Hopefully, Chicagoans reading this know by now about the museum’s citywide art project: 500 cubes, each associated with a creative pursuit, dropped all around the city over four days, to celebrate the museum’s 500 Ways of Looking at Modern season. Over the past few days, hundreds of people have found cubes and registered them on the Web site, 500-Ways.com. And we are already getting great responses with people’s photos and comments. Some of my favorites are here and here. People are loving the project.
I was one of the people dropping cubes on Monday morning. I admit that I was not a fan of this assignment. The rules were: take 20 cubes and a map, place the cubes in locations appropriate to the tasks, and take a picture of the placed cube. None of that was so bad. The bad part was that this all had to happen before the sun came up. And that it was snowing. Two things I’m not a fan of: early morning and wet snow.
One of my cubes was related to Mary Cassatt’s painting On a Balcony. I remembered an apartment building in Rogers Park (my designated neighborhood) that was right on the beach and had great balconies. So I decided to put that cube on the lakefront jogging path in front of the building. I double parked the car and trudged through the sand and snow to find the jogging path. A man walked by with his dogs. It was probably 5:30 in the morning, snow falling into the void of the lake. It was silent, dark, and mesmerizing. I have lived in Chicago for 20 years but have never seen the pre-dawn lakefront in the snow. I took my own pictures of it. They won’t make the Web site, but that hardly seems to matter.