At Large  July 27, 2018  Chandra Noyes

"Lighthouses on Mag Mile" Sheds a Light on Disability Access

Lighthouses on Mag Mile

Roots and Caring: Beacon for Hope, created by Sandie Bacon & John Hatlestad

This summer in Chicago, public art is being used as a call to action. Fifty-one 6 foot lighthouse sculptures that have been decorated by national and local Chicago artists, many with disabilities, are now on display on North Michigan Avenue, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

Lighthouses on Mag Mile

Rising to Succeed, created by Ken Klopack

Lighthouses on the Mag Mile is spearheaded by The Chicago Lighthouse, a service organization serving the blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veteran communities. Since 1906, the Chicago Lighthouse has provided vision rehabilitation services, education, employment opportunities and assistive technology for people of all ages, serving more than 67,000 people. They hope that the lighthouses will serve as a beacon of hope: one that inspires people with disabilities to achieve their goals, and that encourages the able-bodied community to increase access and inclusion.

The Light Within, Created by Diane Rakocy
Lighthouses on Mag Mile

The Light Within, Created by Diane Rakocy

See View, created by Deborah Maris Lader
Lighthouses on Mag Mile

See View, created by Deborah Maris Lader

Make the World Felt, created by Yu-hui Huang & Eduardo Arias
Lighthouses on Mag Mile

Make the World Felt, created by Yu-hui Huang & Eduardo Arias

Each lighthouse is sponsored by a local business or non-profit, and features the work of one or a team of artists. The themes the artists incorporate is wide-ranging, including vision, the natural world and local icons. Some lighthouses incorporate collage, and one is even wrapped in fabric created by a local group of blind weavers.

Lighthouses on the Mag Mile is on display through August 11. After their display, the works of art will be sold at auction.

About the Author

Chandra Noyes

Chandra is managing editor for Art & Object.