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).
Friday, May 3 The Chicago Bar Association
Come join us for a celebration of Law Week. Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society. Listen to speeches given by association members and music performed by the CBA chorus.
Thursday, May 9, 16, 23, 30 – Kick-Off Chicago City Markets presented by Humana® Daley Plaza Farmers Market Opens (7am-3pm)
Friday, May 10 Croatian American Day
Come join us on the plaza for some traditional Croatian folk songs and dance performed by various Croatian folk music ensembles.
Monday, May 13 Romanian Independence Day
Come out to help celebrate Romanian Independence Day.
Tuesday, May 14 Cool Commercial Concepts – Mother Diva
Join us for lunch time DJ house music and dance celebration.
Thursday, May 16 Asian American Celebration
Join us at noon to celebrate the Asian American culture.
Friday, May 17 James Dean under the Picasso
Join us on the Chicago Daley Plaza at noon, for some live DJ house music with James Dean.
Wednesday, May 22 Edison Drummers
Chicago Public School Children, grades 4-6, will be on the plaza at noon performing Asian, African and Afro Caribbean drumming.
Friday, May 28 Azerbaijan Center of Midwest America
Join us at noon on the plaza for a flag raising.
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.