Carts & Cocktails 2015: A Spectacular Day at Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park


What a spectacular day! 

With weather that was literally picture perfect, Janis and I attended the annual Carts & Cocktails event last Saturday at the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park outside Chicago. The park is located on the campus of Governors State University, about 45 minutes south of downtown Chicago. This place is a true gem, and for those who have never been there — and that's most of us — MAKE THE TRIP! Over 30 large scale works of art are sited in the most gorgeous natural prairie setting, with rolling hills, lakes and wild life. You will be charmed and amazed.

A highlight of the day was the rededication of two sculptures by Richard Hunt, (pictured above) getting a big hug here from me along with Janis and Chicago collector Jim Parker on the left. Large Planar Hybrid, 1973-74, is a cor-ten steel piece behind us that is now sited in conversation with another work, Outgrown Pyramid II, 1973, nearby. The two sculptures have recently been refurbished and moved to a new location in front of the school. This has been a big summer for Richard, one of the premier living American sculptors, who just turned 80 and is being showered with parties and accolades. He well deserves all this attention.

The first work encountered on our Champagne-infused golf cart tour of the park was John Henry's monumental (and I'm talking big-assed) sculpture Illinois Landscape Number 5, 1976. The piece has recently been repainted a brilliant yellow and in the afternoon sunlight, it seemed to crawl across the landscape like some primordial creature stretching itself out against the lovely prairie backdrop. I don't know how long it is (a football field?) but this sucker is a really awesome!

Another unbelievable work is Tony Tasset's Paul, 2006. This is the first piece you see driving into the university, and your view of it is way out across a field where a 25 foot tall Paul Bunyan, looking exhausted, challenges your sense of perception. You know he's a long way off but he can't possibly be that large! Up close you see Tasset has given him the weary face of Michelangelo's Moses (notice one our our golf carts whizzing past for a sense of scale). We love Tony's sense of irony, humor and the way he messes with our heads!

Anyway, that's how we spent our weekend, hope your's was fun as well.


Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park

McCormick Gallery