Millennium Park Exhibition Celebrates Artist Chakaia Booker

April 25, 2016

FREE exhibition of six sculptures runs April 30, 2016 – April 2018; seventh, site-responsive sculpture coming this fall

Jamey Lundblad    312.744.2493,

Christine Carrino    312.744.0573,


Millennium Park will unveil six recent sculptures by American artist Chakaia Booker in a new exhibition in the Boeing Galleries—running April 30, 2016, through April 2018. A seventh, site-responsive sculpture (a new work) will be added in September 2016 in the South Boeing Gallery.

Chakaia Booker is the first African American artist to be showcased in the Boeing Galleries.

“I’m excited to be exhibiting my work in Chicago—at this scale and in the magnificent Millennium Park,” says the artist. “My sculptures will act as sentinels for the Park, welcoming visitors to stop and enjoy nature and the arts.”

Ranging in height from 96 to 192 inches and weighing up to a ton, the exhibited works are created using rubber tires and stainless steel. As the New York Times describes, “Old tires never die, but in Ms. Booker’s hands they become pure poetry.” The Plain Dealer says, “The art of Chakaia Booker, who creates spectacular sculptures from discarded tires, melts expectations like burning rubber on pavement”. The installation beginning at the end of April includes the works Gridlock (2008), One Way (2008), Pass the Buck (2008), Take Out (2008), ShapeShifter (2012) and LBD Duty Free (2014).

Booker’s work is inspired by a fusion of cultural and aesthetic influences including texture, movement, softness, power and strength. Her work translates simple materials into complex images that stimulate the viewer to reconsider the expressive nature of art. Booker began her career making wearable sculpture in the 1980s, and those early explorations can be seen in the woven, textile-like qualities of her current work.

Chakaia Booker was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1953. She received her BA in Sociology from Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey), and her MFA from the City College of New York. Based in NYC, Booker maintains a studio in a former commercial laundry in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in 2005. Featured in the Whitney Biennial, her work has been featured in numerous solo and group shows around the world and is in the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem among many others. Locally, Booker’s work is currently on view at Governor’s State University (University Park, Illinois) and on The 606—Chicago’s innovative park and trail system, featuring the elevated Bloomingdale Trail (Chicago, Illinois).

To learn more about the Chakaia Booker sculpture on The 606 (through Summer 2017), visit—and to see three of her works at the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at Governor’s State University (through October 2017), visit Both are free to the public.

The Chakaia Booker exhibition at Millennium Park is FREE—co-curated by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation.

Exhibition support to the Millennium Park Foundation is made possible by the Boeing Endowment with additional support from the Richard Driehaus Endowment. The curatorial committee is managed by the Millennium Park Foundation.

Millennium Park is located on Michigan Avenue, bordered by Randolph St. to the north, Columbus Dr. to the east and Monroe St. to the south. The Park is open 6am–11pm daily. Convenient parking is located in the Millennium Park Garage (entrance on Columbus at Monroe or Randolph) and Grant Park North. For the latest news and events, visit, call 312.742.1168, or connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Promotional support for Millennium Park is provided by Chicago Transit Authority.


Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.


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