‘Magic Garden’ sprouts in Highland Park
Highland Park Art Center celebrates the opening of "The Magic Garden" public art show with Peacocks, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Mushrooms, and Ladybugs created by more than 45 chicagoland artists. Teacher at the Art Center, Rino Liberatore, paints the face of Zora Packard, age 3 of Rogers Park. | Mark Ukena~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 21, 2012 11:10AM
New species of public art will swarm downtown Highland Park all summer long, as the latest installment of public art features mushrooms, ladybugs, butterflies, dragonflies and peacocks.
About 50 “playful and whimsical” pieces were unveiled Thursday, May 10, along Central Avenue, between Green Bay Road and First Street. Additional creatures littered Second Street running up to Renaissance Place.
“I’m very impressed with the work,” said Bernadette Elenteny Joyce, a teacher at The Art Center of Highland Park. “I participated as an artist in last year’s Project Butterfly and I feel like the bar has really been raised even higher.”
Elenteny Joyce has contributed a glass mosaic peacock to the display, which is being called “The Magic Garden.”
Artists from around the Chicago area submitted sketches to take part, and the approved participants also include Highland Park residents Cheryl Steiger, who designed a peacock; Sara Baldwin Weissman (mushroom); and Ruti Modlin (dragonfly).
“We have fiber artists, collage pieces, paintings, mosaics,” Elenteny Joyce said. “There are lots of different art forms used to embellish them.”
The public unveiling and artist reception event on Thursday afternoon also offered free face painting, a garden art project for kids to create, live music and refreshments.
The pieces will remain on display all summer before going up for auction. Half the proceeds will benefit The Art Center with the other half split among the artists.
The effort is being co-sponsored by The Art Center and HillCo Realty, which teamed up for Project Butterfly last summer as well.