Greektown – Winged Glory

On May 10, 2016, the sculpture titled Winged Glory was installed in Chicago’s Greek Town as part of Chicago Sculpture Exhibit and with sponsorship by the SSA #16. It sits at the intersection (southeast corner) of Monroe Street and Halsted Street. Created by Jack Howard-Potter, it is on many levels, an inspiring and inspired artwork.

Meet the Artist

Jack Howard-Potter was born and raised in New York City. He earned a BA in Art History and Sculpture from Union College (Schenectady, NY). After college, Jack moved to Colorado and worked with a blacksmith creating furniture and learning about the properties of steel, the medium that he would eventually use to create his art. In 2001, he enrolled in anatomy and drawing classes at the Art Students League in New York City to further his skills as a figurative artist and understand how the human form works and moves. Famed artist and instructor at the League for 40 years, Anthony Palumbo, selected Jack to work as his assistant and eventually became his mentor. For two years Jack immersed himself in the human form, sketching five days each week and completing thousands of drawings. It was this practice that gave him the in-depth knowledge of human anatomy that can be seen in his work today.

Jack has been making and displaying his original sculpture since 1997. He has permanent and long-term displays in sculpture parks, municipalities and galleries across the country including Marco Island and Coral Springs, Florida; San Antonio, Texas; Pemberton, New Jersey; Salem, New York; Jackson, Tennessee; Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Flossmoor, Illinois and Blaine, Washington.

The City of Chicago SSA# 16 is delighted to have Jack’s creation, “Winged Glory,” on display in Greektown.

Jack Speaks on Winged Glory

Winged Glory was created in 2010.  The whole of this sculpture is formed with 3/8th cold-rolled round steel rods and 20 gauge sheet metal.  All of its forms were bent by me and by my hand.  Before coming to Chicago’s Greek Town,Winged Glory was displayed in Brooklyn, NY, Georgia, Sebring, Florida and Lakeland, Florida.

Winged Glory was envisioned by me as a simple object to convey a strong quiet sense of calm and power.  Making a seated male figure with large gold wings seemed to me to embody a sense of reserved energy.  The figure is not posing or grandstanding but simply sitting in a way we can all relate to.  Are the wings imaginary or real for this particular man?  Does he merely believe he possesses these massive powerful wings or are they actually a part of his body?  These questions are the thoughts I am trying to provoke with this sculpture.

Artist’s Statement

I try to capture movement in a medium that does not move. Using steel which is an inherently rigid material I work to convey a sense of fluid action in space. My work explores the wide range of movement of the human figure informed through my study of drawing the human anatomy. My sculptures seek to convey the motion of the body in extremely stressful and beautiful positions; the moment that a dancer is at the peak of a jump, the weightless split second before a body succumbs to gravity. I am describing an ephemeral action in steel to convey this moment for eternity. I want the viewer to visualize the actions that led up to a given pose and the actions that will follow it. Using the brightly colored surfaces separates the figures from the landscape, making them stand out in much the same way people do when they wear clothes. The brilliant colors serve as protection for the steel from the corrosive outdoor environment as well as adding excitement to the steel to aid in the sense of movement. The work explores the range of possibilities and flexibility of the material as well as the subject matter. The display of my work in the outdoor public arena is the perfect place for the inherent academic roots to be brought to every person in an easily recognizable and accessible way, bridging the gap between the intimidating gallery or fine art institution and the general public.

Check out this video for more insight into the creativity of Jack Howard-Potter:

Experience Winged Glory in Chicago’s Greek Town

Chicago’s Greek Town (a lively area anchored by the Hellenic Museum and a host of fabulous traditional Greek restaurants, bars and shops) is made even more exciting with the installation of Winged Glory. This inspired artwork will be on display from May 2016 through May 2017.  We hope that this short introduction to the artist, Jack Howard-Potter, will encourage everyone to explore and reflect on his masterful, meditative creation.  And, we invite postings on your experience.

Note:  Another of Jack’s sculptures – “Swinging II” was installed on May 10, 2016. It sits on the 4800 block of North Damen Avenue in Chicago. This joyful artwork is fully kinetic.

– Eve Moran, long-time commissioner on the SSA # 16 and passionate art-lover.

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