Art in unexpected places adds depth to every day experiences

| June 3, 2017 | Comments (0)

Cody HudsonWhenever we drive north Lake Shore Drive, we talk about the sculptures lining the lakefront. We always say, “What does that one look like today?” It’s amazing how many ways we can see the same sculptures depending upon our mood or the weather on any given day.

I like to call this art, with a small a. It’s not the formal, serious, quiet walk through the art museum that most people think about when they explore art. It’s accessible, informal and unexpected. As we explore different places, we find more and more opportunities to discuss art in unexpected places.

We often find surprise artwork set among nature.  The Morton Arboretum has several different exhibits every year. Some are formal, summer exhibitions, like the new Origami in the Garden exhibit which recently opened. In the fall, there is a wonderful community art project in which organizations create scarecrows. The display puts amateur creativity on display at the Morton Arboretum. We found other sculptures during a recent visit one of our favorite nature preserves, Lake Katherine. While our dog went crazy sniffing all the new scents, we noticed the new art in the water. At each piece there was some information about the piece and the artist. It was a lovely opportunity to admire some beautiful artwork set among the natural artwork.

During the recent media familiarization trip to Rosemont, we were delighted to find beautiful artwork at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago. Know as “The Collection:  Where Art Meets Fashion,” there are rotating exhibits and a permanent collection.  Here’s how the official website describes The Collection, “At the onset of the shopping center’s opening in 2013, Fashion Outlets of Chicago unveiled a collection of curated, site-specific artwork located throughout the shopping center. In 2016, this artwork acted as the foundation for what is now known as THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion, a multifaceted art program providing visitors with the opportunity to access and enjoy contemporary works of art by both emerging and established artists.”

We admired the original art lining the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel lobby walls during a tour with Loews Area Director of Public Relations Kathleen O’Connell. She described the hotels philosophy by saying, “Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel embraces the arts. Our halls are essentially a cultural center for guests. Throughout the hotel, you will see works provided by some of River North’s most renowned galleries and the city’s finest artists. Our hope is that guests get a taste of the extraordinary talent represented in Chicago. We present you with a distilled version of what you might experience if you explored the city’s various arts districts. Through these works, you can get a feel for the vibrant arts community and the diverse artists living within the great city of Chicago.”

As we ease into summer, it’s a good time to find opportunities to explore art in unexpected places. You can sneak in a little culture and learning in ways that add depth to your family’s art experiences in casual, relaxed environments. It’s one of many ways to keep your children learning all summer, even when they don’t realize they are doing anything but having fun.


Shari writes about life with twins at Two Times the Fun. Image, courtesy of Fashion Outlets of Chicago, is the work of Cody Hudson is a Chicago based artist, also known for his graphic design contributions under the name Struggle Inc.




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Category: Shari's Corner

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

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