I have written several times about my appreciation for public art. I am always looking out for artwork in nature. The Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park made my search easy.
The Village of Skokie took neglected land and turned it into a two-mile stretch housing more than 60 sculptures. It’s the perfect area for biking, running, picnics and art appreciation. It is an outdoor world-class sculpture exhibition featuring local, national and international artists.
Located on the north end, John Parker’s “Gargoyle” is “the gatekeeper of the park.” Made of welded steel, it merges the beauty of nature with a heavy industrial feel. It is my favorite sculpture in the sculpture park.
“La Souterraine” got its name from a village in France, where artist Robert Smart participated in an art festival. Smart invited 16 volunteers to have casts made of their faces. Those casts were turned into iron faces atop steel posts, accompanied by recorded interviews.
Joseph Eisenhauer’s painted steel “Revival” is an abstract sculpture of straight, curved and jagged lines. From one angle it looks like an animal. From another it resembles geometric shapes randomly thrown together. It’s well-grounded yet unsettling all at once.
“Trinity” began with Fisher Stolz analyzing a Celtic clover knot. The asymmetry of the stainless steel elements projects energy and movement. The stated goal is to see the clover knot raised in space.
I was proud of myself when I saw “Baile de Alacrán” as a scorpion. In Spanish, the title means “dance of the scorpion,” which is exactly what I saw. Made with galvanized steel by Native American Ted Sitting Crow Garner, it is meant to be “cursive, transparent and abstract.”
I also was on track with “Inside Plant,” thinking it looked like sprouting plants. Andy Zimmerman used welded steel to create this plant-like structure. Zimmerman intended to let the viewer step inside plants to give a better view of nature.
“Spread My Wings” conveys several contrasts. Barbara Goldsmith created a human form, simple yet complex. Using concrete, she gave it a heavy base, juxtaposed with light wings for the upper half. There is a feeling of the connection between humans and the Earth.
Dale Graham’s “Trunnion II” conjured images of geometry and bridge supports to me. A trunnion is a pin on which something can be rotated. It looks heavy and strong yet also perfectly balanced, although obviously it is one solid piece.
There is so much beauty in the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park. This blog only covers one stretch of it. In future blogs, I will present more of the wonderful sculptures there.
— John Wroblewski, online writer
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