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30 Chicago Statues to Keep Talking Through 2020

(Johnny Knight / Statue Stories Chicago)(Johnny Knight / Statue Stories Chicago)

The public art exhibit Statue Stories Chicago was slated to end this August. But Abe Lincoln, Leif Erikson and Cloud Gate won’t fall silent anytime soon.

They are among 30 statues across the city that have shared their stories with more than 135,000 people since the program launched in August 2015. The free arts project announced Thursday that conversations will continue through Dec. 31, 2020.

How do you start a conversation with a statue? Use your smartphone. Scan the QR code displayed nearby, and you’ll get a call from a voice you may already recognize: John C. Reilly as Abraham Lincoln, for example, or Steve Carell as a man clutching a giant fish by the Shedd Aquarium.

Each statue’s story is told by a writer, actor or comedian. The city’s “chattiest” statues are Cloud Gate, Bob Newhart and the lions guarding the Art Institute of Chicago, according to a press release.

“We feel this is a wonderful way for people to engage with this city’s remarkable collection of public art,” said Kim Coventry, executive director of The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, in a statement.

Want to make a day of talking with statues? Statue Stories Chicago has created a series of self-guided walking tours that range from 15 minutes to about an hour in length.

Map: Where to find participating statues. Tip: Use the zoom in (+) and out (-) buttons to adjust the map’s focus.

Contact Kristen Thometz: @kristenthometz | kthometz@wttw.com | (773) 509-5452


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