Millennium Park Announces Newly–Commissioned Sculpture Exhibitions By Two Chicago-Based Artists
New works by Edra Soto and Christine Tarkowksi will be on display in the Boeing Galleries from late September through 2021
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The Millennium Park Foundation and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events are pleased to announce two new sculpture exhibitions opening on Monday, September 23, in the Boeing Galleries North and South. The newly commissioned works, on display through 2021, are site-specific installations by Chicago-based artists Edra Soto and Christine Tarkowski.
“Few spaces offer the expansive environment for monumental art of this scale, said Mark Kelly, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “The millions of visitors that come to visit Cloud Gate and Crown Fountain will be thrilled to engage with these new installations by two accomplished Chicago artists.”
“Millennium Park’s Boeing Galleries have an international reputation for presenting public art of an uncompromisingly high standard, said Scott Stewart, Executive Director of Millennium Park Foundation. Edra and Christine’s contributions promise to continue this tradition of excellence while also breaking new ground as unique, site-specific responses to Millennium Park and the Galleries themselves.
Boeing Gallery North
Constructed from approximately 400 charcoal-hued, 12-inch cast concrete blocks, the 10-foot high pavilion-like structure comes out of an ongoing series exploring symbolic transplants of iron grills and decorative concrete screen blocks found throughout the Caribbean and the American South. These decorative screens, known as rejas and quiebrasoles, are ubiquitous in Soto’s birthplace in Puerto Rico. In Screenhouse, Soto transforms the quiebrasol form from a planar screen that divides public from private into a nearly fully enclosed, free-standing structure that functions as both a sculptural object and a social gathering place.
Born in Puerto Rico and now based in Chicago, Edra Soto is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, curator and co-director of the outdoor project space THE FRANKLIN. Her recent projects, which are motivated by civic and social actions, focus on fostering relationships with a wide range of communities. Her work has been shown at museums throughout the United States and included in three exhibitions supported by the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund in Puerto Rico, Cuba and an upcoming 2020 project in Salvador, Brazil. Edra Soto holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico. She teaches Introduction to Social Engagement at University of Illinois in Chicago and is a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
“When we call the Earth by way of distinction a planet and the Moon a satellite, we should consider whether we do not, in a certain sense, mistake the matter. Perhaps- and not unlikely - the Moon is the planet and the Earth the satellite! Are we not a larger moon to the Moon, than she is to us?”
Boeing Gallery South
Christine Tarkowski’s work is as extravagantly conjured as its title, taken from the 18th-century British astronomer William Herschel. The startling presence of candy-colored hand blown glass boulders suspended above and about earthbound boulders evokes a strange, yet elemental landscape–ironically similar to our environment, both natural and built. The installation, set down in the midst of the highly manicured garden of Millennium Park, seems a gentle critique of how cities build, manipulate, and re-present natural forms.
Christine Tarkowski is a Chicago-based artist who works in a variety of mediums including sculpture, printed matter, photography and song. Her works range in scale from the ordinary to the monumental. Equally variable is her scope of production which incorporates the making of permanent architectural structures, cast models, textile yardage and temporary printed ephemera. Many of her recent works point toward the flotsam of western culture relative to systems of democracy, religion and capitalism. Her solo exhibitions include Whale Oil, Slave Ships & Burning Martyrs at Priska Juschka Fine Art in New York, Imitatio Dei at the Museum of Contemporary in Chicago and Last Things Will Be First And First Things Will Be Last at the Chicago Cultural Center. She is a professor in the Fiber and Material Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Year of Chicago Theatre Public Art Activation
Cloud Gate Plaza
Visitors to Millennium Park are also invited to interact with a special Year of Chicago Theatre public art activation by scenic designer Eleanor Kahn. The work is comprised of a skeletal series of mirrors and doorways with a playful interior to be installed on Cloud Gate Plaza. Guests are invited to open doors and travel through a maze that constantly shifts their interior perspective, reframes their view of the outside world with shape and color – and go on their own adventure. A Hot Tix booth will be onsite on key dates, offering half-price tickets to a wide variety of Chicago theatre productions.
For more information about the Year of Chicago Theatre, visit ChicagoPlays.com and join the conversation on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) @ChicagoDCASE and @ChicagoPlays (#2019isYOCT #ChiTheatre).
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. For the latest news and events, download the Millennium Park app, visit millenniumpark.org, and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@Millennium_Park).
Chicago 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.
Millennium Park Foundation
The Millennium Park Foundation, a private, philanthropic not-for-profit partner, was created in 1998 to support the City of Chicago’s efforts in the design, construction and management of Millennium Park. It is the steward of Millennium Park’s internationally-recognized icons and public features. These include the prestigious Jay Pritzker Pavilion and dramatic BP Pedestrian Bridge, world-renowned Cloud Gate and Lurie Garden, iconic Crown Fountain, and exquisite Boeing Galleries for public art exhibitions. Through its ongoing development initiatives, the Millennium Park Foundation is dedicated to keeping Millennium Park a free and accessible venue for all Chicagoans today, and for generations to come.
2019 Year of Chicago
The City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres have designated 2019 as the ‘Year of Chicago Theatre.’ This citywide, year-long focus on theatre is the first of its kind in the U.S. The initiative includes performances and special events for the public at hundreds of cultural venues, theaters, parks and neighborhood locations throughout the city. The City of Chicago and its partners will also launch a marketing campaign; provide additional financial grants to theatre projects; encourage dialog around inclusion and equity; and call on civic, philanthropic, arts and business leaders to support the theatre community. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres. Book your next show today at ChicagoPlays.com.
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