– At Navy Pier Wednesday, it was the unveiling of sculptures inspired by the spirit of the Olympic games. Pieces of art from around the world are here in Chicago as an artistic preview of the Olympics next summer in Beijing, China.

It wasn’t about Chicago and 2016. This is all inspired by the games next summer. First Lady Maggie Daley stopped by to get a close look at what is called the “Beijing Olympic Landscape Sculpture Exhibition.” It’s the story of art and Olympic athletes.”Simply the message is that the Olympics isn’t just about sports. When the Olympics were started in 1896, the modern games, the idea was to include art the whole time. But unfortunately, it fell by the wayside 60 years ago,” said Tudor Clee, who helped organize the sculpture exhibition.

So this showing of 51 sculptures from around the world is designed to change that and make art a medal winner next year in Beijing. This all started out as a contest with more than 2,000 entries from 90 countries. They are the finalists in this Olympic spirit competition.

“Olympics is connecting people to share in one people. So Olympics should be more than just two weeks every four years,” said Shien Joe, Beijing Organizing Committee of Games.

The exhibit has already visited 30 cities and is scheduled for five more countries around the world before it ends up in Beijing next summer before the Olympics. It’s sort of a passing of the art baton around the world.

Though it’s not about Chicago in 2016, you couldn’t help talk about it.

“We like to think this, this sculpture exhibition is a bridge linking Beijing and Chicago,” said Joe.

The free exhibit is open to the public at Navy Pier through November 3, and you can vote on your favorites and help pick the gold, silver and bronze winners for next summer’s Olympics.

by Lauren Williamson/Medill

(CHICAGO, Oct. 23) – Speed-skaters, swimmers and ski jumpers crowded the plaza in front of Navy Pier Tuesday as an early taste of the Beijing Olympics came to Chicago.

For once, though, the athletes were motionless.

More than 50 sculptures commemorated the 2008 summer games by capturing the spirit of these world-class sportsmen. The traveling exhibit, two years in the making, originated with entries from nearly 2,500 international artists.

“The artists from the world express their wishes for the Olympic Games with artistic language,” said Ping Huang, consul general for China in Chicago. His words underscored the assertion by Maggie Daley, wife of Mayor Daley, that artists help people to better understand the core significance of events such as the Olympics.

Robert Faluso, chief of international relations for the U.S. Olympic Committee, said hosting the exhibit was an important way for the U.S. to demonstrate its pledge to support the Beijing games.

“Culture plays a very important role in that success,” he said, “and we are excited about showing our commitment to the cultural aspect of the Olympic movement.”

Saturating the program was Chicago’s continued push to host the 2016 summer games.

“Chicago is a city that, in my opinion, lives the Olympic ideals,” Daley said. “We are a very diverse city with residents of every nationality, but we all work together and treat everyone with respect.”

Before coming to Chicago, seven other cities, including Barcelona, Seoul and Los Angeles, hosted the sculptures. New York City is the next scheduled exhibition site.

Visitors to the show can vote for their favorite sculptures to determine the final 29 to be displayed in Tiananmen Square during the 2008 games. The top three — awarded gold, silver and bronze medals during the actual games — will be exhibited permanently in Beijing.

Chicago 2016 and City of Chicago Host Beijing Olympic Sculpture Exhibit
Exhibition on Display Oct. 23-Nov. 3 at Navy Pier’s Gateway Park

by Nicole Saunches – U.S. Olympic Committee

(Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 23)  – Beginning today, Gateway Park at Chicago’s Navy Pier will play host to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Landscape Sculpture Exhibition. Models of the top 110 sculptures were cast in bronze, iron, aluminum, stainless steel and other raw materials and approximately 80 will be on view Oct. 23 through Nov. 3. The outdoor exhibition, which is free to the public, is a messenger of the Olympic spirit.

Inspired by the immortal sculptures of ancient Athens, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) organized an international competition in 2005. On Aug. 8, 2005, artists from around the world were invited to submit their sculpture designs depicting some aspect of the Olympic Games or the Olympic Movement. More than 2,000 entries from over 80 countries were received and in 2006 a panel of judges narrowed the submitted sculpture designs to 110 finalists, including 10 designs submitted by American artists.

Today at 12 p.m., an opening ceremony unveiling the exhibition will take place at Gateway Park and will feature a line and dragon dance, red ribbon cutting ceremony and remarks from Maggie Daley, the first lady of the City of Chicago, the Consul General of China, and representatives from BOCOG and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Sponsored by BOCOG, the exhibition aims to bring the essence of Olympic spirit to the world by presenting a wide range of Olympic-inspired works of art. The exhibition began traveling around the world in mid-2006 and first arrived in the United States in July 2007. Cities the exhibition has been on display include: Barcelona, Spain; London, England; Sydney, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; Rome, Italy; Lausanne, Switzerland and Los Angeles, Calif., USA. It is also slated to travel to New York City later this year.

The exhibition will be on display in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square during the Olympic Games, which take place Aug. 8-24, 2008. Following the conclusion of the Olympic Games, 29 sculptures symbolizing the XXIX Olympiad will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals. The winning sculptures will become a part of the urban landscape in Beijing to commemorate the Olympic Games.

(CHICAGO, Oct. 12) — Chicago’s historic Navy Pier is preparing to host the 2008 Beijing Olympic Landscape Sculpture Exhibition later this month.  The 110 Finalist Designs Award Winners, which have been traveling around the world, will be on view October 23 through November 3. 

This extraordinary exhibition has traveled to major cities in China and internationally since mid-2006. It arrived in the United States in July 2007 with shows in Los Angeles and a current show in Sacramento.  The final U.S. show will take place at the United Nations in New York.  The Olympic Landscape Sculpture International Exhibition is one of the highlights of the ongoing Olympic cultural activities in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.  Sponsored by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), the exhibition aims to bring the essence of Olympic spirit to China and the world by presenting a wide range of Olympic-inspired works of art. 

The art extravaganza began on August 8, 2005 with calls to artists to submit designs for Olympic sculpture.  Months later, 2433 proposed designs had been received from close to 90 countries.  A panel of international judges evaluated the designs and recognized 290 proposals as standing out in terms of design and impact.  Models of these selected designs were sent by the artists to China where they were cast in bronze, iron, aluminum, stainless steel and other raw materials.  Three copies were made of each winning entry to enable the exhibition to be shown simultaneously in different cities around the world.
  This project, which aims to spread Olympic spirit and to translate the meaning of the “People’s Olympics” motto into true mass public involvement, has been received enthusiastically in each city that it has visited and viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite sculptures.   

In the last round of judging, expert opinion, along with public votes, narrowed the winners to 110 designs.  Ultimately, 29 sculptures, symbolizing the 29th Olympiad, will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals and the winning sculptures will become part of the urban landscape in Beijing to commemorate the Beijing Olympic Games.  

Navy Pier is located on Lake Michigan, just East of Chicago’s Downtown and has been a Chicago landmark since it opened in 1916.  It boasts 50 acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, eateries and attractions.  


Beijing Olympic sculptures come to Capital

4 October 2007

Beijing Olympic sculptures come to Capital

Click for big version

The Five Elements *******The Beijing Olympic Games – or at least the 2008 Olympic Landscape Sculpture Contest Exhibition – come to Wellington on Friday 12 October.

The exhibition, in the Michael Fowler Centre’s Renouf Foyer, is free and runs until Monday 15 October. It then goes to Fiji and Chicago.

Inspired by the immortal sculptures of ancient Athens, the Beijing Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (BOCOG) organised an international competition in 2005. Artists from around the world were invited to submit their sculpture designs, depicting some aspect of the Olympic Games or the Olympic Movement. More than 2000 entries from 90 countries were received.

Click for big version

Colossus the Olympic*******

In 2006 the exhibition was formed after a panel of judges selected their 110 favourite pieces. After its tour to major cities with an Olympic connection, the judges will award 29 of these sculptures with gold, silver and bronze medals. They will be shown at various Beijing sites during next year’s Games.

Derek Fry, Wellington City Council’s Director of City Services and Events, says Wellington is fortunate to host the exhibition. “We’d like to thank the Beijing Organising Committee and the New Zealand Olympic Committee for helping bring us this unique exhibition. These works are a visual treat, and convey the Olympic spirit.”

>From the earthy energy of The Five Elements to the gravitas of Colossus the Olympic, the works will impress people. Finely wrought in high-quality materials such as copper and bronze, the sculptures have a substantial heft (weighing on average more than 50kg) and presence. In various styles, they are full of imagination, demonstrating the themes of peace, friendship, competition, harmony and progress.

Pierre de Coubertin founded the modern Olympic Movement in 1894, recognising the value that sport could play in developing the “Body, Will and Mind”. Cultural activities and competitions have remained an integral part of the Olympic Movement and, in particular, art with an Olympic dimension has been exhibited at Olympic Games since 1912.

Scoop/Welllington City Councel