Richard Hunt, artist Gwen Yen Chiu and Chicago Sculpture Exhibit Celebrates Installation of Thought Vortex in Lincoln Park
Internationally heralded artist and Chicago native Richard Hunt, artist Gwen Yen Chiu and Chicago Sculpture Exhibit (CSE) officials celebrated the installation of Yen Chiu’s large-scale sculpture at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Halsted Street on July 19. CSE established the award in partnership with Hunt to help bring new perspectives and added diversity to the large-scale public art world by offering a $10,000 prize to emerging and/or mid-career sculptors for production of new work. Yen Chiu is the recipient of the first-ever $10,000 CSE Richard Hunt Award
Yen Chiu’s “Thought Vortex” is a 12-foot-tall aluminum sculpture that visually depicts a tornado (or vortex) in its center. The artist said that it is “very much a reaction and exploration to my experiences and feelings towards recent events in the world, including political strife and the pandemic.”
Here is a brief video clip of Yen Chiu at work.
Yen Chiu is a Chicago-based artist whose work explores and critiques the ephemeral nature of human history, social practices, and emotion through abstracted imagery. Her process features fabricated and cast metal at its core. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago for Sculpture, receiving her BFA from SAIC in 2018. Yen Chiu was selected as the prize winner by a special CSE jury of three art experts: Jordan Carter, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Art Institute of Chicago; Laura-Caroline de Lara, Interim Director of DePaul Art Museum; and Kate Lorenz, Executive Director of the Hyde Park Art Center.
Richard Howard Hunt is an American sculptor with more than 125 sculptures for public display in the United States. His abstract, contemporary sculpture work is notable for its presence in public displays as early as the 1960s, despite social pressures for the obstruction of African-American art at the time. Hunt has received dozens of awards and honorary degrees from institutions around the world and has served on several boards, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the International Sculpture Center and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Founded in 2001, Chicago Sculpture Exhibit began as a small program to bring a handful of public sculptures to the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Today, CSE acquires and places about 50 sculptures in neighborhoods throughout Chicago--from artists both locally and around the country. An entirely independent not-for-profit, CSE is fully funded through a variety of donations and sponsors, and partners with local community groups and chambers of commerce. Every year the sculptures are rotated out, with new work installed in May. It is the only such program in the city. For more information on CSE or the Richard Hunt Award, please visit chicagosculptureexhibit.org