At Optima®, we celebrate the fusion of art, culture, and community as much as we cherish the design and aesthetics of our residences. Today, we’re shining the spotlight on a powerful symbol of peace, resilience, and cultural exchange that stands proudly in our home city – Skylanding, the first permanent public art installation in the Americas by the internationally acclaimed artist and peace activist, Yoko Ono.
Situated in the heart of the Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park, Chicago, Skylanding is not only a remarkable work of art; it is a tribute to the spirit of harmony and renewal. Ono’s creation comprises twelve towering steel lotus petals that appear to have gracefully landed, or are just landing, on earth from the sky. The imagery of the petals, reaching between nine and twelve feet high, masterfully uses the symbolic meaning of the lotus – purity and rebirth – to convey a powerful message.
Skylanding is as rich in history as it is in symbolism. Its site is where the Phoenix Pavilion, a gift from Japan to Chicago during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, once stood. The pavilion, sadly lost to arson in 1946, left behind a vacant space that has been transformed into a beacon of hope and peace through Ono’s artwork. In her words, Skylanding is “a place where the sky and earth meet and create a seed to learn about the past and come together to create a future of peace and harmony, with nature and each other.”
The installation is not just a visual treat, but it also offers a unique multi-sensory experience. The towering petals are designed to capture the changes in sunlight, wind, and weather, creating an ever-evolving spectacle that mirrors the city’s vibrant spirit and resilience.
Skylanding is a reminder of the strength that lies in unity and the enduring power of peace. It invites us all to take a moment from our busy lives, stand beneath its impressive steel petals, and absorb its symphony of art, history, and culture it represents.
The next time you find yourself strolling through Jackson Park, we highly recommend taking the time to experience Skylanding. Its poignant story and the tranquil beauty is bound to leave you inspired and enriched!