The Orange Gnomes started out as a single project but became part of our SSA and neighborhood identity.
The Original Gnome
Our orange gnomes started making mischief throughout the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods' trees and planters in celebration of Arbor Day several years ago. These little guys were placed to heighten awareness and respect for the urban environment. Sponsored by the Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area (SSA) #33, the gnomes and tree tags were meant to educate residents about the positive impact of urban trees on the business district and community. Area residents took selfies with our gnomes and even adopted a few who still live their lives out and about around Wicker Park and Bucktown. While these particular gnomes are no longer being made, we've brought in reinforcements in the form of lawn-sign style gnomes to drop fun facts about the neighborhood history and to highlight future locations of public art.
The Chicago Sculpture Exhibition
Special Service Area #33 used our army of orange gnomes to announce the locations of five sculptures sponsored by the SSA for the Chicago Sculpture Exhibition. With these public artworks now installed, our gnomes now help guide residents to our page where the map below can be used to find all five pieces and corresponding information.
One Big Thing
One Big Thing is another public art initiative funded by SSA #33. After numerous artists were jurried, Workers Cottage by local artist Lynn Basa, was selected to complete the projects. More information on the projects and its timeline can be found here on our WPB Arts page.
The Wicker Tree
SSA #33 has also commissioned artist Mike Helbing to construct a public sculpture in Wicker Park. Helbing's Wicker Tree is set to debut this summer. More information can be found here on our WPB Arts site.