My new gallery—a large flat stone in the Park District

When I worked in the historic Tribune Tower, one of the embedded stones became my de facto gallery. I would leave little artworks on the stone for people to discover.

Origami Crane on Tribune Tower ledge

Tribune employees (myself included) no longer work in the Tribune Tower as of 2018. I no longer pass by this little ledge every day. I rather miss having a dedicated public space to leave artwork.

Four years later, all Tribune employees continue to work from home. For me, that is in the quiet western suburbs of Chicago. Today I encountered another set of stones that remind me of the Tribune Tower ledge.

These flat stones in the landscaping of the Glen Ellyn Park District remind me of the flat stone by the entrance to the Tribune Tower.

Although this Glen Ellyn location is much more secluded compared to the busy Tribune Tower entrance on Michigan Avenue. (Tribune Tower saw tourists visiting the building for its architecture and embedded relics, shoppers on Michigan Avenue, and journalists entering their work building.)

This slab of stone in Glen Ellyn is on the Park District property. It sees children playing, an occasional person on a walk, and daycare kids being dropped off. However, this stone is not by the entrance to the Park District building. Instead, it’s tucked away behind some evergreen trees providing a shield from the parking lot. (Ironic that it’s right by a parking lot. I’m anti-car, even while living in the suburbs). I walk by this spot almost every day after walking Julia to school, so it would make a great place for me to regularly place artwork.

This large chunk of rock is like any other large rock. We don’t know where it came from. Whereas the Tribune Tower “rock” is actually a piece of architecture from the Royal Castle in Stockholm Sweden.

Two origami butterflies on the Tribune Tower rock ledge (from Royal Castle in Stockholm Sweden)

The Tribune Tower rock is busy and has an origin story from a castle. The suburban rock is quiet and secluded with no origin story. Now, this secluded quiet rock will have stories built upon it over time.

The first artwork on this Park District rock will be my standard go-to public artwork project, “What is your treasure?“. Here’s how it looked on the Tribune Tower:

Over the past 20 years whenever I needed to start making art after a lull, the “What is your Treasure” series would be a great easy way for me to get back into art producing.

Playing right now on my Spotify is a song with the lyrics “Don’t forget the little things in life that make you happy” (“Happy Little Things” by Holly Kluge). For me, one of those little things is leaving little artworks that might make someone else happy too.

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1 year ago

That’s a pretty solid stone (pun not intended). It has some nice surface area. A nice big empty canvas.

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