Artists of the Wall, Year 2009

The “Artists of the Wall” is an annual event held in Chicago’s Loyola Park, usually in June, whereat members of the Rogers Park community decorate a 600 foot concrete retaining wall / park bench. While I’ve missed about half the years of this century so far, I’ve habitually taken photos of the work I like. The gallery below contains the photos that I like from the year 2009.

Click on any image to enlarge it.

If you want to see other images from other Artists of the Wall years, click on the AotW tag.

Two Upcoming Events

Haymarket Martyrs’ monument, the old Waldheim Cemetery. Photo by Roman.

May Day, the international Labor Day, is very much my holiday. Here are two upcoming events for those of you in the Chicago area. I would be very inclined to do both if I had my way. I would then also say: “See you there!” But alas I am a geezerly male and so that makes making such commitments a chancy thing. Maybe, then.

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Chicago’s Haymarket Free Speech memorial. Photo by Roman.

Haymarket Square May Day Commemoration

Sunday, May 1, 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
DesPlaines St between Randolph and Lake, Chicago

“Italian unionists from the Federation of Metallurgical and Office Workers (FiOM) will join the ILHS at 12:30 p.m. on May Day, Sunday, May 1, to unveil their commemorative plaque on the Haymarket’s Square statue’s base. The base features plaques from labor movements around the globe, marking May 1 as International Workers’ Day.”

For more information, visit the Illinois Labor History Society’s calendar entry.

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DSAer Dave Rathke tends to the Mother Jones balloon. Photo by Roman.

Mother Jones’ Birthday Party

Sunday, May 1, 4 PM to 6 PM
Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, Chicago

Guest will include Flight Attendants President Sara Nelson, Irish General Consul Kevin Byrne, artist Lindsay Hand, musicians Paddy Homan, Kathy Cowen and the SAG-AFTRA singers, with emcee Chicago Federation of Labor Secretary-Treasurer Don Villar.

Admission is free but RSVP please at the Mother Jones Museum calendar where there is also more information.

Rubble In Memoriam

Photos by Roman.

I don’t know the story behind this shrine but it’s not usually good news. One assumes the worst: a death. And yet, what could be a more appropriate portrayal of the ruin left behind from a death than a symbolically delirious pile of fragments?

It’s a shambles, not the dead but those left alive.

I’ve almost certainly spent too much of my time since retirement from activism and working watching episodes of Time Team and that has seriously warped the way I see things like this. Time Team, in case you missed it, is / was a U.K. TV program that combined reality TV with science documentary with (ultimately) a sort of popular archeology movement, all anchored by several academics with vivid, if not to say eccentric, personalities who, since they were all mostly specialists, fit the TV trope of coming on each episode to occupy each their niche in the drama.

No, I haven’t seen the new series yet.

Seeing this shrine, I now wonder how ancient is that practice of adding stones to an altar, grave or cenotaph — not to mention broken items as offerings? Wasn’t it pebbles of quartz that people would bring to place at an altar during the first millennium? And our bronze age relations, they were no fools in bringing broken items as offerings. It wasn’t simply a matter of economy, I suspect, but rather in a spiritual sense, it was a retirement of the item offered, a giving back.

And why do I have this image of a small dog held suspended above water but its legs, all four, helplessly in full furious paddle?

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Photo by Roman.

Artists of the Wall, Year 2007

Since the early 1990s, there has been an annual Artists of the Wall event in Chicago’s Loyola Park wherein folks from the Rogers Park community sign up to decorate a portion of a concrete retaining wall / bench that runs along the Lake Michigan shore. Since the turn of the century, I’ve often taken photos of the parts that I like. To see all that I have posted of them, click on the AotW tag.

The photos below are the photos from 2007 that I like, sometimes of an entire panel and sometimes of just a detail. These were also not taken with a digital camera but with a largely automatic Pentax. The prints were scanned about a decade later.

This article is being posted on April 23, 2022. The 2022 Artists of the Wall event will be held on the weekend of June 18 and 19. Registration to paint one of the 150 spaces available will be online and take place over three days: May 1, May 3 and May 5, 50 spaces each day. For more information, visit the Loyola Park Advisory Council’s website.

Click on any photo below to enlarge it.

Cats & Dogs

Here are two strays from the 2021 Artists of the Wall. I’m pretty sure these are panels I missed photographing back in 2021 or perhaps I simply did not like the resulting photos. Though… I have seen panels replaced or elaborated over the year that they’re on the wall.

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2021 Artists of the Wall. Photo by Roman.
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2021 Artists of the Wall. Photo by Roman.

Artists of the Wall, Year 2003

This is another series of images captured from the annual “Artists of the Wall” event in Chicago’s Loyola Park. These are from the year 2003 and they are the images that I liked the best. Like the earlier “Artists of the Wall” posts this year, these were taken with a largely automated Pentax film camera. The prints were scanned a few years ago. A regular visitor to this blog might have been wondering if I had skipped 2003. So was I, but I found the files eventually.

2003 was the 10th Artists of the Wall event. Each year the organizers suggest two topics or themes for the artwork. Generally, people end up doing whatever they please, including sometimes addressing one or the other theme. My impression of 2003 is that people may have paid closer attention to the suggested themes than in most previous years but maybe not by much. But people here in the States do have a fascination with the odometer’s rolling zero.

Click on any image to enlarge it.