Lonely Planet Writer

A giant deer and a 'Real Fake' sculpture are among the new public artworks on Chicago's Riverwalk

As Chicago marks 2017 as the Year of Public Art, new works including a giant deer and a ‘Real Fake’ sculpture have popped up along the Chicago Riverwalk.

Tony Tassett, Deer at Art Basel Miami
A giant deer was previously on display in Miami at Art Basel. Image by Chicago DCASE

The pieces, found along the 1.25-mile waterfront promenade, were created by local artists like Tony Tasset, Scott Reeder, Candida Alvarez, Sam Kirk and Tyrue “Slang” Jones. The Riverwalk is a long pedestrian-friendly stretch along the Chicago River that brings together locals and tourists who can walk along the banks and stop by the restaurants and cafes along the way – or even do something more adventurous like hop into an urban kayak.

Among the new art pieces is Deer, by Tony Tasset. The life-like statue of a deer was most recently on display at Art Basel Miami Beach. It’s now located along the Riverwalk between Franklin Street and Lake Street through October 2017.

Scott Reeder, Real Fake, 2013
Real Fake is a new piece from Scott Reeder on Chicago’s Riverwalk. Image by Chicago DCASE

Another piece – one that is already popping up on many people’s Instagram feeds – is Real Fake, by Chicago artist Scott Reeder. That piece, which is on the northeast corner of Upper Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue, was displayed at Art Basel Miami in 2013.

A series of banners by Candida Alvarez will also be on display along the Riverwalk, with four east of Michigan Avenue and three east of Columbus Drive until December. In addition to the single panel graffiti work located along the Riverwalk between Franklin Street and Lake Street by Sam Kirk, Tyrue “Slang” Jones has created a four-panel piece entitled Ballerinas at a location between Franklin Street and Lake Street.

2017 was designated the Year of Public Art by Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel, which aims to incorporate art projects throughout the city. This will include a new Public Art Festival in October and exhibitions, performances and more throughout the year.