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'Solar Pyramid' To Be Centerpiece Of Gallery Guichard Sculpture Park

By Sam Cholke | July 5, 2017 5:57am | Updated on July 7, 2017 11:19am
 The new sculpture park next to Gallery Guichard will include a
The new sculpture park next to Gallery Guichard will include a "solar pyramid."
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Courtesy of Gallery Guichard

BRONZEVILLE — A “solar pyramid” with a type of South Side hieroglyphics will rise in Bronzeville next month.

Gallery Guichard is working with artists and foundations to create a “Migration Park” sculpture park at 450 E. 47th St., with a new work from Chicago artist Shala as the centerpiece.

Andre Guichard, co-owner of the gallery at 436 E. 47th St. on Monday described the new work by Shala as a “solar pyramid.”

He said the artist is working with ComEd, which commissioned the piece, to create a translucent pyramid with a solar-powered lighting system that shines through a system of hieroglyphics Shala  created with kids in the community.

Guichard said he’s really excited to bring the community in to help build something new on the site that played a big role in the neighborhood’s contribution to the arts and culture.

“The lot where the park is going is where the Palm Tavern was. There’s a lot of history,” Guichard said.

The club was once a hub for African-American musicians in Chicago when the city was dominant in shaping how gospel, blues and other genres would sound.

Gallery Guichard is part of an effort to help restore the arts' high position in the neighborhood, and institutions like the Illinois Institute of Technology are getting involved.

Students from the university are helping create a fence for the park that will be assembled and painted by the students with people from the neighborhood.

Guichard said work on the park is expected to start in early August.

The city will lease the lot to the gallery’s partner, the Purpose Foundation, for five years for $1.

“This partnership with the Purpose Foundation in building a sculpture garden is another way that the city is showing its commitment to bringing public art to every community across Chicago,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a prepared statement Wednesday. “By making lasting contributions and investments in neighborhoods, we are continuing to build on the goals of The Year of Public Art.”

The unveiling is scheduled for Aug. 18 at the new park.