• 2017 To Be the Year of Public Art in Chicago

     
    POSTED July 25, 2017
     

Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events have named 2017 as the "Year of Public Art", and some of Chicago's hottest hotels will be housing living, breathing art installations. Chicago's reputation as a host of cultural and artistic inclusivity has inspired hotels to showcase art in their spaces for the rest of the year. Some of the hotels that will be hosting art pieces are the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel; The Blackstone, Autograph Collection; and Thompson Chicago.

The Chicago Athletic Association hotel, at 12 S. Michigan Ave., now has "Superflat" on display, which includes a Murakami-inspired installation. The Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago is presenting "Superflat" in conjunction with the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel until July 31. This installation includes a giant pink octupus on the hotel's ground floor space, which ties back to the hotel's past swimming pool. Murakami designed this octopus for specifically for Chicago, which exemplifies Murakami's signature concept of pairing a contemporary anime-inspired aesthetic in a flattened picture plane with traditional Japanese painting techniques.

The Chicago Athletic Association hotel now focuses on inclusivity, community, a sense of place, and play, compared to the previous structure of the organization that focused on membership. While the companies have the same name, the new version of the Chicago Athletic Association hotel opened in May 2015, for a grand total of 122 years that the hotel has been open. The hotel has a cultural program that allows guests to check out vinyl records for free, and listen to them in the library of the Drawing room; as well as the storytelling series that hosts influential artists, historians, artisans, and musicians to share their stories.

The Blackstone, Autograph Collection, at 636 S. Michigan Ave., will be hosting a variety of different emerging Chicago artists, currently showing Stephen Eichhorn's work. The Blackstone specifically has an Art Hall where these pieces will be on display, in which it has had rotating art installations since 1910. Eichhorn's work includes collages of new micro-ecosystems, with hand cut and selected materials that are from Eichhorn's collection of historical botany textbooks and publications.

The Blackstone has recently renovated in order to reestablish the heart and soul of the building. The founder of the hotel, Timothy Blackstone, recently funded the Art Institute of Chicago's T.B. Blackstone Collection of Architectural Casts. Now, the hotel houses a specially commissioned collection from mostly Chicago artists, with more than 1,600 contemporary artworks.

Thompson Chicago, at 21 E. Bellevue Place, now hosts a Takashi Murakami installation, in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago to honor their related exhibit that is open June through September, named Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg. The installation at the Thompson will have guests experiences to go with it, including the Thompson Murakami Experience package, classes at Chicago's Hyde Park Art Center, a shopping discount at the MCA store, reduced price tickets to the MCA Murakami exhibit, and a Murakami poster souvenir. The installation at the hotel will house two original prints by Murakami, signed specifically for the hotel. The display at the hotel opened June 30 and will continue throughout the summer.

The Thompson Chicago is known for creating moments for guests to be exposed to art and local cultural experiences, and their partnership with the MCA exemplifies that by wanting to expose Murakami's work to the public by extracting it from the exhibit at MCA.

A prime site for conventions, trade shows and exhibitions, the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) recognizes that it has a unique opportunity to impact the lives of millions of guests and community members that step through its doors every year. That’s why the center has recently collected and donated 14.1 tons of remaining event items and 12 tons of carpet to various Los Angeles-based nonprofit organizations, in alignment with their commitment to zero-waste initiatives.

 

As with most facets of the meetings and events industry, the art of managing an event budget is a true balancing act. And while it’s easy to get wrapped up in the nitty-gritty, Eventbrite revealed a pleasant surprise in its 2018 Pulse Report (which surveyed 1,200 planners), finding that event budgets overall appear to be on the rise. But where exactly are those budget dollars going these days and how can planners best spend to craft memorable moments?

 

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, about 1.5 million Illinois workers are employed in the food and fiber system, ranking it as one of the top states in dependency on agriculture. The state’s 72,500 farms utilize 75 percent of Illinois land, including some of the most fertile soil in the world. While nicknamed “The Prairie State,” Illinois is truly a land of plenty and a hub for agritourism—with some of the largest agriculture-focused events (holding the potential for major economic impact) taking place inside its borders.