In March of 2006 I was able to attend the NAEA (National Art Education Association) conference in Chicago. I was a little concerned for my life when we got into the rental car and saw our vehicle number... But then we got to the hotel and everything was fine. More than fine! When you stay in a hotel that looks like this on the outside and this on the inside and with a view like this from your room you know you've hit the jackpot. I seriously felt like Belle from Beauty and the Beast when she's staying in the castle.
Some of my favorite things about Chicago:
Playing at The Bean. I guess it's real name is "Cloud Gate" created by the artist Anish Kapoor. It cost $23 million to construct and weighs 110 tons.Eating Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza. This is the real deal! My mouth is watering just thinking about this stuff and looking at pictures aren't helping. The restaurant was called Giordano's and I highly recommend it.Finding a brand of jeans called "Paige." Who knew? Too bad they were far out of my price range or I could be sporting a pair. Marveling at how smart animals are. It was probably 35 degrees outside so where do all the birds go? They huddle around the nice warm fire of course - genius! Coveting the University of Florida Art Education students' hilarious t-shirts. Wishing I had one of these scooter things to stroll around town on. Where do I get me one of them things? Not to mention those flashy vests!Taking the elevator 103 floors up to the top of the Sears tower and gazing upon the city scape below. Visiting the Art Institute of Chicago where I found too many cool and famous artworks to post here. (Side note - did you know the creators of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got the names of their characters from the names inscribed on the outside museum walls of the AI? Michaelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael are all there - I saw them with my own eyes!)
This is Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. The whole thing is made up of tiny painted dots - a style called Pointillism. Considering it's about 10 feet long and 7 feet tall, it must have been a very tedious and time consuming painting to create. If you don't know who this is painted by, you need to take an art history class.
Ditto to the above statement about this artwork. And, believe it or not, trying to make a painting that looks like this is very hard!There was even a painting by my favorite Cubist artist Juan Gris. Walking across the BP Bridge. It's a "sinuous pedestrian bridge designed by the architect Frank Gehry and it links Millennium Park with the eastern portion of Grant Park and provides incomparable views of the city's skyline, Grant Park and Lake Michigan. The only Gehry-designed bridge in the world, the 925-foot long BP Bridge is clad in stainless steel panels and has a gentle slope and hardwood deck."
Frank Gehry also designed the EMP (Experience Music Project) in Seattle and the Guggenheim in Bilbao Spain.
Standing under the "The Flamingo" by American sculptor Alexander Calder. It's red.Checking out this untitled Picasso sculpture. It is 50 feet tall and weighs 162 tons. It was the first major public artwork in Downtown Chicago and has become a well known landmark.
And finally, listening to the sounds of three young men bashing drum sticks on garbage pails. It sounded so cool! When I took the video, one guy was soloing, but you get the point.
If you've never been to Chicago, I suggest you make it top priority. There's so much to see, do, eat and buy. I was only there for three days and would love to go back and do it all again.