Skokie Sculpture Park slates third ‘Art in the Park’ event
The Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park will hold its third annual Art in the Park Aug. 19.This photo is from last year's event. The program allows children to both make and appreciate art. | Photo courtesy of the Sculpture Park
ART IN THE PARK
What: Third annual event bringing children to park to create miniature sculptures.
When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 19
Where: Section I of the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park between Dempster and Main Streets.
Park Information: The Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park runs for 2 miles from Dempster Street on the north to Touhy Avenue on the south and displays over 60 sculptures by artists of local, national and international reputation.
Updated: September 10, 2012 1:07PM
What better place for children to express their creative side than in one of the most creative venues Skokie has to offer?
The Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park will hold its third annual “Art in the Park” event for children Aug. 19 in the first section of the park between Dempster Street and Main Street.
Organizers say that the first two events went so well that they wanted to add more time for children to “create.”
Instead of a three-hour gathering, “Art in the Park” has been expanded to four hours.
“Our first two events each attracted about 100 participants and we think another hour will allow even more to enjoy the activities,” said Board President Sheila Oettinger.
Weeks before schools open again for a new year, “Art in the Park” will provide schoolchildren with a head start on art.
The children make their own small sculptures from clay, beads, feathers and other materials.
There is no cost for the event and Sculpture Park docents and other volunteers will be on hand to assist with the children.
“It really becomes a family affair with parents and older siblings joining in the fun,” Oettinger said. “And they get to take their creations home.”
But visual art is not the only art to which children are exposed at this event.
The Music Institute of Chicago will be at the park to introduce children to a variety of musical instruments and to provide hands-on instruction and encouragement.
More recently, Skokie has stepped up its interest in creating public art with additions in downtown Skokie and a new sculpture at downtown Skokie’s new CTA Yellow Line station.
But no addition to Skokie has expressed village leaders’ commitment to public art more than the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park.
The land along McCormick Boulevard and the north channel of the Chicago River that runs though the east end of Skokie is owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
It had been neglected for years and was by the mid-1980’s considered a community eyesore. The MWRD developed guidelines and wanted suggestions for upgrading the property.
That’s when Skokie came forward with plans to transform the property into a recreational park with biking and jogging paths and seating areas At the same time, a group of private citizens proposed using the park to display large-scale contemporary sculptures.
What evolved by 1988 was the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park, a collaboration between these two entities.
The Village cleans and landscapes the area after creating parking lots, pathways, benches and other amenities.
The citizens incorporated as a private non-profit organization, adopting a mission to select, install and maintain world class sculptures and to provide educational programs to enhance the appreciation of these exhibits.
“Art in the Park” is only its latest venture in carrying out that mission, organizers say.