Chicago: Part Two!

I woke up the next day after having nightmares that the bed was swallowing me up!  Yikes…it’s one of those hotel beds that you sink in, which I generally LOVE, but with my back aching from my plan ride the day and night before, I needed something firm.  
By the time I left the hotel it was 9:30 and I thought that I had wasted my morning, so I dressed in shorts and a tank top, grabbed a bottled water and granola bar from the concession stand down in the lobby and off I went into the warm, hot, humid Chicago day.  By the second block I found it difficult to breathe.  The weather channel had warned the heat index that day would feel like 105 degrees.  Geez.  But I was determined to get some sight seeing done.
Here are some people cooling off at 10am!

Another view of the sky line.

All my walking took me to the Art Institute of Chicago-very awesome.  But I was early!  They open at 10:30am.

I decided to wait and chill on the steps of ArtIC because I was overheated and sweating.  I had almost sucked the water bottle dry.  As I waited, more people showed up to sit on the steps. Then ten minutes before the doors opened, a man hollered as he ran across the crosswalk telling people to get in line.  Of course he didn’t work for ArtIC, he claimed to be a homeless man selling a magazine that gives him part of the profits.  True?  Not sure.  He was pretty clean for a homeless guy and so funny!  People didn’t know what to make of him.  They were amused or frightened and some tried to ignore him.  But he had some funny/stale jokes and it made the wait worth while.  He pointed out the Route 66 sign.

One of the lions guarding the building.

Route 66!
I was impressed with the museum since I didn’t know what to expect.  Everyone talks about the MOMA or The Met in New York but I never hear about ArtIC.  I missed the hubby while I was in the museum, it would’ve been nice to get lost in the museum with him 🙂  Anyway I got to see a good amount of the collection but not ALL.  I’d need a whole day maybe.

Tiffany lamp

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

American Gothic by Grant Wood

Yellow Hickory Leaves with Daisy by Georgia O’Keefe

Cow Skulls with Calico Roses, by Georgia O’Keefe

Windows on the War Exhibit, Soviet Taas Posters

The current exhibit they have at the museum left me feeling strange.  Strange, meaning I was engrossed with the posters created (in an Art perspective  in World War II but as I walked further into the large exhibit, I felt sick.  It really gives you a depiction of World War II in Russia/the Soviet Union…these posters littered the streets and newspapers, etc…the creators of these cartoons/posters wanted to use “words” as a weapon.  They used it to inform and invigorate the citizens and soldiers to fight harder against the Nazis.  The cartoons were graphic and wasn’t created to make one laugh…they were created to give people a message.  These days we have youTube, the internet, etc…news didn’t travel as fast back then.  But during the war a poster was created everyday…I left the exhibit after I reached the part when the Soviet soldiers reached the concentration camps in Poland and the atrocities they discovered.  That’s when I wanted to vomit.  I think because even the cartoon artwork by this stage was just pretty dark, but  they were sending these as a message back to the Soviet Union, telling the people what they found and how it should ignite the soldiers and boost morale.  In a whole, it was an amazing collection of posters chronicling the war in the Soviet Union.  But you feel it in the color palette of the artwork, it’s RED, BLACK, GRAY, YELLOW….it’s tumultuous, chaotic and angry.  An older woman (who probably was a young woman at the time of the war)…was near me with an acquaintance and she said she didn’t enjoy the exhibit…it made me think about the reality of that “time”.  How frightening it was….anyway that’s MY perspective of the exhibit.

Museums are interesting places to visit.  I was taught by an artist friend (who had actually attended the Art Institute of Chicago) that each piece was there before me to CAUSE a reaction in me.  He would always take me to museums and test me…asking me what a sculpture or painting made me want to do…before then I used to think art pieces was just to LOOK at and say it’s nice or not…LOL…I learned to love art because of him.  I also learned to allow myself to feel whatever I wanted to when I viewed art work…he taught me to respect the art YET have fun and not take it sooooo seriously.  He taught me that behind every piece of work there is someone’s idea, thought, labor, time, humor, despair, emotions, heart and soul…even if the soul was abstract and incomprehensible.  It made sense to someone even if it didn’t make sense to me.  You try to come to an understanding…and if not, you can come again and take a second look…it’s like trying to get to know people, sometimes they are what they are, no hiding…and others…have layers you have to peel back to get the whole picture.

After all that heaviness, I SO needed to go find Van Gogh…my favorite artist 😛  I found him and in the process found a very large collection of Impressionism artwork that I had no real time to go through since I spent so much time in another wing!  Boo!


Van Gogh

I sped through the collection unfortunately because it was packed with people and honestly, I was starving.  So I left the museum and regretted it because outside had gotten HOTTER.  Oh my goodness, I was planning to walk more but I couldn’t, the humidity was awful and I was not used to it.  I cut through Millennium Park and saw people under water misting stations.  Nice.  I crossed the street and thought since I was heading back to the hotel, I wanted to stop at the cultural center, it was a great stop!

Look at this dome!  Gorgeous!

Along the ceiling…

Yup, this was once a library…i LOVE libraries 🙂

yes…it IS a Tiffany dome…wow…

Marble and mosaics….beautiful

just me..all blurred…

I was leaving this place when I made a wrong turn inside the building and found Project Onward…which I gotta give a shout out too.  It’s an art studio for people with Autism and various mental illnesses and they create artwork!  I LOVE that.  You get to see them at work in their studio and even meet them.  They get 70% of the proceeds as income!  I bought a few cards and met one artist named Larry.  Really nice guy and coincidentally before even meeting him, I had picked one of his cards to buy 🙂

I made it back to the hotel while Josh was having lunch, which was really nice because I got to spend some time with him finally.  Dinner that night was somewhere nearby since the humidity was giving us headaches on our walk to the restaurant.  We made it back in time to the hotel to avoid the storm brewing over Chicago.  Instead we stayed in the hotel room and fell asleep to flashing lightning and rolling thunder.


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