Although I have said it before, it bears repeating—Chicago is a special town, especially for the arts. Let’s not even talk about the world-renowned architecture or the world-class food. (And let’s definitely not talk about the world-infamous weather!) But the people and the arts—well, it doesn’t get much better than Chicago. (I have to make my usual disclaimer: although I live in Salt Lake City, I am from Chicago. I’m a little biased, but if it’s true…)
This past April, the ISC traveled to Chicago to celebrate the presentation of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award to Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt. When we planned this gala evening, we had no idea that we’d be in the midst of what is possibly the worst economic crisis in three generations. Nevertheless, when we called on the people and institutions of Chicago to celebrate Richard’s career and contributions to sculpture, everyone came forward.
Chris Kennedy, Helyn Goldenberg, Ruth Horwich, Lew Manilow, and Tony Hirschel—the ISC gala host committee members—were unmatched in their willingness to help. The Northern Trust and all of our table sponsors and attendees stepped up to help make Richard’s celebration a truly wonderful evening and a financial success for the ISC. Our vendor sponsors helped to keep our costs in line and provided some “goodies” for our gala attendees. Our speakers—Joseph Becherer and Chuck Loving (who was called away at the last minute) provided us with beautiful and inspirational spoken and written words. And Richard, in yet another example of his unending generosity, provided the ISC with original two- and three-dimensional works to give to the gala’s upper-level patrons and to sell for the organization’s benefit.
Christie Hefner and Playboy Enterprises were also generous, providing in-kind photography services, swag for our attendees, and a tour
of the Playboy art collection. Lew Manilow and Geof Bates arranged a tour of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, and Chris Kennedy, Merchandise Mart Properties, and Art Chicago provided VIP access to all Art Chicago events.
The ISC’s gala marked the beginning of the summer season in Chicago and all that it has to offer. The Museum of Contemporary Art’s Olafur Eliasson show, which was truly spectacular, opened the same night as the ISC event honoring Richard. Art Chicago opened the night after. Of course, no art-related trip to Chicago is complete without a trek through Millennium Park to see the already classic architecture by Frank Gehry, as well as works by Anish Kapoor, Jaume Plensa, Magdalena Abakanowicz, David Nash, and many others. By the time you read this, the Art Institute of Chicago will have opened its new wing to the public. This addition to an already wonderful museum promises to further increase Chicago’s reputation for world-class arts institutions and dedication to the arts.
If you couldn’t join us in April, I encourage you to make Chicago a future arts destination. We hope that you have enjoyed your summer and look forward to seeing many of you in New Jersey for our upcoming sculpture symposium in October.
Chairman, ISC Board of Directors
:BACK to CONTENTS page:
:Sculpture | magazine ARCHIVES: