Chicago's Iconic Picasso Turns 50

Chicago's Iconic Picasso Turns 50

Celebrating Five Decades of Public Art

The Chicago Picasso Turns 50

What are Picasso's connections to the city?

Pablo Picasso's untitled sculpture of 1967, often regarded as Picasso's Chicago, was the artist's first monumental sculpture in the United States. Though he never set foot in the city of Chicago, it is speculated that Chicago held a special place in Picasso's heart because The Art Institute of Chicago was the first museum in the United States to show his work. Though his sculpture was commissioned in 1963, Picasso refused payment and gave his sculpture to the city of Chicago as a gift.

The sculpture was originally commissioned by the architects of the Richard J. Daley Center in 1963 through the architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (though the artist would refuse payment, insisting that his sculpture be a gift to the city). Picasso created a maquette of the sculpture in 1956, and approved a final model by 1966. Picasso never visited the city of Chicago. The sculpture was fabricated by the American Bridge Company of the United States Steel Corporation in Gary Indiana. The sculpture was jarring at the time of its unveil in 1967, mainly due to the fact that most of Chicago's sculptures were representational pieces depicting historical figures at the time of its conception. The Picasso was cubist in appearance, abstract to the point where no clear understanding of subject matter could be easily determined. The avant-garde work challenged viewers to open their minds and can be credited to opening opportunities for more exciting art pieces to erect in Chicago in the decades since. Today, the Chicago Picasso is a beloved landmark of the city and a popular meeting spot for Chicagoans in front of Daley Plaza.

Commemorating A Masterpiece

On Tuesday, August 8th Chicago marked the sculpture's 50th anniversary by re-staging the unveiling of the Chicago Picasso on Daley Plaza in 1967. Mark Kelley, the Commissioner of DCASE (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events) opened the ceremony with some comments on the iconic 1976 Chicago Picasso. His statement shed light on Chicago's world-class public art collection largely marked by the arrival of Chicago's famed Picasso sculpture. August of 1976 was a seminal moment in our city's history for re-imaging our public spaces. The Chicago Picasso inspired the city and started a public art renaissance that laid the foundation for Millennium Park and all of its interactive public art pieces that reshape our urban environment. Interest and support of public art was made possible today by Picasso's contribution in 1967.

The Chicago re-dedication ceremony included youth performances by the After School Matters Orchestra and Chicago's Children's Choir. The Chicago's Children's Choir had also performed 50 years ago during the original dedication in 1967. A re-dedication was given in the form of poem by writer, performer and educator Avery R. Young.

The symbolic unveiling of the Chicago Picasso was designed and led by Chicago artist Edra Soto. Soto designed a fan to be raised above each crowd participant's face. The crowd was asked to veil their eyes with this fan and reflect on a city without public art, then removed the fan to see the sculptural monument that ingrained public art as part of Chicago's history. A jazz trio led by Orbert Davis closed the ceremony with an ensemble titled Pablo's Perspective

If you missed the re-dedication on the 8th, fear not, for there are more Public Picasso events scheduled to take place throughout the week at the Chicago Cultural Center and Harold Washington Library center.

More Public Picasso Events!

50 Years Later: Reflections on Chicago's Picasso

August 15, 2017, 12:15pm

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.

Cultural historian Paul Durica will moderate a conversation among Chicago artists, YouMedia teens and representatives from the Studs Terkel Radio Archive in a discussion examining the impact of this iconic artwork on the public art landscape since its dedication on August 15, 1967.

The Chicago Picasso: A Point of Departure

August 15, 2017, 6pm

Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St.

Art historian Patricia Balton Stratton, along with an esteemed group of panelists will discuss her new book The Chicago Picasso: A Point of Departure.

Film: Public Art Film Series

August 15, 2017, 6:30pm

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.

As part of the Public Art Film Series, the Chicago Cultural Center will screen films related to the Picasso's 1967 dedication.

Learn more about this iconic sculpture by hitting up these free events on Tuesday, August 15th!

Cover Image Credit: The "Chicago Picasso"

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The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.

The last 3-4 weeks of every college student’s semester are always crazy hectic. We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best.

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.

3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.

6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.

7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in 2 days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.

13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.

14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.

You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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12 Classics That All College Students Should Read

Reading is important — yet many people forget about books.


These are the classics that I think all college students should read.

1. "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

This classic by J.D. Salinger is a staple for many high school kids. Yet, I believe college students should revisit this novel, as it's a great portrayal of adolescence.

2. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Love him or hate him, Jay Gatsby is one of literature's most recognizable characters. "The Great Gatsby" is a tragic story of a man stuck in the past, and a grim warning of the empty happiness money buys.

3. "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells was far beyond his time. His novel, "The Time Machine," explores what would happen if time-travelling could happen. It's both an evocative and frightening tale, full of important philosophical questions.

4. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde 

This novel is about the degradation of Dorian Gray, and his descent into depravity. It showcases one of the greatest character declines in literature. By the end, Dorian Gray finds his life to be empty, his hedonistic lifestyle pointless.

5. "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami 

Haruki Murakami is famous for his surreal novels. "Norwegian Wood" follows a college student in Japan, as he navigates life after a tragedy. It's both beautiful yet melancholy. If nothing else, it'll get you listening to the Beatles' Norwegian Wood.

6. "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte 

I consider "Jane Eyre" to be one of the first feminist novels. It's a fantastic Gothic novel about an independent and strong woman — Jane Eyre — who meets the mysterious Mr. Rochester. It's more than a romance — it's a commentary on Victorian societal expectations of women, with Jane representing objection to it.

7. "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

This novel is a beautiful story about a girl in Nazi Germany. Liesel Meminger knows the importance of books, and uses her knowledge and kindness to save a Jewish refugee. It's a poignant novel that expresses the importance of literature and books.

8. Any Sherlock Holmes mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

If you've watched the Sherlock series with Benedict Cumberbatch, then you should definitely give the novels a go. The mysteries are exciting and intriguing, despite their old age.

9. "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens

This is one of my absolute favorites novels. It follows a young boy named Pip, who befriends a beggar, meets the depraved Miss Havisham, and falls in love with unattainable Estella. This novel is at once a bildungsroman and a tragedy.

10.  "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov 

This controversial novel by Vladimir Nobokov follows the perspective of Humbert Humbert, a depraved man who falls in love with 12-year-old Lolita. Nobokov showcases his mastery of the English language, while writing a depraved and tragic story following two terrible people.

11.  "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

Perhaps one of the most famous novels of all time, "Pride and Prejudice" stands the test of time by showing how two outwardly opposite and contrary people can come together and form an amazing love. It's about accepting one's flaws and getting to know people beyond surface level.

12.  "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque

This is a fantastic novel that depicts the absolute horrors of war, particularly World War I. If this doesn't enlighten you about the realities and horrors of war, then no book will.

Reading is important as it broadens one's horizon. Literature is one of the greatest inventions of mankind.

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