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In the heart of the city you’ll find a state-of-the-art park designed for the new millennium. Discover the reflective Cloud Gate sculpture, the multimedia Crown Fountain and the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, all with Chicago’s stunning architecture as a backdrop. The park is also host to many free cultural programs, concerts and family activities. Plus, there's alfresco dining in the summer and an ice skating rink in the winter.
Allerton Park & Retreat Center
Allerton Park was the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton, who donated it to the University of Illinois in 1946. It features 1,500 acres of woodlands, formal gardens and more than 100 sculptures. The park is open to the public for hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing and leisurely garden strolls.
Black Hawk State Historic Site
Wonderful for families, friends for outdoor recreation. Additionally, the Watch Tower Lodge has hosted thousands of wedding receptions and offers a lovely setting in the beautiful historic park. This wooded, steeply rolling 208-acre tract, borders the Rock River in the city of Rock Island. Prehistoric Indians and 19th-Century settlers made homes here, but the area is most closely identified with the Sauk nation and its great warrior, Black Hawk. Voted one of the "7 Wonders of Illinois," this pristine park offers beautiful trails for hiking and walking only. Picnic areas are also available. While at the park be sure to visit the Watch Tower Lodge that houses a large reception area and the John Hauberg Indian Museum. The museum features Sauk and Meskwaki Native American Indian artifacts and displays depicting the four seasons and life of these tribes. A new exhibit tells the story of the Sauk and Meskwaki—how they came to live in the Quad City area, why they no longer live here, and, as the piece de resistance, a four-by-eight-foot scale model of the city of Saukenuk one of the largest Native American Indian settlements in the United States.
CITY: Rock Island
Bald Knob Cross
A national symbol of faith, this 111-foot-tall cross, when illuminated at night, can be seen over an area of 7,500 square miles atop the most prominent elevation in Southern Illinois. The cross is surrounded by the Shawnee National Forest.
CITY: Alto Pass
Paul Bunyon Hotdog Statue
Standing 19 feet tall and clutching a giant hot dog, this Paul Bunyon statue, not “bunyan” purposely spelled with an “o”, is one of Route 66’s mythic Muffler Man Statues. A few of these giants still proudly grace the roadsides of historic Route 66. This one is located in Atlanta, Illinois, just across the street from the Palms Grill Café, which features fine fare from The Mother Road’s golden age.
Discover cute boutiques housed in historic storefronts in downtown Champaign, including antique and consignment shops. Be sure to stop at PACA’s Architectural Salvage Warehouse, where you’ll find everything from vintage stained glass to ceramic tiles.
Located at Lincoln Memorial Park, visitors can "Walk Where Lincoln Walked" by following the presidents footsteps from Jonesboro Square to the park.
An eclectic district filled with dining and multi-cultural attractions, Midtown Champaign, with the beautiful Boneyard Creek flowing, connects Downtown and Campustown Champaign.
Wandell Sculpture Garden
The Wandell Sculpture Garden was established in honor of Willett and Celia Wandell in 1998. This unique, free outdoor sculpture garden sits among 22 acres of recreated Illinois tallgrass prairie in 130-acre Meadowbrook Park. While walking the looped paths, one can encounter bikers, joggers and other sculpture lovers as the park serves both recreational and educational purposes. Works from local artists with ties to the University of Illinois grace the garden, as well as pieces from artists who reside in New York, California and New Mexico. The garden has both permanent sculptures and some that are rotated every second or third year, keeping it fresh for visitors. Open daily from dawn to dusk.
Located across from the Statehouse in Vandalia, the park features a life-size, bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln. This is a favorite spot for photos with the 16th president.
Cedarhurst Center for the Arts & Mitchell Museum
Exhibitions, a children's gallery, a permanent collection and special events. Grounds include 85 acres sculpture park, nature trails and bird sanctuary. Hosts annual Cedarhurst Craft Fair.
CITY: Mount Vernon
Sculpture on the Avenue
Come explore the sculptures that have transformed the City of Effingham's avenues into an art gallery. Over 30 sculptures created by some of the Midwest's best known and unknown sculptors bring life to the streets of Effingham as part of the annual "Sculptures on the Avenues" outdoor exhibition. Sculptures on the Avenues is a self-guided walking tour that begins at City Hall, located at 201 E. Jefferson Ave. From there, the exhibition winds in and out of Downtown Effingham. An informative guide, which facilitates a walking tour, is available at the Effingham Visitors Center or City Hall.
Museum of Contemporary Art
One of the nation’s largest facilities devoted to the art of our time, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) offers exhibitions of the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. The MCA documents contemporary visual culture through painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the MCA boasts a gift store, bookstore, restaurant, 300-seat theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a great view of Lake Michigan. The MCA aspires to engage a broad and diverse audience, create a sense of community and be a place for contemplation, stimulation, and discussion about contemporary art and culture.
Little Egypt Arts Association Art Centre
Little Egypt Arts Association is a not for profit artist Co-op that was established in 1995 by approximately 20 local artists and art patrons. It's the largest cooperative art center in Southern Illinois. Offering a gift shop, art classes and workshops.
Jacoby Arts Center
Jacoby Arts Center is dedicated to creating opportunities for individual artists in their pursuit of artistic excellence and economic success. The stunning gallery presents works of regional and national artists and the retail shop, known as The Artist Shop, showcases items in a variety of media while providing artists a retail outlet to their audiences.
In the center of downtown Chicago, see the world-renowned Picasso sculpture. "Under the Picasso" entertainment features music dance and cultural programs weekdays at noon.
Mt. Vernon Market
Mt. Vernon Market is located at the former armory building in downtown Mt. Vernon and features farmers markets, flea markets, vendor fairs, trade shows, entertainment, and other events throughout the year.
CITY: Mount Vernon
A World War I memorial stature, “The Spirit of The American Dough Boy” was dedicated on September 6, 1927 following its acquisition through a project sponsored jointly by the local American Legion and VFW Posts. The solider is forever immortalized in statue form, seen is his war apparel and stance. The Dough Boy is a symbol of freedom and remembrance of those who fought for our land.
John A. Logan College Museum and Gallery
Named after Civil War General John A. Logan, the college combines modern architecture and a beautiful park-like setting. Memorabilia of General Logan and his wife, Mary, are on display in the museum and art gallery at the college.
Friends of Community Public Art
Offering scheduled tours of the FCPA murals and mosaic sculpture studios. See art being made by professional and local artists, and learn the details of their work. Art classes available. Visit www.facebook.com/fcpajoliet for more information.
Lincoln The Debater Statue
This famous statue was designed by Leonard Crunelle of Chicago, and was presented to Freeport at the 71st anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas Debate on August 27, 1929, by local industrialist W. T. Rawleigh. It is located in Taylor Park.
Gallery 510/NOVA Framing
Located in downtown Decatur on Main Street, you'll find the venue for Gallery 510's local artist cooperative. Discover original creations by local artisans including pottery, paintings, textiles, fiber art and metal sculptures. There is a free public reception the first Friday of each month featuring a local artist.
The Jesus Tree
The life-size image of Jesus Christ holding a lamb in his arms has brought visitors from all over the world to see this birch tree.
Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park
Sited outdoors over some 300 acres, the 21-piece collection contains monumental works by many of the 20th century's most important sculptors, including Puryear, Nauman, Disuvero and Hunt.
CITY: University Park
Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art
Located on the Campus of Northwestern University, the Block Museum is dedicated to the study and exhibition of reproducible art forms, including prints, photographs, film, video, and computer-mediated art. It is also noted in metropolitan Chicago for its outdoors Sculpture Garden. The museum also hosts an acclaimed film series which moves outdoors in the summer. Admission to the museum is free.
A beautiful sculpture of Sacagawea graces the campus of Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois. The piece was crafted by Glenna Goodacre who also designed the image on the Sacajewea $1 coin.
Elmhurst Art Museum
Exhibiting late 20th Century American Art, Elmhurst Art Museum offers exhibitions ranging from national touring works to local emerging and mid-career Chicago and Illinois artists. The Museum offers public tours, programs, guest lectures and art classes. It's award-winning structure contains a dramatic glass entrance gallery, three museum galleries, an educational pavilion, and the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed McCormick house.
Coal Miners Memorial
In the late eighteen hundreds there were many thriving communities that were totally dependent on area coal mines. Now there is a Memorial to honor all miners. Dedicated on October 14th, 2000, the Coal Miners Memorial is a tribute to all Southern Illinois coal miners of the past century. The inscription at the base of the statue reads, “In memory of coal miners who gave so much that future generations may benefit with a better life. They labored, served their country, sacrificed for their families and some lost their lives. We honor and salute them so that they will never be forgotten.”
National Shrine of St. Therese/Carmelite Visitors Center
DuPage County, Chicago's Western Suburbs - The National Shrine of St. Therese is a Roman Catholic shrine, chapel, and museum dedicated to St. Therese of Lisieux. The Shrine is home to the most wonderful collection of relics, personal effects and memorabilia of Therese outside of France. Tours of the Shrine are available for groups of 20 or more, including a private tour of an exact replica of St. Therese's monastery cell in France. The shrine sits peacefully on a 50-acre estate owned and operated by the Carmelites of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. Adjacent to the Shrine is the Carmelite Spiritual Center, offering meeting room rental, lodging, meals and spiritual retreats as well as organized Shrine tours.
Frye Pottery is located in a beautiful country setting. The Frye's have been professional potters for nearly thirty years. They have made award winning ceramic art as well as functional stoneware pottery designed for everyday use. Frye Pottery also has a sculpture garden for visitors to enjoy.
Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park
A unique experience combining recreational features with an outstanding exhibition of large-scale contemporary sculpture in a beautifully landscaped, easily accessible setting. Stroll, rollerblade, or bicycle along the paved path and view art in nature.
Art Garden of Palos Heights
Visit the Art Garden which features outdoor sculptures & eco-friendly gardens. Murals & sculptures are also displayed in the Downtown Business District adjacent to the Art Garden.
CITY: Palos Heights