Art & Museums

Art on the Street: Get Over to Halsted for Hello, Helios, an Homage to the Sun in Greektown

“Under One Sun” by preschool through 8th grade students at Plato Academy. Photo by Nancy Bishop.

Chicago is known for its public art and you usually find it in high-traffic areas like Michigan Avenue or on Loop office building plazas. But this summer, we suggest you take a detour to the Greektown neighborhood on Halsted Street, just west of the Loop.  There you’ll find Greektown Chicago has opened its new outdoor art exhibit, Hello Helios! The warming suns of Chicago’s Greektown, with 24 vibrant three-dimensional artworks lining Halsted from Madison to Van Buren streets. The exhibit will be on display through spring 2022.

The sculptures are all the same size and shape—my size—so they’re not intimidating giants or climbing challenges. Each one celebrates the sun and has been designed and colorfully decorated with imagery inspired by the sun and mythologies from Greek, Aztec, Yoruba, Japanese and Native American cultures.

“Our Healing Power” by Rebecca Zaragoza. Photo by Nancy Bishop.

The work is done by a diverse group of professional and emerging Chicago artists who work in many media, plus school groups. Seven Chicago-area Greek schools created works for the Hello Helios! exhibit: Holy Wisdom Academy Greek School (Willow Springs), Koraes Elementary School (Palos Hills), Plato Academy (Des Plaines), Pythagoras Greek School at the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church (Elmhurst), Pythagoras Greek School of St. John the Baptist (Des Plaines), St. Demetrios Solon Greek School (Chicago) and St. George Greek School (Chicago). The sun sculpture design/build is by Eve Moran and Connie Hinkle for the Greektown Arts Committee.

“Helios the Sun Shining in the Sky” by Molly McGrath. Photo by Nancy Bishop.

Hello Helios! is sponsored by Greektown SSA #16, the neighborhood’s business improvement district, and produced by the Greektown Arts Committee in partnership with the Chicago Greektown Educational Foundation. A map showing the locations of the artworks in Greektown is available here. Visit greektownchicago.org for more information.

In August, you can view the art again during Taste of Greektown, a festival of Greek food and culture, the weekend of August 27-29. There also will be live music and entertainment, Greek dancing, unique shopping and retail, and family friendly activities.

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