City of Chicago: 2017 Year of Public Art

Arriving back into Chicago again was exciting, and a big contributor to that excitement was a small billboard I saw on the train from the airport into the city; it was letting me know that 2017 was the Year of Public Art in Chicago = a whooole lot of street art to be found around the city!

I checked out the City of Chicago website for a little more information…

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) have designated 2017 the “Year of Public Art” with a new 50×50 Neighborhood Arts Project, the creation of a Public Art Youth Corps, a new Public Art Festival, exhibitions, performances, tours and more — representing a $1.5 million investment in artist-led community projects.

There were some incredible pieces scattered around, and I’ve added a few of my favourites below, but they’re helpfully created a few hashtags for you to follow if you’d like to see some more – follow #2017isYOPA or #ChiPublicArt for all of the art work!

 

TBT: NOMA Sculpture Garden, New Orleans

NOMA Sculpture Garden
One Collins Diboll Circle, City Park, New Orleans
http://noma.org/pages/detail/28/Sculpture-Garden

It’s been a long week. I’ve been craving burgers and donuts. But I can’t have any right now. So to take my mind of them tonight (well, it’ll be last night by the time you read this on Thursday morning), I flicked through my travel journal from the trip to America earlier this year, reading back over the pages from New Orleans, my favourite stop. That, in turn, got me looking back at some photos, and then I wanted to draw a little – New Orleans is an artist’s town, after all.

Full disclosure before I go on: I’m not an “artsy” person. I don’t really ‘get’ art. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much a creative sort; I grew up constantly writing, drawing, painting, singing, sewing, photographing, all that jazz. I love nothing more than crawling into bed at the end of a long day and scribbling a little in my sketchbook to help me wind down. But “art,” I don’t get, so I apologise in advance if my photographs of some of these works don’t really do them justice, or if I don’t realise just how important some of them actually are; I didn’t visit the Sculpture Garden in the New Orleans City Park to admire the art, I visited because the park is just so beautiful, and after spending a few weeks in the snow, I was looking forward to being around gorgeous greenery and being able to actually sit in the park without literally and figuratively freezing my ass off!

Anyway, the gardens are absolutely gorgeous and deserving of a visit when you find yourself in New Orleans. As for the art, though I was skeptical on arrival, I actually found that the pieces were pretty cool for the most part! Here were some of the ones that caught my eye…

 

LOVE, Red Blue

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Corridor Pin, Blue
(and in the background, Untitled)

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Pablo Casal’s Obelisk

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And, this guy. I couldn’t find any information on him on the NOMA website, but he was my favourite.

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Frenchmen Art Market, New Orleans

Frenchmen Art Market
619 Frenchmen St, New Orleans
http://frenchmenartmarket.com/

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It’s not an enormous market. It’s not world renown. It’s not packed to the proverbial rafters every Saturday morning. But it is an absolute must visit in New Orleans.

The Frenchmen Art Market lives, funnily enough, on Frenchmen Street. It’s only about a 10 minute walk from the heart of the French Quarter, and it opens nights only – Thursday nights through to Mondays, from around 7pm. It is truly an artist’s market, with everything sold there coming from the talented creative local community, and the added bonus of being located in amongst some of the best live music venues any city has to offer.

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Get out of the French Quarter’s main hub for the night, take in a jazz set (d.b.a. and Blue Nile are both great!), and then head over to the Frenchmen Art Market to buy a one of a kind piece to remember your trip by 🙂

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Eat here: Addict Food & Coffee, Melbourne 

Addict Food & Coffee 240 – 242 Johnston St, Fitzroy, Melbourne https://www.facebook.com/addictmelbourne IMG_7536 I realise this next statement may make me sound like yet another Melbourne hipster, but quite frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. I love a good weekend brunch. Particularly in the Fitzroy/Collingwood region. Yup. Hipster. In my defense, they’ve been my favourite suburbs for a long time now, since I went to uni in the area, years before the hipster revolution. Now I sound like an old hipster. Crap. So, Addict is one of the newer kids on the block, having been around for about a year now. The fact that it’s taken me this long to get there because every time I’ve been past it’s been absolutely jam packed with a line out the front speaks quite highly of it already! Last weekend, we decided to roll out of bed on Sunday morning and head straight on over, hoping that our naturally early rising body clocks would beat the hipsters; we were right 😉 IMG_7529This may be the first coffee shot on my blog – see, I’m not a stereotypical hipster, I hate coffee! My husband used to as well, but he’s converted. Sell out. He said it was really good though, so if you’re a coffee person like 98.97% of other Melbournians, this is a good option. I’m a nanna, so I got a pot of tea. Which I thoroughly enjoyed. But we weren’t there for drinks, we were there for food. And food we ate; there were too many amazing options, so we decided to combine them all with the breakfast board! Clockwise from top right, you’ve got – Potato hash nuggets – Grilled cheese kransky – Cured ocean trout – Perfectly poached eggs – Toast with relish – Even more perfect french toast with berries and mascarpone and berry coulis IMG_7533 This may be one of the best breaky spreads going around. Honestly. There wasn’t a single thing on this board that I didn’t like. Picking a favourite is pretty much impossible too. Actually, it is. I loved everything on there. And surprisingly good value at $32.00 for the words. It would comfortably fill up two normal people. But we’re pigs, and I wanted to try the coconut chia pudding with mango puree and strawberries. So we got that too. IMG_7535 Outstanding chia pudding, the coconut cream was smooth and properly creamy, the mango puree was great, made even better by the little chunks of peach hidden within it. And the puffed buckwheat was the crunchy icing on the chia pudding cake. I know everyone is doing a variation of this, but Addict’s was totally on point. And perfectly sized, too – not impossibly big, not tiny. And the other thing that makes or breaks a place, in my opinion; the service. Absolutely top notch, even with the long weekend craziness. We were well and truly looked after, even my request for a cinnamon-less serving of French toast was fine, and as an even more pleasant surprise, it was not only service with a smile, but service with personality and fun! Some people might not care, they’re just there for breaky, but first thing on a Sunday morning, it makes the world of difference to be served by someone who looks like they’re having a good time, and not pissed off to be helping you! I’m kinda pissed off with myself, though, for having been so put off by the crowds now. I wish I’d visited a year ago when they first opened. I wish I’d been visiting regularly. The weekend is coming up again, which means the hipsters are starting to plan their weekend brunches. Put this place on your list, hipster or not. That said, if brunching with delicious food makes me hipster, pass me the super tight jeans and ironic accessories, and meet me at Addict!

Addict Food and Coffee on Urbanspoon

Fitzroy street art – September/October 2014

There may not be a lot of attention or publicity around it, but there is some seriously awesome street art on and off the main foot traffic areas of Smith and Brunswick Streets in Melbourne’s suburbs of Collingwood and Fitzroy. I like to spend a bit of time roaming the streets at least a few times a month in my favourite place; here are some of the incredible designs I captured over the last few months!

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The Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Melbourne

The Gertrude Street Projection Festival
http://gspf.com.au
Until July 27th, 6pm – midnight

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When I found out my favourite part of Melbourne was hosting (for its 7th year) the city’s biggest free, incredibly visible arts festival this weekend, I got excited. Any excuse to spend the night in Fitzroy.

You can find a lot more information on their website, but in a nutshell, the Gertrude Street Projection Festival is all about projecting the work of local artists (both still and moving work) on the laneways, shop fronts, buildings and even tree trunks on and around Gertrude Street.

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It’s also important, I think, to note that the Gertrude Association that have pulled this together are a non-profit, volunteer run group. They do some wonderful things, so again, check out the website.

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It’s still running for another few nights, so head down to amazing Fitzroy, grab some fantastic food and enjoy the show!!

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