CHICAGO — After installing 99 "emerging Buddha" sculptures throughout the Chicago area, artist Indira Johnson said she has come close to achieving the goal of the project.
"We worked with communities for over a year before we started installing the sculptures. It provided an opportunity for organizations that haven't worked together to start to work together." Johnson said. "The goal of the project has been to spark conversations between groups in the community."
The final sculpture in the Ten Thousand Ripples series was scheduled to be installed Tuesday morning in front of Amor De Dios United Methodist Church, 2356 S. Sawyer Ave.
The sculptures have been installed in nine Chicago neighborhoods — Albany Park, Pilsen, Rogers Park, South Chicago, Uptown, North Lawndale, Little Village, Auburn Gresham and Back of the Yards — and in Evanston. Each community has 10 of the statues peeking out of the ground.
Eventually, five of the sculptures will be uprooted from each community for an exhibit at Loyola University, Johnson said. The communities will get to keep the other five statues.
Not all of the Buddha heads have been received warmly. Over Easter weekend, one placed at the El Jardin de las Mariposas park, 1835 S. Carpenter St., in Pilsen was found with its head smashed in.
But with the 100th Buddha sculpture, Johnson said the church and its leaders showed "the hunger for peace and created dialogue as to what other cultures there are."