Chicago Riverwalk: 6 Art Installations to See

Posted on August 21, 2017

The city of Chicago has declared 2017 as the "Year of Public Art." Here are six works of art to check out on your next visit to the Chicago Riverwalk.

1. Floating Museum presents River Assembly

Location: On Chicago's Riverwalk between Lasalle and Clark

A traveling museum on a barge, the Floating Museum's River Assembly traveled from the Eleanor Boathouse to the Chicago Riverwalk and will remain on display at the Riverwalk from August 14 - 28 before it continues on to Navy Pier. A mobile gallery and platform for public art and cultural programming, the exhibit features free daily guided tours between 12p - 1p and special performances on select dates. The culminating event “art.i.fact” will take place on the Chicago Riverwalk on August 27 with tours and performances from 2p - 8p.

2. Banners by Candida Alvarez

Location: On Chicago's Riverwalk just east of Michigan Avenue Bridge

Four beautiful, colorful banners by local artist Candida Alvarez adorn Wacker Drive above our dockside ticket booths. Candida creates mixed-media paintings that combine abstract and figurative elements in compositions infused with pop-cultural references. Alvarez teaches painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibitions at museums around the U.S. 

3. Deer

Location: On Chicago's Riverwalk between Lake Street and Franklin Street

The lifelike oversized deer is the work of artist Tony Tasset. It was recently on display at Art Basel Miami Beach and will be on display in Chicago through October 2017. A definite fun photo opp with a animal you would never see in downtown Chicago!

4. Riverwalk Gateway

Location: On Chicago's Riverwalk under Lake Shore Drive Bridge

A permanent installation by Ellen Lanyon, the 127-foot long walkway links the Chicago Riverwalk with the Lakefront. It features 28 ceramic panels representing a pictorial narrative of the city's history and the significance of the river to the city.

Flickr - Shutter Runner

5. Return Visit

Location: 401 N. Michigan Avenue

Located just steps from the Chicago Riverwalk and our dock, "Return Visit" by artist Seward Johnson features Abraham Lincoln in discourse with the everyday man. This is the same artist that brought "Forever Marilyn" in 2011, a larger-than-life sculpture of Marilyn Monroe, and "God Bless America" in 2008, a towering sculpture of the farmer and his wife from "American Gothic." 

6. McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum 

Location: On Chicago's Riverwalk just west of DuSable (Michigan Avenue) Bridge

Chicago's diverse bridgehouses standing guard at the ends of its many world-famous moveable bridges are works of art in and of themselves. A cruise along the Chicago River showcases the array of unique towers lining the riverbanks. The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum gives a unique look inside the bridgehouse of one of Chicago's most famous bridges and a historic landdmark - the DuSable Bridge (Michigan Avenue Bridge). Spiraling an impressive five stories up, enjoy picturesque views of the city and river through its many windows.