I Saw The Light

Adventures With Attitude!, art, Every Day is an Adventure, Out and About, Travel and Adventure
Chicago Lighthouse Art

This is one of my favorites! I just LOVE the design on it! The Light Within-Diane Robacy

Lighthouses On The Mag Mile

Chicago is a beautiful and diverse city.  When we arrived this trip, I noticed a few decorated lighthouses on Michigan Avenue and looked up what the story was.  I found out that the next day 51 Lighthouses would be debuted throughout the area.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This had a true feeling of movement under the sea. It was lovely. See View by Deborah Maris Lader

Many years ago Chicago was one of the first cities in the United States to participate in this type of art display when they had “Cows on Parade” in 1999-  all handpainted and decorated by local artists.  Other cities have followed suit in years since, with Dogs in Boonton, New Jersey, “Catfish out of Water” in Nashville, and numerous other similar community art projects. Last year Del Mar, CA had horses painted by local artists in honor of the Breeder’s Cup being hosted there. Every city that has participated in these community art projects has benefited by increased tourism and community solidarity.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

I loved the way the poppies were 3 dimensional on this lighthouse. It was simple, but very striking! We Bloom by Vivian Visser

This  summer, from June 19 to August 11 “Lighthouses on the Mag Mile” will be located throughout the city.  The purpose of this display is to bring attention to improving the quality of life for those who are disabled or visually impaired.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

My Layers Run Deep by Hillary Laff-Meyers

Each lighthouse is 6 feet tall, and 30 inches wide at the base, and they become the “canvas” for each of the artists vision of inclusion for all who deal with disabilities. Many of the artists chosen actually live with disabilities of their own, making their work even more poignant.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This one was REALLY different! The hands and eyes coming out of this lighthouse looked SO real! Make the World Felt by Yu-Hui Huang and Eduardo Arias

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Check out how realistic those hands are! They even had imperfections in the fingernails like real hands have!

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Be a Light, Oakton Community College Art and Design Students

Why a Lighthouse?

You may wonder why a lighthouse?  The idea is of a lighthouse being a beacon to champion causes for people with disabilities. The whole project was created by the Chicago Lighthouse, which serves the blind, visually impaired, disabled and military veteran communities. Numerous area businesses and organizations have supported the project with financial backing.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

I loved this one. A Twist of Nature by Didier Nolet

Being a practicing Realtor, I was proud to see one of the lighthouses sponsored by the National Association of Realtors.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This lighthouse – The Path to Ability– was sponsored by the National Assn. of Realtors- so I had to mention it! Created by William Douglas of Project Onward

You Can Own A Lighthouse!

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This lighthouse was incredibly beautiful! it reminded me of Monet- which is interesting, because Monet was visually impaired his last few years, and this artist is also visually impaired! Sailing Chicago Harbor by Jeff Hanson

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This is a close up of the work on this lighthouse. I just loved the three dimensional effect on the flowers.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Northern Lights by Lori and Fiona Murphy

Chicago Treasure by Rich Green

After the display ends on August 11th some of the sponsors will have an opportunity to keep the lighthouses.  Other lighthouses will be auctioned off online.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Rising to Succeed by Ken Klopack

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Dream by Mark Nelson of Gringolandia Studio

It’s amazing that using the same basic lighthouse, the artists could come up with such diverse interpretations!

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Eye Wonder by Lisa Birmingham


















If you can’t get to Chicago yourself to view these lovely works of art- please enjoy my photos of about half of the beautiful lighthouses which are on display.  And please, be the “beacon of light”  to those around you who may have disabilities.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Feeling the Beauty in Every Face is Not Blind by Peter Bucks

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Lighting my Path by Jim Carrol, The Pet Impressionist – featuring local Patricia Ward and her guide dog Carson

Perhaps this project, and the lighthouses might inspire you to question how you could help to be a part of access and inclusion for those living with disabilities.  If we all strive to make life a bit better for those who struggle, and help to focus  on the “ability” in the word disability, we can all help to light our world and make it a bit brighter.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This little girl was fascinated with touching all of the different colored and patterned discs on this lighthouse. She spent quite a bit of time walking around and touching all of the different patterns on the discs, exploring the colors and looking at the detail.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This is a close up of the detail on this exhibit. This one had some of the most detail of any of the lighthouses! So interesting!

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This one was very pretty. Boundless by Pooja Pittie, an artist with Muscular Dysptropy

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Special Olympics 50th Anniversary By David Holt of Project Onward and Cassidy Winston

Chicago Lighthouse Art

I loved the braille on this lighthouse. The tactile experience is really cool on this one! Touch and See by Kristi OMeara.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Blindfold Brushes by Erika Vazzana

A Chicago Lighthouse

Lift Us by Hamza Muhammad, an artist with anxiety disorder and ADHD

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Rise up by Fernando Ramirez of Project Onward

Love & The Machine – Dan Capuli, Amy Loevy & Edwin Capuli

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Close up of this lighthouse and its message.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Lava Lamp by Chris Silva

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Colorful Cloud in a Dark Abyss by Brandin Hurley

For more information on the “Lighthouses of the Mag Mile” please visit their website: https://lighthousesonmagmile.com/

This link will tell you specifics about every lighthouse and the artist who created it: https://lighthousesonmagmile.com/gallery-artists

Information on the Chicago Lighthouse may be found at: Chicagolights.org

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  • Jacki Windish
    June 23, 2018 at 12:54 am

    WOW- that was amazing thanks so much for sharing that cool experience!
    I have such a bad taste in my mouth for Chi-town (MEN !!!!) but I have to say I would go there just to see this amazing array of Lighthouses. Thanks again for sharing!

    • Patti
      June 25, 2018 at 1:58 am

      Jacki, I love Chicago! I’ve never had a problem of any sort there, never felt unsafe. I think it gets more beautiful every time I’m there. These lighthouses are gorgeous! The flowers all around the city are beautiful too! And it seems like every time I’m there I find better and better restaurants! I appreciate you reading the blog!

  • Sandy
    June 23, 2018 at 3:13 am

    Those lighthouses are spectacular – my favorite was the Monet-like one and the simple one with the poppies – What a treat you had to get to walk along and see all of these. 🙂

    • Patti
      June 25, 2018 at 1:56 am

      Sandy, They really were beautiful! We didn’t get to see all of them, unfortunately. We saw about 60% of them. Some were amazing!

    • Patti
      June 25, 2018 at 4:22 am

      Sandy, I agree, those were two of my favorites too! I wish I’d had time to search out the others, but we were off to a family reunion and couldn’t track them all down. Thanks for your input!

  • Regina
    June 23, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you for a great blog on this fun art pieces.

    • Patti
      June 25, 2018 at 1:55 am

      Thanks Regina! I appreciate you reading it!

  • Nancy
    June 25, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Those are very clever. But I think I like your 50s style dress even more. 🙂

    • Patti
      June 26, 2018 at 2:29 am

      Nancy, I just LOVE those dresses! At first I only wore them for dancing, but then decided- WHAT THE HELL? The Queen of Damn Near Everything can wear them every day if she wants! I found a store in Amsterdam that had them, and filled a whole suitcase with them! I’m loving them! BTW- Thanks for reading AND taking time to compliment my dress! (Both are A-OK at any given time!)

  • Dollie
    June 28, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful, amazing exhibit. . Such a worthy cause too.

    • Patti
      June 29, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Dollie, It was beautiful. Our last day in Chicago we went by and saw a few more of the lighthouses, which I will be adding to the article soon. One of them became one of my new “favorites.” It had Helen Keller, and some of her quotes on it…..She has always been my heroine, so I fell in love with it!

  • MAEgan
    July 9, 2018 at 3:01 am

    Stunning & lots of funning!

    • Patti
      July 10, 2018 at 12:14 am

      Thanks so much! I appreciate you reading it- and taking time to comment! Be sure to subscribe- AND share it with your 1,000,000 closest friends! 🙂