Tag Archives: chicago

Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations throughout the Years

Saint Patrick’s Day is a cause for celebration. People throughout North America, Ireland and other parts of the world honor this holiday. They wear green, visit pubs and host parties with friends and family. But how many of us know who Saint Patrick is and how this holiday came to be?

The historical significance of March 17 may surprise you.

The Patron Saint of Ireland

March 17, now a day of celebration, signifies a sorrowful event. It is believed that Saint Patrick died on this day sometime in the fifth century. Not long after his death, Irishman began observing this day as a holiday as a “Feast Day.”

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was born in Roman Britain and was taken to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. After escaping, he returned to Ireland as a free man and missionary. He is known and remembered for spreading Christianity throughout Ireland.

Celebrations throughout the Years

People of Ireland have recognized March 17 as a day to celebrate Saint Patrick for the past 1,000 years. During this time, Irishmen honored Saint Patrick with a “feast day.” Ironically enough the tradition of “St. Patty’s Parties,” as we know them today, began in the United States.

It is said that Irishmen serving in the English military first marched the streets of New York City on March 17, 1762. This allowed them to feel connected to their culture while away overseas. At this time, however, it could not be predicted that the number of immigrants would soon surge. In less than a century the Great Potato Famine would hit, forcing many families to flee to America in search of jobs and sustenance. By the early 20th century, it was common to see many different nationalities present in American enfolded into Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Holiday Traditions

Today, Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated throughout many parts of the world, including the United States, Canada and Australia. US megacity Chicago goes all out by dying their river green.

It is said that American celebrations influenced Ireland’s holiday traditions. Before the 1970s pubs were closed throughout Ireland on March 17. It is said that American celebrations influenced Ireland’s holiday traditions. In fact, before the 1970’s pubs were closed throughout Ireland on March 17. However, in recent years government began recognizing how the international holiday increases tourism; they decided to keep bars open so Irish culture could be on display for all to see.

Now, about one million people celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day festival in Dublin ever year. With parades, concerts and fireworks it is somewhat reminiscent of the United States’ Fourth of July. For Ireland, it is one of the largest national holidays. Saint Patrick gives Ireland and all the world reason to celebrate.

Read more Segmation blog posts about the color green: 

Have a Fun Saint Patrick’s Day!

Green Represents Saint Patrick’s Day

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Exploring Chicago’s Sculptures

Is there anything more majestic than a sculpture? Many people would agree that sculptures have the perfect combination of beauty, balance, stateliness, and solidity. Rich in art and culture, Chicago has one of the most impressive arrays of sculptures of any location on earth. Let’s explore Chicago’s sumptuous offering of sculpture art.

Located in Chicago’s Jackson Park, the Statue of the Republic was created in 1918 by Daniel Chester French. The 24 feet high sculpture was crafted of gilded bronze and made in celebration of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition’s 25th anniversary. Funded by Benjamin Ferguson, the Statue of the Republic is fondly known by most Chicagoans as “The Golden Lady.”

Fountain of Time, a sculpture nestled in Washington Park, was created by Lorado Taft and dedicated to Chicago in 1922. Molded of concrete reinforced by steel, Fountain of Time features various figures being hovered over by Father Time. The celebratory sculpture was created after Great Britain and the United States had experienced 100 years of peace.

The Bowman and the Spearman, sculpted by Ivan Mestrovic, are located in Grant Park. Two separate sculptures, The Bowman and the Spearman have been watching over Congress Plaza since 1928. The pieces of art were designed to honor Native Americans and their unique struggles. The Bowman and the Spearman were cast in Yugoslavia and later brought to the United States to be settled in Chicago.

Ceres, the mythical Roman goddess of grain, was crafted of aluminum by John Storrs and has been a permanent fixture atop Chicago’s Board of Trade Building since 1930. Ceres clutches a sack of corn in her right hand and a sheaf of wheat in her left. Storrs masterpiece weighs 6,500 pounds and signifies the commodities market.

The Picasso, a sculpture created by Pablo Picasso himself, was settled in Chicago’s Daley Plaza in 1967. Surprisingly, the Picasso is not a hands-off piece of artwork. Chicagoans often use it as a slide or something to climb on. The Picasso weighs an astounding 162 tons.

While Chicago boasts numerous exquisite pieces of priceless artwork, its presentation of sculpture art is perhaps the most grand of all its attractions, drawing in visitors from all over the world. Have you explored Chicago’s sculptures lately?

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Chicago Landmarks Before the Lens

Old Stock Exchange Building, Cornell University

The Chicago Cultural Center has an ongoing exhibition called “Chicago Landmarks Before the Lens”. Presented by the Commission on Chicago this gallery features 72 large black and white photographs of 24 buildings in a very small exhibit. Best part of this is the Admission is FREE.

If you like good photography and history of Chicago landmarks this is something you should visit when in Chicago.

The photographs are of the 24 landmarks and historic districts photographs from 1956 to 1987 by the late Richard Nickel, Barbara Crane, Bob Thall, and Stephen Beal. The neat thing about this exhibit is many of these buildings the ones that we might not recognize as being famous but are in the process of being dedicated as famous Chicago landmarks. Such photographs displayed are the old North Western Station and the McCarthy Building.

Richard Nickel is known for his documentation of the many of the architectural landmarks of Chicago. He was the first photographer involved with the Commission on Chicago Historical and Architectural Landmarks in 1969. Sadly, Nickel was killed in 2010 while documenting the demolition of Adler & Sullivan’s work in a stairwell in the Chicago Stock Exchange when the building collapsed. It took four weeks to find his body.

Barbara Crane is known for her prints in many areas with a range exploring sequential imagery, platinum prints to large Polaroid’s, silver gelatin prints, and digital pieces. One of the areas she is known for is her work for the Chicago Landmarks Commission from 1972-1979.

Bob Thall is known for his photography on street scenes and has been a major figure in documentary for some time. He is known for his work in architecture and urban landscape photography with the Chicago Landmarks Commission since 1979.

Stephen Beal has done many exhibitions of his professional photography work and studied with photographer Harold Allen. Stephen Beal is known for his photo of the Delaware Building at 36 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois, Wheelock and Thomas, architects 1872, 1982.

Wouldn’t it be nice if these Chicago landmarks could be saved rather than being destroyed and forgotten. Sometimes buildings are torn down way before they need to be and should be preserved.

The Chicago Cultural Center is located at 78 E. Washington Street, Chicago, IL. Viewing hours for exhibitions are Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Chicago Cultural Center is closed on holidays. Admission to Chicago Cultural Center exhibitions is free.

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“Morbid Curiosity”–A Chicago Cultural Center Exhibit

The Chicago Cultural Center opened a very unique and intense art exhibit in January called “Morbid Curiosity.” The exhibit is truly unique because it showcases the work not of a singular artist, but of a collector. The art exhibit is extremely intense because its theme is death.

Richard Harris has spent twelve years collecting pieces of art that convey the many themes of death. The Chicago Cultural Center has over 1,000 of Harris’s pieces on display–they include artifacts, photographs, and decorative objects.

Surprisingly, this is only a portion of the pieces that Harris has collected over the years. His entire collection of death-related art totals more than 1,500 pieces. The museum’s curators, alongside Harris, created a replica of the Cultural Center in order to choose which pieces should be included and how they should be exhibited. Several practice runs led to the many-roomed “Morbid Curiosity” exhibit.

The goal of the exhibit is to address the many facets of death. One entire section of the Chicago Cultural Center is devoted to Mexico’s Day of the Dead. This portion of the exhibit contains a funeral procession of death-related artwork including altar paintings, drawings, and photography.

Another room offers a religious perspective on death. Christian and Catholic artwork provides a foundation on which to examine the common fate we all share in our relationship with death. Artistic images are used to relate the concept of death to the individual.

One room in the Chicago Cultural Center has been affectionately dubbed “the war room” and contains pieces of art that reflect the toll that human action, particularly war, can have on human life.

The exhibit also includes a 13 foot chandelier made of 3,000 plaster bones, 50 photographs, dozens of skulls, real and artistic representations, and Japanese pieces of art made from bone.

Be warned–this exhibit is not for the squeamish. However, “Morbid Curiosity” is perhaps the most suitable name for this exhibit. After all, death may very well be the single thing we all have in common. Richard Harris, along with the Chicago Cultural Center, has afforded us the opportunity to examine how different cultures, religions, and individual actions relate to death. The exhibit ends in July.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ent-0126-museums-morbid-20120125,0,7002015.story

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