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Council approves ‘bizarre’ sculpture

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The City Council has approved a sculpture for the roof of Evanston’s Maple Avenue Parking Garage that one alderman said appears to depict a suicide attempt.

“The artwork implied to me a potential suicide,” Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said Monday, adding that the sculpture is “bizarre.”

A selection committee appointed by the Public Art Committee approved Hubertus von der Goltz’s “Encounter” after reviewing the work of 189 American and foreign artists.

“I don’t like it at all,” Rainey said. “It is exciting and it’s very, very different, but it just seems to me we could’ve done better.”

Nevertheless, she and all other aldermen voted in favor of the sculpture.

The city capped the total cost for the sculpture at $105,000, which will come from a public arts fund.

Rainey added that the Cultural Arts Division needs to find a way to remove the sneakers that she said kids will inevitably toss up to hang on the structure.

The Parking Committee recommended that a secure door be installed at the rooftop of the garage, Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, said.

The selection committee included Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste, members of the Public Art Committee and the Arts Council, business owners, artists and other community members.

Hubertus von der Goltz, a German artist who specializes in sculptures depicting silhouetted people walking on thin platforms, also designed a sculpture at the LaSalle Gateway Plaza in Chicago.

Cultural Arts Director Jeff Cory said that, like all good art, the sculpture will provoke discussion.

More renderings of the sculpture

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What drivers will see as they approach the garage on Clark Street.

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Driving south on Maple Avenue.

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Looking north from Maple Avenue and Church Street.

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