Love in the Afternoon

Yesterday I took advantage of the sunshine and explored a well-traveled bike route. Biking along the lakefront from Clark Square Park to Northwestern, I traveled through campus to the lakefront path, past the soccer fields and fraternity houses, north on Sheridan Road to Sheridan Place, then south on Ridge. On the northern grounds of Evanston Hospital I found a plaque marking the location of an ancient Indian village and chipping station (a place where arrowheads and tools were made). From there I continued west on Central Street to Greenbay and McCormick where another bike path begins.

The trail greets passersby with a large silver sculpture followed by a short patch leading up to the Evanston Ecology Center and 23-acre Ladd Arboretum. After Bridge Street the path becomes the North Shore Channel Trail. Along this path and within the arboretum lies the Rotary Club of Evanston International Friendship Garden (designed to mimic the Rotary Club logo), flags of many countries (representing the ethnic diversity of Skokie) and the Jacqueline Gorell Park, named in honor of the first female mayor of Skokie. At Dempster Street, the first of four half-mile segments of the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park begins, which continues down McCormick Boulevard to Touhy Avenue in Chicago. I rode as far as Oakton Street before circling back to head home.

The sculpture park is visually interesting from a car, but absolutely fascinating when exploring by foot or by bicycle. Many of the sculptures include QR codes to connect the viewer to information about the sculptor; there is also a self-guided walking tour and booklet with information about each artist and the thoughts behind each work. Many are permanent installations.

The Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park sponsors a biennial competition, the Lewis C. Weinberg Competition, open to interested artists. Applications for the 2015 contest are due before July 1, 2015.



Fabulous Family Event at Twiggs Park on May 19

10k-ripples.jpgThis Sunday, May 19, between the hours of 1 PM and 4 PM, join in a community art and peace project, ‘Coming Together, Bridging Differences.’  The location is Twiggs Park at the intersection of Simpson and Bridge Streets in Evanston, near the Ecology Center.  There will be music, weaving (a giant web out of fabric and twine!), sidewalk painting and more. In case of rain, meet at Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, 1655 Foster Street.

One of the highlights will be a drumming circle led by Rhythm Revolution.  If you’ve never experienced a drumming circle or the health benefits it promotes, read this excerpt from Rhythm Revolution’s website:

A drum circle, or rhythm circle, is a group of people creating and sharing a rhythmical and a musical experience. The instruments used are usually percussion instruments including drums, metal, wood, shakers and Boomwhackers. The circle format is used to optimize listening and communicating. In a circle everyone is an equal participant with no person in the circle any more or less important. The sustained repetition of the pulse results in a rhythmic phenomenon called rhythmic entrainment. Entrainment uplifts the self physically, mentally and emotionally. There is a calming effect on the body and an energizing effect on the spirit.

Evanston is one of ten communities participating in the Ten Thousand Ripples (TTR) project, a collaborative public art, civic engagement and peace project.  You can read about an earlier TTR event in Evanston here. The other nine communities are all neighborhoods in Chicago.  Each community uses art as a spark to encourage discussions, communication and solutions about peace and non-violence.

Don’t miss out — join in the fun this Sunday at Twiggs Park!