Unfortunately... my Mom got a note in April of 2018 from the "Curator of Exhibits and public art" that her “City of Neighborhoods” installation of six massive paintings depicting Chicago neighborhoods was coming down for a while.
"Midway Airport is about to undergo an extensive remodeling. As part of the process all artwork is being removed and stored for the duration. Your artwork will come down by the end of the month. We will take advantage of this opportunity and have the paintings cleaned. The construction is scheduled for approximately two years. Your work will go back in their original locations."
While all the art at Midway airport is down during renovations, you get to fill the empty spaces by making art of your own!
To claim this Virtual Cache as a find, you first need to make some art. Since you have a pen (Geoecachers are NEVER without a pen), you could draw something meaningful to you (traveling, geocaching, an emotionally nuanced and detailed self portrait, etc) on some paper, your boarding pass, your phone, or whatever. Extra points for sculpture (a tribute to my sculptor Dad). As the son of two prolific professional artists, I know that you can always make art. Get creative!
Take a photo of your artwork visible in front of something clearly identifying Midway airport. Attach the photo to your log. Your attached picture needs to show the artwork but cannot be the artwork itself – something “Midway airporty” must be in the image to verify that you were here.
Happy travels, happy geocaching, and let's temporarily pretty up this joint while all of its wonderful public art is in storage!!!
Below is the original Cache description, to be revived in 2020 when the renovation is complete:
My Mom, Kathleen Eaton, has spent her life as an artist painting scenes of Chicago and its suburbs. In 2000 she took part in an international competition to design an art installation for the new Midway Airport Terminal. She was chosen along with 6 other artists to implement differing projects for the building.
Her murals were developed to show the essence of a couple of our neighborhoods to travelers visiting the city. I thought that was a brilliant use of her opportunity here, so I decided to follow in her footsteps with this virtual.
Her installation is pre-security, so if you if you are in the Chicago area for any reason, you don’t even need a ticket to get here – this space is completely open to the public. If you are on a layover, budget enough time to get back though security. Midway security is generally pretty quick, and my Mom’s paintings are on the same level as the security checkpoint so you won’t have to wander around much after you've used your GPSR or phone to get to the coordinates.
Tip: If you are having trouble connecting to satellites inside the building, go up one level to "Arrivals" and step outside. There you can dial in the correct North coordinate, and then figure out just how much further East you have to go when you get back inside. At this latitude, every .010" West to East is roughly 43 feet or 13 meters.
Logging requirements when the renovations are completed:
Option 1 (preferred)
Take a picture of yourself with one or more of my Mom’s colorful paintings of Chicago Neighborhoods in the background and post it with your log. Per HQ guidelines "a face is not required in the photo” – a thumbs-up, a travel bug, your GPSR, a toy, or pretty much anything unique in the foreground will do to verify that you were there. But seriously, get your smiling face in that shot if you can so I can share that photo with the artist that made them (my Mom).
If you don’t have a camera, or your device is low or out of power, you can email or message me the answer to the following question: How many panes of glass are in the railing on the South side of the walking path that runs between my Mom's 6 paintings?
As with all virtual caches, any logs that don’t meet one of the logging requirements will be deleted. I’d hate to ever have to do that. That’s why I am making this as easy as possible.
Enjoy you trip through Chicago! I hope that you get a chance to explore it. And if you are just passing through this time, consider staying a little longer on your next trip. It’s pretty great here. I have been a lifelong native of the Chicago area. It’s no secret that this is one of the great cities of the world, with iconic architecture, terrific public art, awe-inspiring public spaces, and a gorgeous lakefront and skyline to which photos cannot do justice. There are so many celebrated stories about Chicago, from the birth and triumph of the modern skyscraper following the tragedy of our great fire in October of 1871 (darn that cow), the first man-made sustained atomic reaction, the massive highs (and lows) of some of the best known sports franchises in the United States, our legendary World’s Fairs, our era as the “hog butcher to the world” and the “city of big shoulders”, the pioneering high energy particle Physics at Fermilab, our amazing Universities, and on and on. We are also known for Al Capone, speakeasies, an “interesting” history of politics, and other stuff I won’t bother getting into because you’ve already heard those stories too. There are existing area geocaches exposing curious travelers to all of those things I listed above… except maybe Mrs. O’Leary’s cow – I haven’t seen that one yet.
Why I chose to place this virtual here:
This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between August 24, 2017 and August 24, 2018. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards on the Geocaching Blog.
When I learned that I was given this opportunity to place a Virtual, I was completely floored. My mind raced for weeks with ideas for how best to use this one-time gift to share it with as much of the geocaching community as possible, who’s responses to my caches tasked me with the responsibility to do this right. The whole point of a virtual is to place it somewhere an existing cache type couldn’t go.
An interesting geological feature? That should be an earth cache. A great spot? I could just get super creative to get a muggle-proof container in place or base a puzzle on it.
But an airport that hosts over two million travelers a month? Yeah, that really felt like the best, most impactful thing that I could do with this virtual geocache to give back to the community. That my Mom has iconic paintings here was just lucky icing on the cake.
This Virtual was placed with approval from the manager of Midway, who agreed that this would be a good thing for visitors to the city. I hope that you concur. Happy caching, and happy travels everyone!