New Public Art Coming To The Chicago Riverwalk

June 27, 2017

Large Scale Art by Tony Tasset, Scott Reeder, Candida Alvarez and Other Chicago Artists Will Be On View Through Fall 2017


The City of Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) are installing several works of public art along the Chicago Riverwalk. In conjunction with the Year of Public Art designated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and DCASE, the Riverwalk will display artworks by Chicago artists Tony Tasset, Scott Reeder, Candida Alvarez, Sam Kirk and Tyrue “Slang” Jones. The 1.25-mile promenade through the heart of the city continues to offer new and improved ways to enjoy one of Chicago's waterfronts and architecture.


Tony Tasset, Deer, 2015 (fiberglass, epoxy and paint)

The lifelike Deer was completed by artist Tony Tasset in 2015. It was recently on display at Art Basel Miami Beach. Deer will be located along the Riverwalk between Franklin Street and Lake Street through October 2017. The work is loaned courtesy of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. The artist is represented by Kavi Gupta.

Tony Tasset has worked in a variety of styles and mediums including sculpture, photography, video and film. He has recently created several large-scale permanent outdoor sculptures. Using familiarity, humor, sentiment and shock, Tasset makes iconic images about the current cultural moment. The artist received his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his BFA from The Art Academy of Cincinnati. Awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, the artist is currently a University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His work has been seen internationally and is part of several private and museum collections.


Scott Reeder, Real Fake, 2013 (fiberglass and metallic paint)

Real Fake by Chicago artist Scott Reeder was on display at Art Basel Miami in 2013. The artwork will be featured at the northeast corner of Upper Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue through October 2017. The work is loaned courtesy of the artist and Kavi Gupta.

Scott Reeder uses simple forms to address complex ideas and cultural critique. His work has been shown widely including exhibitions at Saatchi Gallery, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, Daniel Reich Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Jack Hanley, China Art Objects and Pat Hearn. His recent projects also include a soon to be completed feature film entitled Moon Dust. Reeder recently had a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. He splits his time between Chicago, Illinois, and Detroit, Michigan.


Candida Alvarez Banner Installation

A series of seven banners designed by Candida Alvarez will be installed in early July along the Chicago Riverwalk.  Four will be located east of Michigan Avenue and three will be located east of Columbus Drive through December 2017.

Candida Alvarez creates mixed-media paintings that combine abstract and figurative elements in compositions infused with pop-cultural references. Alvarez received an MFA in painting from Yale University. Alvarez teaches painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has had exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; the Queens Museum; the Brooklyn Museum; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Her works are in the collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Studio Museum in Harlem; and El Museo Del Barrio, among many others. She is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award and the New York Foundation for the Arts Award. The artist’s work can currently be seen at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington Street) in Candida Alvarez: Here, on display through August 6.


Sam Kirk, Vejigante, Mask On, 2017

Sam Kirk’s Vejigante, Mask On is a recently completed, single panel graffiti work located along the Riverwalk between Franklin Street and Lake Street.

Sam Kirk creates artwork to celebrate people and to inspire pride and recognition for underrepresented communities. Kirk was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, and working class communities continue to be her inspiration. Kirk has exhibited throughout the US and received commissions from private collectors and commercial clients. She has recently begun to grow her public art portfolio. Kirk earned a B.F.A. in Interior Design and a B.A. in Marketing from Columbia College in Chicago. She lives and works in Chicago, with a second studio in Brooklyn. 


Tyrue “Slang” Jones, Ballerinas, 2017

Ballerinas is a work recently completed by Tyrue “Slang” Jones. The four panels are located along the Riverwalk between Franklin Street and Lake Street.

A self-taught artist, Tyrue “Slang” Jones has been cultivating and innovating ideas reflected though his artwork for over 25 years. His wide array of styles, ranging from graffiti to fine art, has gained attention around the globe. His signature style of “Figurative Graffiti” combines flowing shapes and abstracted letterforms with traditional figure painting. He has worked as a graffiti artist, fine artist, graphic designer, and professional television animator.

Guided by the Chicago Cultural Plan, the Mayor has outlined a citywide vision for art and culture that has incorporated public art into projects at a variety of City departments—including DCASE as well as the Department of Transportation, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library and Chicago Transit Authority, among others.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and DCASE have designated 2017 as the “Year of Public Art” with the 50x50 Neighborhood Arts Projects, the creation of a Public Art Youth Corps, a new Public Art Festival this October, and exhibitions, performances, tours and more – representing a $1.5 million investment in artist-led community projects.

The Chicago Public Art Collection managed by DCASE includes more than 500 works of art exhibited in over 150 citywide municipal facilities, such as police stations, libraries, and CTA stations. The Collection provides the citizens of Chicago with an improved public environment and enhances city buildings and spaces with quality works of art by professional artists. DCASE also administers the City’s Percent-for-Art Ordinance. Established in 1978, it stipulates that 1.33% of the cost of constructing or renovating public buildings will be used for public art.

For more information, visit—and join the conversation on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Twitter @ChicagoDCASE and Instagram @ChicagoDCASE, #2017isYOPA #chipublicart.

The Chicago Riverwalk is presented by the City of Chicago with programming produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility Management, Choose Chicago, the Chicago Park District and the vendors and boat tour operators along the Chicago Riverwalk. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit—and join the conversation on social media using #ChiRiverwalk.


Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events 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.


# # #