are designed specifically for the needs and wishes of the people, and having the democracy to choose how a building looks is completely freeing and nonconforming, something so important in the ideology of democracy.
My project involves looking at some of the diverse buildings in the Loop of Chicago, where the Chicago Cultural Centers lies in the heart of.