I have said this before, but I’m going to say it again: I love Chicago in the summer. I’m from southern California and I love the sun, but I don’t think there’s a place I’d rather be during this time of year than Chicago, Illinois. The winter here is another story, but I think two Saturdays ago I discovered what might possibly become one of my favorite Chicago spaces, especially during the winter: The Garfield Park Conservatory.
I went to document my friend and colleague, Megan Pitcher, the director of MegLouise Dance Company, perform a dance piece at Figment. Figment is an amazing Interactive arts festival that was started to provide opportunities for emerging artists to show work, foster community, provide access to the arts for all, and respond to the oversaturation of branding and commercialism that is often seen at similar festivals. Megan is a talented artist and choreographer, and her work was wonderful.
This was the festival’s first year in Chicago, and it took place at the Garfield Conservatory. I had never been to the conservatory, but I’d heard how great it is from a number of people and it is pretty close to my apartment. I was not ready for how awesome it actually is.
The Garfield conservatory is one of the largest conservatories in the nation, housing about 4.5 acres of amazing gardens, including a desert and palm tree themed garden. For this former California native, it will be really nice to have a little place to go in the winter to feel closer to home. There are benches in the conservatory, so it will be a great place to do some reading/research. They have a number of great events at the conservatory year round. They also host concerts for amazing musicians like Andrew Bird and Bill Callahan. All this to say, the Garfield Conservatory is another one of Chicago’s gems, so if you’re in the area be sure to stop by.