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Category Archives: Art

111 Places in Chicago Not to Miss!

Very cool book – for locals and tourists!  Amy Bizzarri is an extreme Chicago history buff, and a freelance writer. She lives with her two children in a vintage 1910 home in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. When she’s not writing, you’ll most likely find her swimming laps at Holstein Park pool, riding her bicycle around Humboldt Park or sharing an atomic sundae at Margie’s Candies.

  • The ultimate insider’s guide to Chicago, fully illustrated with 111 full-page color photographs
  • Features interesting and unusual places not found in traditional travel guides
  • Part of the international 111 Places/111 Shops series with over 170 titles and 1 million copies in print worldwide
  • Appeals to both the local market (9,5 million people call Chicago home) and the tourist market (over 60 million people visit Chicago every year!)

GREAT PHOTOS  get lots of LIKES! 

Digital photography has given millions of people the opportunity  to take pictures  like a pro! Never, has there been so many awesome amateur photos posted  from the globe!

 

 Chicago.Curbed ran this great article about HOT  PHOTO/ Instagram  LOCATIONS  from around the city. ….From the magical night lights of Wrigley Field to the patina-coated bronze lions guarding the Art Institute and the honeycomb archway in Lincoln Park—there are plenty of good ‘gramming spots in Chicago.

But which ones rank at the top? Locals and visitors favored big venues, well-known tourist spots, international icons and even one major music festival, according to a list of sites provided to Curbed by Instagram.

(Photo above from Sezyilmaz)

Best Holiday Light Displays in Chicago Area

 

The Logan Square home above might be the only seasonal wonder of the world. Every winter, dating back to 1983, owner Frank Lopez has put up a Christmas light display—complete with a miniature, moving Ferris wheel with stuffed animal riders—that casts a glow over the whole 2500 block of West Logan Boulevard.

“The reason I do it is because I see so many people, so many kids, they pass by over here… and I have music on, and I see all their smiles,” Lopez told Chicagoist. “I enjoy that.”

His home electric bill for a holiday season, he added, can reach a little over $1,000.    Read  More here. 

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Butch McGuire’s

Each year, this Division Street bar gets COMPLETELY  decked out in holiday decor. Complete with model trains and thousands of shiny LED lights, Butch McGuire’s is a great spot to pop in for a festive drink. Even when it gets packed with the typical Division Street crowd, this Irish pub has an old soul. Antique beer paraphernalia and model ships hang from the ceiling, framed paintings of Chicagoans past dot the walls and beers are served in frosted glass mugs. Well worth a stop by and have a drink!

Winter WonderFest

Navy Pier’s annual indoor winter carnival returns with activities that include a toboggan tunnel, winter mini golf and a 15-foot “snow tubing” hill. Returning attractions include the Blackhawks ice-skating rink and various carnival rides. Bring your family for a nice and toasty winter wonderland. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo: Free light display nightly plus festive activities like photos with Santa, 3D displays, holiday gift shopping, live ice-sculpture carving and free crafts for kids on certain nights at the Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St. Presented by ComEd and PowerShares QQQ By Invesco. Hours: 4:30 to 9 p.m. every night through Saturday, Dec. 23, and again from Dec. 26 to Jan. 7. Check the website for a full list of ZooLights events.

Elsewhere  from Aurora to Naperville to Wheaton – all have light displays worth checking out!

 

Barn Angels and Dog Poop

The first time I was driving thru Ukrainian Village,  I was headed  East on Augusta, and this caged Angel caught my eye on Wolcott!  WHAT THE HECK???

 

I did some research  and  TIME OUT  said, ” The building belongs to well-known Polish-born wood sculpturist Jerzy Kenar, who runs the Wooden Gallery (1007 N Wolcott Ave, 773-342-2550), located a few doors down.

In the mid-’90s, Kenar rehabbed the premises with the intention of making Angels Barn a sort of cabaret—part bar, part performance and exhibition space. “The idea was that the bar would finance the art,” Kenar says.

During the construction, the Sun-Times called Kenar’s idea “a mixed vision of the sacred and profane: An ornate pulpit will serve as a roost for a DJ; the bathroom stalls have peep-show holes with nude photos.”

Using his wife, Dorota, as a model, Kenar took three weeks to carve the angel (pictured) out of a hunk of linden wood and installed it in a fenced grotto at the front of the building. But all his work was for naught; Kenar was denied a liquor license, due, in part, to protests from the East Village Association, which didn’t want to attract potentially raucous nightlife to the densely residential area. Deeply disappointed, Kenar hosted several private parties in the space before converting it into apartments in 2001.”

 

Also on Wolcott  nearby the Angel is a unique fountain.

It’s a water fountain with a blue-tiled base surrounded by bright, leafy trees and is meant for all the community … to remember to pick up after their dogs.

Atop that tiled base is a bronze coil of dog doo-doo, spouting a gentle stream of water, and displays the straightforward, “S— Fountain” name on all four sides.

The fountain was created and installed in 2005 by famous Polish Chicago artist Jerzy S. Kenar, who also created the neighboring angel statue at the corner of Wolcott and Augusta Avenues.

It’s since become famous among locals, and appears on travel blogs for visitors.

Kenar’s other works can be found throughout O’Hare Airport and the Harold Washington Library, as well as churches and galleries around the city and world.

Cartoon Bear Art Around Chicago

People  are always  asking  WHAT IS  THIS?   WHAT’S  UP  WITH THAT?

If you live in Chicago, I’m sure you have passed by a mural at some point that involves a bear eating pizza or  wearing boxing gloves. If you haven’t, then you most likely never leave your neighborhood (and in that case you might as well live in LA). Regardless of where you reside or what you see in your ‘hood, we can all learn a little something from the Bear Champ today.

Chicago-based artist JC Riverais behind them. What I found the most fascinating about JC is that he’s not trying to hide his identity (unlike many street artists) as all of his work is commissioned. No illegal wall tagging for this guy!

Few images in Chicago’s street art scene are as instantly recognizable as JC Rivera’s “Bear Champ.” This enormous bright yellow bear appears in a variety of street murals throughout the city.

 

The bear seems cute and cuddly at first, but also projects a bit of a rugged, streetwise vibe — the perfect representation for life in Chicago.  Rivera has been painting in and around Chicago for a decade. His work is most known for its bright, colorful and uncluttered look.

JC says, “The character is about the everyday struggle. Keep rolling with the punches. Fight for what you believe in.”