Sculpture “Phoenix Rising” Looms over Buena Park’s Northern Gateway

From 46th Wqard Alderman James Cappleman:

Today, I was thrilled to dedicate our brand new Uptown sculpture, Phoenix Rising, created by local artist Lucy Slivinski.

There are many people to thank for bringing this project to fruition. We owe a sincere thank you to Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his strong support and dedication to citywide, local art initiatives, including the Year of Art. This project would not have been possible without the team at Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, especially Commissioner Mark Kelly, and their commitment to seeing this project through to its completion. We are also grateful to Jackie and Peter Holsten, Jenn Kincaid from Uptown Underground, and Martin Sorge from Uptown United, who gave their time and lent us their creative minds throughout this process. Finally, we are ever so grateful to the artist, Lucy Slivinski. Uptown is so fortunate to have had the opportunity to benefit from her artistic resplendence.

The sculpture is made in part from salvaged materials from the Uptown community. Last summer, my office opened on a Saturday morning for community members to drop off used bicycles and metal parts. All of those donated materials from 46th Ward residents are featured in the sculpture we see today. From the beginning of this project to the end, this has truly been a community endeavor.

The Phoenix Rising sculpture will serve as the southern gateway to the entertainment district, but there is so much meaning to it beyond the purely directional. In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically reborn, obtaining new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. It’s a symbol of looking forward to Uptown’s future while also guarding its past, where it finds its true strength.

Today, we look to the future of Uptown while celebrating and honoring its past.


Author: bikeuptown46

I am currently the Communications Director for the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters which represents 33,000 union men and women in three states who swing a hammer for a living. I publsih a magazine, a couple of email newsletters and two websites. I also do videos, webinars, advertisng and public relations. As an avid cyclist I ride a three-wheeled trike 5 to 6 days per week 52 weeks per year which adds up to between 5,000 and 6,000 miles year-round, including daily commutes along Chicago's lakefront ... polar vortexes included. I have never missed a day of work because of Chicago's weather. I am an activist who serves humanitarian and political causes: To advocate for the Sudanese in Illinois who have fled Southern Sudan and Darfur is one of my most rewarding experiences. I work with my son Sean on Sudan presentations at churches and community groups with my Sudanese friends on the problems facing them in Darfur, South Sudan and the United States. My son Sean and I work together on the Abolition Institute which seeks to end slavery in the west African nation of Mauritania. My photography chronicles Chicago's lakefront through my daily rides. My photo website is I just self-published my first photo-book on the history of my Chicago neighborhood: Sweet Home Buena Park. I live about one-half mile north of Wrigley Field in the Buena Park neighborhood.

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