Route 66 events reminder:  April 19th public art slideshow and lecture at Chicago Cultural Center


Just a reminder:  my 90-minute lecture and slideshow about public art along Route 66 in metropolitan Chicago is at 1pm next Tuesday over at the Chicago Cultural Center in the first-floor Renaissance Court.  It’s the best way to familiarize yourself with some of the sights along the route, starting right at the eastern terminus and Gateway to Route 66 at Jackson Drive and Michigan Avenue, next to the world famous Art Institute of Chicago.

Just as important, this is one way to let the city know how many people love and maintain an interest in historic Route 66. The city has long undervalued the historic and tourism value of the route, so show your solidarity with the route and show up, right?  Right!

If you come in by the Randolph Street entrance just west of Michigan Avenue, the lecture room is immediately to your right once you’re inside.  Get there early to ensure a seat.  See you there, roadies!

 
your own Route 66 tour guide,
Marie

Fountain of the Great Lakes, South Garden, Art Institute of Chicago  (photo copyright 2012 by M.R. Traska; all rights reserved)

Fountain of the Great Lakes by sculptor Lorado Taft, located in the South Garden of the Art Institute of Chicago (photo copyright 2012 by M.R. Traska; all rights reserved)

 

Route 66 events:  Chicago talk April 19th on public art along Route 66


We’re in the news again – well, yours truly is.  I’ll be giving a lecture and slide presentation on Tuesday, April 19th in downtown Chicago at the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Washington Streets, right across from Millennium Park.  The topic will be “Public Art Along Route 66,” covering the route between its eastern terminus at Jackson Boulevard and Michigan (only a few blocks south of the lecture venue!) and downtown Joliet some 40 miles southwest.  The 90-minute presentation will begin at 1:00pm and will be held in the Renaissance Court, which is located in the northwest corner of the first (main) floor, right off the Randolph Street entrance.

Sponsored by the Geographic Society of Chicago, the free lecture is part of the society’s monthly travelogue series.  Registration is unnecessary, but show up at least 15-20 minutes in advance to get a good seat.  See you there, or be square!

 
Your own 66 roadiegal,
Marie

 

Yes, it's in the wrong place ... but you'll be in the right place if you come to my lecture!

Yes, it’s in the wrong place … but you’ll be in the right place if you come to my lecture!

Route 66 Song Of The Week:  Dawg Days, plus coming events


Yes indeedy, fellow roadies, the long weekend of the dog days is gone.  August with its humid but confusing weather this year is defunct, only a sleepy memory.  We’ll celebrate that yet with our Song Of The Week below, but for now let’s take a moment to remember what a great weekend it was with the Chicago Jazz Festival on tap!  Buoyed with a little of that leftover energy, we thought we’d update you on what’s ahead in the near future and then throw in an appropriate song, too.

To start, we have two Route 66 car shows coming up in September in Illinois.  First: The Berwyn Route 66 Car Show is this coming weekend, Saturday Sept. 6th, from 10am to 4pm along Ogden Avenue in Berwyn.  It’ll be held between Oak Park Avenue on the west end and Ridgeland Avenue on the east.  Admission is free, but there’s a registration fee for cars that will be exhibited; registrants can get their cars lined up starting at 7am.  Food vendors and live music will be on site, and parking is wherever you can get it, but try the municipal garage on Oak Park Avenue, a few blocks north of Ogden Avenue.  Please DO remember to bring a few dollars for the Berwyn Route 66 Museum’s artifact restoration fund; no doubt museum director Jon fey will have the kitty set up at his usual tent.

Second:  The International Mother Road Festival is at the end of the month, starting at 5pm Friday the 26th through Sunday the 28th, in downtown Springfield, IL.  Admission is free, but there’s a registration fee for cars that will be exhibited.  Food vendors and live music will be on site, and parking will be available in the garage on 7th Street at Washington Street, next to the DoubleTree President Abraham Lincoln Springfield Hotel, or wherever else you can find it in a public lot (the streets nearby will be taken over by the fest all weekend long).

The annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show along Ogden Avenue

The annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show along Ogden Avenue  (Photo courtesy Berwyn DevCorp)

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Route 66 sights: Alexander Calder’s public art – Flamingo and The Universe


Five streets apart along Route 66 in downtown Chicago – less than three city blocks – are two highly entertaining works of public art by the late American artist Alexander Calder.  The one that sits outside is better known, but both of them were unveiled and introduced to the city on the same day, October 25, 1974, and were immediately accepted by the public.  And you can see them both for free, on any given day.

Calder is perhaps best known by the public for his whimsical mobiles, such as Lobster Trap and Fish Tail (1939), which hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  There’s an entire room devoted to his mobiles and other sculptures at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.  Calder also created small-scale sculpture and jewelry, paintings, prints, a series of tapestries and even designed stewardesses’ uniforms and an exterior paint scheme for the airplanes of Braniff International Airways back in 1973, but he was absolutely prolific in creating public works of art, which are installed in at least 23 states and 19 countries.  His public art was of two kinds, kinetic installations (sculpture that moves) and stabiles (immobile).  Chicago has one of each just off Jackson Boulevard.

Flamingo stabile, 1974 by Alexander Calder  (Photo copyright 2012 by and courtesy of Stacy Conn; all rights reserved)

Flamingo stabile, 1974, by sculptor Alexander Calder sits in the Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago  (Photo copyright 2012 by and courtesy of Stacy Conn; all rights reserved)

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