Art@Site Denise, Ary Perez Milan America's Courtyard

Denise, Ary Perez Milan


America's Courtyard

Adler Planetarium
The plaque reads:" America’s Courtyard. A Symbolic Intergration of the Americans by Denise Milan and Ary Perez.
Appropiate to its location adjacent to the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, this sculpture embodies the spiral shape of the galaxies, while being reminiscent of ancient observatories.
At it's center, the thin spaces between between the four stones align with the north-south and east-west compass points. Leading away from these four center stones are four open avenues through the spiral of stones. These avenues aim to the skyline where the sun rises and sets at the June and December solstices.
Any clear morning or evening during the year, park visitors may check the progress of the seasons by seeing where the sun rises or sets between these two extremes."
Composed of stone blocks of varying colors and origins, Americas’ Courtyard is a tribute to the ethnic diversity of America. The installation was designed to be modular, allowing the sculpture to be reorganized in relation to its surroundings.
The arena of stones was originally located near the Art Institute of Chicago but was later moved to a permanent location on the lawn of the Adler Planetarium. Here the sculpture was reconfigured to resemble a spiral-shaped galaxy.
Artists Ary Perez and Denise Milan worked in conjunction with Adler archeoastronomer Phyllis Pitluga to orient the sculpture to mark the sun’s passage through seasonal equinoxes.
The four pathways from the center of the piece correspond to the points on the horizon where the sun reaches its northernmost and southernmost settings on the solstices.