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New Sculpture at State and Lake 'Gives' New Look to Loop Plaza

By Juan Thompson | August 22, 2013 7:04am

THE LOOP — Dusty Folwarczny has been a sculptor since she first began playing around with scraps left over from her father’s metal yard in suburban St. Louis.

“I guess I take lemons and make lemonade,” she said with a smile.

Some of those lemons have made their way to Chicago in the form of Folwarczny’s latest work, “Give," a new sculpture unveiled in the Gateway Public Plaza at Lake and State streets in the Loop on Wednesday.

Appropriately, “Give” — which weighs about 8,000 to 8,500 pounds — is the shape of a loop with a diameter of 14 feet and a base that is 14 feet long and 5 feet wide.

The inviting sculpture is painted gold on the outside and pink inside.

“Pink and gold are approachable colors. The gold industrial material also talks to the ["L"] train tracks" next to the sculpture, said Folwarczny, who now lives in East Village.

But the circular shape of “Give” was not chosen for the sole purpose of its relevance to "the Loop."

“’Give’ is a circle because it’s the traditional symbol for the female who gives life,” she said.

The name of the sculpture also alludes to the tensile strength, or the ability of metal to resist giving into pressure.

The Gateway Public Plaza where “Give” stands is part of the city’s effort to transform underutilized public spaces.

Pedestrians can enjoy lunch at Divvy-blue colored tables in the plaza, smell the plethora of flowers or merely sit and watch the city go by.

“A lot of downtowns are realizing people like the city. So we’re creating places for people to enjoy the city,” said Michael Edwards, the executive director of the Chicago Loop Alliance.

Edwards said “Give” was placed in the plaza to increase esthetic appeal and to draw passersby to the plaza and the businesses located nearby.

The alliance has plans to expand the concept throughout the Loop.

“We are hoping to replicate this in Riverwalk, Pritzker Park and Couch Place,” Edwards said.

Folwarczny, whose work is on display in public spaces in Skokie, North Carolina and Australia, envisions “Give” and other public spaces spurring conversation and cultivating community art amongst pedestrians.

“I hope it will spark a reaction, any reaction that creates dialog, negative or not. I want people realize that art is out there,” she added in between applying the finishing touches to "Give."