Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ten Thousand Ripples in the Back of the Yards

Pipkin's favorite activity in Chicago, paws down, was the afternoon he spent hopping around the Back of the Yards, a neighborhood near the Union Stock Yards, which employed European immigrants in the 1900s. Pipkin was interested in looking for artist Indira Freitas Johnson's installation Ten Thousand Ripples. The project involved the installation of 100 fibreglass Buddha sculptures around the city of Chicago, with the purpose of impacting public spaces in a positive way. Of the hundred sculptures, only a few are scattered throughout the Back of the Yards, so Pipkin wandered around looking for them. Here are some of his photos of the neighborhood.

Bold, colorful murals and flags anticipated the energy of spring. (These photos were taken in early May.)

Pipkin spotted his first two Buddha sculptures in the gardens of the Hedges Fine and Performing Arts School.

This Buddha co-existed peacefully across from St. Joseph's Church.

This one resided in a small green space in a residential section.

In his search for Buddhas, Pipkin also came across several neighborhood cats. They told him there was one more to be found along a busy street. Pipkin found it, outside of a bank on West 47th St.

Sadly, this one had been vandalized.

But it didn't tarnish his day in the Back of the Yards. This was a neighborhood with a vibrant community feel. Pipkin felt a sense of peace and contemplation while visiting the Buddha statues. He carried that feeling with him as he rode the L back into downtown Chicago.

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