Art Not Just Elite in Chicago, It's Public

In Chicago, art is not restricted to galleries and museums. It's art of the public sphere, including streets and private buildings. You just have to walk down the streets of Chicago to explore the exciting world of public art. No matter where you are in Chicago, you are always surrounded with art works, sculptures and astounding murals. This is what gives Chicago its unique identity.

Here are some of the best places to find this public art on display in Chicago, IL

1. The Loop

Here store fronts are decorated with art by local artists. Any time you walk in the streets here, you enter an art exhibition. This Chicago locality has an exciting collection of public art in all its blocks. You can find the famous Picasso sculpture, created specifically for Chicago by the artist himself, in Daley Plaza. Look at the Four Seasons painting in Chase Plaza. The fa├žade of the Bilandic Building has a magnificent steel art work. You will find the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the riverwalk.


2. The Parks of Chicago

Find statues, fountains and intriguing art works in this locality. In the Millennium Park, you have "Cloud Gate" sculpture (or The Bean). There are numerous public art installations in the parks of this locality. So many new ones are installed regularly, which means a constantly fresh display of work that you have never seen.

3. Lincoln Park

On the corner of Wrightwood and Sheffield, you have the Eagle Columns -- three eagles rising to commemorate John Peter Altgeld, a politician. Then there is the Space Junction of Energy (at the Belmont Red and Brown line stop), a steel sculpture depicting the movement of mass through space.

4. Hyde Park

Visit the Francis M. Drexel Memorial Fountain in Drexel Square in Hyde Park. It is one of the oldest sculptures in Chicago, and the art is dedicated to Austrian-born Francis Drexel, a banker.

5. West Loop

The huge Batcolumn on West Madison Street in the West Loop will inspire awe with its approx 100-feet tall metal structure, which represents the city's baseball history.

6. University of Illinois

This place of education is also home to interesting public art pieces. One of the major attractions here is the Slabs of the Sunburnt West, a huge bronze plate commemorating Illinois poet Carl Sandburg.

Truth be told, you don't need a guide book or list to explore public art work in Chicago. You just have to be adventurous and willing to walk all around the city to explore hundreds of public art strewn across the city.