Title:  Rora

Site:  Erie Terraces
North Branch of Chicago River at Erie Street, Chicago

Artists: Ginny Sykes

Assisting Artists: Julia Sowles, Janet Gould, and Karin Warch

Sponsors:  Chicago Public Art Group and the Chicago Department of Transportation

Year:  1999

Scale:  325 square feet

Materials: Glass tile mosaic

Information:  The design reflects the dual nature of the site. The upper level reflects the geographical and ecological characteristics of the region surrounding the Chicago River area, pre-European settlement. The viewer is taken on a journey through various ecosystems. The style of the tile work suggests a layered transparency. It was achieved by a collage design process using theater gels.

The lower level reflects the dynamism of change to the area once commerce and trade, traffic and other competing interests began to dominate the river’s usage and Chicago’s greater development as a large industrial city gained velocity. There are multiple overlappings and abstractions of the themes which create a playful, dynamic circle of moving energy, and suggests a ‘birthing process’ or a source point for the river.