GLADSTONE PARK — A twisting, colorful welded aluminum sculpture dubbed "Entwinement II" has been installed in the Gladstone Park Business District as part of this year's Chicago Sculpture Exhibit, organizers said.
Frederick Napoli's 9-foot-tall sculpture was installed Tuesday evening despite the persistent rain on a landscaped island at the intersection of Foster, Central and Milwaukee avenues — one of the busiest intersections on the Northwest Side.
"That spot is perfect," said Eric Craig, one of the exhibit's organizers and a member of the 45th Ward Arts Advisory Committee. "We needed something right there."
Businesses have struggled along Milwaukee Avenue near Central and Foster avenues because of a complicated traffic pattern, making it tough for stores to attract shoppers.
But the opening of Elly's Pancakes on the border between Jefferson Park and Gladstone Park along with the renovation of the Walgreens strip mall at Milwaukee, Central and Foster avenues has brought new life to the area.
Ald. John Arena (45th) is putting together a group of local organizations to contribute $3,500 to sponsor the sculpture, which will remain in the shopping district for one year — unless someone buys it and agrees to maintain it, Craig said.
Napoli, who also participated in the 2012 and 2013 exhibits, will get a $1,500 stipend and $2,000 will go to the Chicago Sculpture Exhibit for marketing and additional costs, Craig said.
Based in suburban Lake Zurich, Napoli also teaches art to adults and children with disabilities, some of whom live on the Northwest Side.
The sculpture depicts two forms entangled in each other, perhaps dancing, Napoli said.
"It depicts the interrelationship between two people," Napoli said. "I hope people seeing it experience excitement and visual stimulation."
"Entwinement II" is the third sculpture to be installed in the 45th Ward as part of the exhibit.
"Twin Souls" by Gus and Lina Ocamposilva is at Lawrence and Milwaukee avenues in the Jefferson Park Business District and "Phenomenon" by Fisher Stolz is near Irving Park Road and Lamon Avenue in the Six Corners Shopping District.
The Chicago Sculpture Exhibit was founded in 2002, and focused on Lincoln Park and Lakeview before expanding its focus to the entire city in 2012. After a kickoff party scheduled for June 27, trolleys will take art aficionados on a tour of all of the sculptures, said Craig, a professional photographer.
Arena, who is up for re-election next year, has been working to turn the 45th Ward into an arts and culture mecca in an effort to reverse decades of decline and to fill empty storefronts.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: