Enjoy Elements of Art in the Chicago Southland! On this three-day tour, your group will experience art at The Shrine of Christ’s Passion, Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park and more. Conveniently accessible throughout the Chicago-area via Interstates 80, 90, 94, 294, 355, 55 and 57, the Chicago Southland is an ideal group tour location.
Duration: 3 Days
This Itinerary is Ideal For: All
Begin your Chicagoland Art Tour at The Shrine of Christ’s Passion, an interactive half-mile winding pathway that begins with the Last Supper and Garden of Gethsemane. Take the journey through the Passion of Christ as you view 40 life-sized bronze sculptures, each an exquisite work of art.
Come and experience one of the nation’s most distinguished collections of contemporary sculpture at the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. Governor State University’s Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park is recognized as a destination for seeing remarkable sculptures in a unique setting in which the beauty of the rolling prairie landscape surrounds the soaring artistic masterworks.
Minutes from the sculpture park are the Lotton Art Glass Gallery and the studios of Charles Lotton. His business began in 1970 in his backyard, as Charles taught himself the art of glassblowing. Today, you can find Charles experimenting with some of the most breathtaking colors in the world. The chemistry of Charles is unique to Lotton Glass and his studio is one of the few studios in the world to start with sand. Few could foresee that Charles’ works today would permanently grace hundreds of museum collections.
To finish off the day, your group will be able to make its own piece of art at Art 4 Soul. “At Art 4 Soul we share the visions and talents of many artists from refined to funky and functional to fantastic,” said owner Dodi Wians. Choose from a variety of projects including, but not limited to mosaics, ceramic pieces, unique jewelry, block printing or acrylic painting. Their on-site store features original art, contemporary crafts, jewelry, home decor items, purses, accessories and gifts.
Start the day in Chicago at Navy Pier’s Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows is a permanent display of 150 stained glass windows housed in an 800-foot-long series of galleries along the lower level terraces of Festival Hall. Open since February 2000, it is the first museum in the United States dedicated solely to stained glass windows. It showcases both secular and religious windows and is divided by artistic theme into four categories: Victorian, Prairie, Modern and Contemporary. Prominent local, national and European studios designed all of the windows and most were originally installed in Chicago area residential, commercial and religious buildings.
Next, escape to The Art Institute of Chicago and delight in treasured collections that have lured visitors to the museum from all over the world. Journey through Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas as renowned works of art, spanning 5,000 years, inform and inspire you. The Modern Art Wing is now open. This spectacular new expansion features the museums outstanding collections of modern and contemporary art, architecture and design, and photography. Linked directly to Millennium Park with a sleek pedestrian bridge, The Art Institute of Chicago is now the nation’s second-largest art museum.
Millennium Park is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture, and landscape design. The 24.5-acre park features the work of world-renowned architects, planners, artists and designers. Among Millennium Park’s prominent features are the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States; the interactive Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa; the contemporary Lurie Garden designed by the team of Kathryn Gustafson, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel; and Anish Kapoor’s hugely popular Cloud Gate sculpture on the AT&T Plaza. Cloud Gate is better known as “The Bean” because of its bean-like shape.
Before heading home, stop at the Indian Boundary Prairies. More than 250 species of plants thrive at the prairies, including endangered ones such as the prairie white fringed orchid. The Indian Boundary Prairies are an important sanctuary for butterflies and other animals. More than 350 insect species are known to inhabit the prairies along with the smooth green snake, eastern milk snake and 11 other species of amphibians and reptiles. View the prairie and then create a work of art. Artist Toni Ruppert will be on hand to conduct a painting workshop, focusing on the elements of the prairie.