Prey Ablaze

Photos by Roman.

The morning sun set the victim ablaze, as if it were not just meat and drink but rather a spirit of light.

“I am,” the bug declares, “an imaginary number borne away on a flood of neutrinos.”

Photo by Roman.

Nonetheless it is still and fundamentally a meal…

Photo by Roman.

And still alive and wiggling, perhaps impatient to be eaten though the prospects seem dim judging by the state of the web.

Artists of the Wall, 2021

For about 600 feet along the beach in Loyola Park, there is a concrete retaining wall / park bench that, some three decades ago, was a major magnet for graffiti, most of it distinctly inartistic if not downright threatening. What began as a housekeeping experiment evolved into an annual community institution: segments of the wall, freshly sandblasted and primed, were licensed out to whomever in the community wanted to express themselves. Make an event of it. And so they did. After missing 2020 because of the COVID plague, this year’s event was held over the June 19 – 20 weekend.

I don’t know the institutional history of the event. As it is in a city park, the Chicago Park District has been involved from the start, but there have been other institutional players involved in the past. Today it seems to be primarily the responsibility of the Park District’s Loyola Park Advisory Council.

Any complete history of the event is absent the web: no list of participants, no documentation of their artwork, no record of who “won” or when prizes first were awarded. The advisory council’s Facebook page has photos as far back as 2012. I’ve posted selections of my own photos from 2019 and 2018 and 2017. I’ve been photographing the wall since around the turn of the century, so you’ll find photos from earlier Artists of the Wall events scattered among the earlier posts on Yip Abides as the temptation to sometimes use them as illustrations was irresistible.

So here is my contribution to the cloud, a selection of complete panels or detail therein and by no means a complete record for the year, only of what I liked:

(Click any image to enlarge it.)


Found along Touhy Avenue…

Photos and photo / graphics by Roman.

Click on any thumbnail to enlarge it.

Leone Beach Park Rocks!

I mean that precisely.

Click on any thumbnail to enlarge it.
Photos by Roman.

There were actually four rock… sculptures? arrangements?… on the beach right before Thanksgiving. The largest was built around a flotsam cable reel partially embedded in the sand. The location is obviously precarious so there’s no telling if it is there today.

I don’t know who constructed them. If anyone happening by knows, please share.

What I Saw of the Chicago Climate Strike

I’ll leave it to others to estimate the crowd size, but it managed to overflow the Federal Plaza in Chicago’s Loop. That is an accomplishment. The program was totally inaudible except to those in front and near the stage. This is a common problem for downtown demonstrations, but not universal. I suspect it requires some professional intervention regarding sound design. This also meant that there were actually as many as three or four different rallies taking place at the same time, depending on the number of bullhorns in use.

I’ll also leave it to others to estimate the political consequences of the rally. I was pleased to have attended.

Click on any of the photos below to enlarge the thumbnail.

Artists of the Wall 2019

This is an annual event in Chicago’s Loyola Park, a weekend some day in June. Neighborhood artists of every quality, from refrigerator door to gallery showing, gather to decorate a 600 foot concrete retaining wall / bench in Loyola Park. I wasn’t paying attention this year, so I only got around to taking photos on July 6 while the event took place this year on June 15.

These are the best of this year’s lot, IMHO, in no particular order.

Photos by Roman.

Click on any thumbnail below to enlarge it.