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Skyspace Public Art Opens Today

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Chicago has a major new piece of public art opening today.

On the corner of Halsted and Roosevelt, don’t look for a bronze, or a marble. This new piece of public art is designed to have you look at what’s already there: the sky.

In a plaza, you’ll see columns supporting a reddish oval. Go inside and look up to see a colorful, flattened interplay of sky, space, clouds, and light. This is a ‘Skyspace,’ by Arizona-based artist James Turrell, whose works are all over the world. The Chicago Skyspace is one of the most accessible to the public.

The University of Illinois at Chicago commissioned the project. It includes a fountain, landscaping and lighting. All that cost about $2 million and opens today, about a year and half behind schedule.

But the artist isn’t fazed. James Turrell says he’s given us, “An arena of thought, wordless thought, that has a kind of loneliness, but also a great beauty.”

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