Free events at Daley Plaza under the Picasso. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events presents FREE cultural programs year round in Daley Plaza under the Picasso.
When: Performances begin @ 12 Noon (Schedule is subject to change).
Where: Daley Civic Center, 50 W. Washington (Corner of Washington and Dearborn Streets).
Tuesday, June 19 House Heads United
Join House Heads United for a lunchtime house party with three wild and crazy DJs.
Wednesday, June 20 DJ SE’SI BON
Join DJ Se’ SI Bon for a lunchtime house party.
Thursday, June 21 Make Music Chicago
Enjoy a lunchtime concert with Kuang-Hao Huang and Make Music Chicago.
Friday, June 22 LGBT Pride Kick Off House Music Lunch Jam
Join Madam Ambassador of House Music DJs, Guest Speakers and Mini Vogue Ball.
Monday, June 25 Rico as Michael Jackson
Join Enrico Hampton for a special Michael Jackson tribute.
Tuesday, June 26 Curtain and Clef
Chicago youth perform an energetic cabaret of music featuring pop, Broadway, rock and classical hits.
Wednesday, June 27 The Chosen Few
Join Chicago’s Chosen Few DJs at a lunchtime dance party celebrating Chicago House Music
Thursday, June 28 World Refugee Day Chicago
Celebrate World Refugee Day with those who have established new homes here in Chicago.
Friday, June 29 Cowboy Choir
Enjoy the Cowboy Choir as they harmonize for a lunchtime performance of quirky selections of music, including cowboy tunes.
How did the Picasso end up in Daley Plaza? Per the City of Chicago website:
The Chicago Picasso was commissioned in 1963 by the architects of the Richard J. Daley Center to anchor the plaza on the east side of the building. Most public art in large cities at this time was calm and stoic, mainly depicting historical figures, but in the 1960s, architecture in American cities began to reflect the many cultural and modern changes taking place throughout the country. The Daley Center’s architects decided to commission the renowned Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, to create a monumental sculpture for their plaza.
Picasso worked on this commission for two years, combining and modifying sketches and motifs from some of his earlier works in the design of the sculpture. This resulted in a 42-inch tall maquette, or model, of the sculpture. Both the maquette and sketches of the sculpture may be seen today at the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Chicago Picasso is built of Cor-Ten steel, the same material as the exterior of the Daley Center, and was assembled not far from Chicago at the U.S. Steel Company in Gary, Indiana. On August 15, 1967, thousands of people gathered in Daley Plaza to witness the unveiling and dedication of the city’s newest piece of public art. In his dedication letter, Picasso gave the sculpture as a gift to the people of Chicago, without ever explaining what the sculpture was intended to represent.
Standing 50 feet tall and weighing over 160 tons, the Chicago Picasso in Daley Plaza is much more than just artwork to Chicagoans. The untitled Picasso sculpture that originally sparked controversy in the city has now become one of Chicago’s most famous sculptures and beloved icons.