Vibrant Hello Helios! art exhibit welcomes summer

Greektown’s vibrant new outdoor art exhibit Hello Helios! The warming suns of Chicago’s Greektown presents 24 vibrant sun sculpture artworks along Halsted Street from Madison to Van Buren Streets now through spring 2022. A map showing the locations of the artworks in Greektown is available HERE.

Painted by a diverse group of Chicago artists and named for Helios, the god of the sun in Greek mythology, the 24 artworks celebrate the sun and many draw inspiration from related mythologies, including those in the Greek, Aztec, Yoruba, Japanese and Native American cultures. Hello Helios! is sponsored by Greektown SSA #16, the neighborhood’s business improvement district, and produced by the Greektown Arts Committee in partnership with the Chicago Greektown Educational Foundation.

Along with professional and emerging Chicago artists, the following seven Chicagoland Greek schools created works for the Hello Helios! exhibit: Holy Wisdom Academy Greek School (Willow Springs), Koraes Elementary School (Palos Hills), Plato Academy (Des Plaines), Pythagoras Greek School at the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church (Elmhurst), Pythagoras Greek School of St. John the Baptist (Des Plaines), St. Demetrios Solon Greek School (Chicago) and St. George Greek School (Chicago).

Hello Helios! sculpture titles, locations & artists:

Three Sisters by Le’Ana Asher

Location: Starbucks, 116 S. Halsted Street

Asher, a Native American Anishinaabe/Ojibwe artist from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, creates a visual narrative of the Three Sisters story found, in some form, among most every American Indian Nation. The plant sisters (corn, beans, squash or melon and sometimes a fourth sister, the sunflower) work together and in a natural way to provide healthy growth, long-term soil fertility and the essential nutrients for a well-balanced diet. While each sister is different and unique, it’s when they work together that they are at their strongest.


There are Many Gods in the Skies by Juan A. Cano & Leyla Cano

Location: Mythical Smokes, 235 S. Halsted Street

Cano, a contemporary graffiti artist from Logan Square known for his “shattered glass” style, creates an artwork inspired by the continuation of life. He honors the spiritual beliefs and deities of different cultures that are brought together and reflected as heated light.

OSHUN by Malika Jackson

Location: Arkadia West Loop Apartments, 765 W. Adams (Halsted Street side)

Oshun is the goddess of love and abundance. Often seen as the Aphrodite of the Orishas, Oshun is called upon for guidance in love and desire and, as importantly, to support those who are going through a period of growth and transition.

The Journey of Sol by Tyrue Slang Jones

Location: Zen Leaf, 222 S. Halsted Street

Most of the historical poetical dramatists wrote of Apollo and Helios in reference to the Sun in Greek mythology. Jones, an internationally renowned graffiti artist, wanted to take a fresh new approach and create a visual story/storyboard of the God Helios as a Goddess named Sol which is the Roman equivalent for the Sun. Using traditional mythology and adding a contemporary twist in style, Jones tells his adaptation of the story.

A Neon Sun Sign by Victoria Martin

Location: Rye Deli + Drink, 25 S. Halsted Street

Inspired by the idea of the sun being a rare G-2 Yellow-Green Star, Martin uses fluorescent yellow in this artwork. But, bowing to more traditional experience, the artist includes orange as this is the color most visible through the atmosphere during sunrise and sunset.


Sun and Moon by James McNeill Mesplé

Location: Walgreens, 111 S. Halsted Street

In this artwork, Helios (the Sun) is flanked by his two sisters, Eos (the Dawn) and Artemis (the Moon) as they follow each other in a perpetual procession across the sky. Inspiration for this artwork comes from an ancient Greek coin featuring Helios (400-333 B.C.) and the artist’s recent reading of Sunflowers, The Secret History by Joe Pappalardo. Further, a large statue of Artemis (the Moon) sits beside Mesplé’s desk at the back of his studio and served as his muse.

Helios the Sun Shining in the Sky by Molly McGrath

Location: Wild Fork Foods, 100 S. Halsted Street

The inspiration for Molly’s art came from a dream she had about Helios, the Sun god, flying over Greektown on South Halsted Street, over the CTA Blue Line train station to Forest Park, the trains, train tracks and platform—and the CTA #8 bus stop on Halsted.


Aureole of Helios by Patricia Owsiany

Location: NW corner of Adams and Halsted Street

The classical Greeks considered Helios a minor god, but pulling his chariot from the East to the West every day is no minor feat. In this piece, Owsiany focuses on using hyper-warm colors to represents his aureole, which is the seat of his power. She styles the horses Helios used to reflect the sculpture and the paintings of the ancients.


Eye of Hours by Terry Poulos

Location: Mariano’s, 40 S. Halsted Street

Poulos exhibits the concept of warped time at relativistic, luminal velocities through the imagery of a harmonic oscillating photon pendulum. Featured visual elements in his work include the light spectrum, melting clock, solar eclipse, a homage to Dali’s “Persistence of Memory,” a sun dial, Tower of the Winds, Stonehenge, Mayan calendar, Egyptian obelisk, solar deity Ra, Horus, Archimedes’ “death ray” and a depiction of the ancient Helios statue.


Tower of the Son by Takashi Shallow, Mieko Vasilou & Alexander Hayashi

Location: Arkadia West Loop Apartments, 765 W. Adams (Halsted Street side)

The mother Amaterasu declared, “I am this child’s sun.” The father Helios proclaimed the same. The two argued. And while they argued, the disconnected spots of rouge turned to solid stripes. Soft cheeks turned to stone. The flares receded into a perfect circle. The baby wondered: “Why does the sun always fight with itself about where its ashes will go?”


Medusa and the Sun by Vicky Tesmer

Location: Parthenon Guest House, 310 S. Halsted Street

On one side of the sculpture edition, Tesmer features Medusa, described in Greek mythology as having living snakes in place of hair. The myth goes that whoever looks at her will turn to stone. On the other side of her piece, Tesmer highlights the beauty of the Sun—god of light and life.

Helios/Thalassa by Diane Thodos

Location: Greek Islands, 200 S. Halsted Street

The two Greek words meaning “Sun/Sea” show the bond between these two things both in the ancient world and today. Thodos depicts fish, squid, and octopi inspired by Minoan murals and ceramics showing bountiful and lively sea life. The Mediterranean Sea and its life-giving force is inseparable from the bright Mediterranean sun, two of the most indelible forces that travelers seek out when visiting Greece today.

Sun, Sun, Sun by Vasiliki Valkanas

Location: Mr. Greek Gyros, 234 S. Halsted Street

Science is constantly exploring the significance of the sun. Countless societies personify the sun in their mythology, tradition, and religion. And, in children’s drawings, a smiling yellow sun is a constant character. In this piece, Valkanas captures the multitude of ways that the sun inspires people’s imaginations, culture, and ideas.

Clytie by Miss Alex White

Location: The Van Buren, 808 W. Van Buren (Halsted Street side)

The Greek word for sunflower is ηλιάνθου (heliánthou), from the words for sun and flower. Greek mythology tells the tale of how the sea nymph Clytie was transformed into the sunflower, or heliotrope, which continuously turns its head to look wistfully at Apollo’s chariot of the sun. The Clytie artwork blends colors of the sky and sea into a bold, stenciled work reminiscent of retro, botanical wallpaper.

Helios over Rhodes by Kiki Whitehead

Location: National Hellenic Museum, 333 S. Halsted Street

Whitehead, a first-generation Greek American, drew inspiration for her art piece from Helios (Helius), the Titan god of the sun, a guardian of oaths, and the god of sight. She explains that the worship of Helios was most important in Rhodes. This is the island Helios chose as his gift from Zeus. Greek mythology is one of Whitehead’s favorite subjects making this project a pleasure to work on.

Our Healing Power by Rebecca Zaragoza

Location: Dugan’s, 128 S. Halsted Street

Ancient cultures around the world celebrated the sun as the giver of energy and warmth for all living things. People, plants, and animals thrive because of its rays. The sun was of great importance to the ancient Aztecs and among their deities was the sun god “Tonatiuh.” One of the most renowned representations of Tonatiuh appears on the famous Aztec calendar stone or Sun Stone that was uncovered in 1790 and now resides in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. Zaragoza’s interpretation celebrates the sun’s influence on time, life, and the human spirit.

Sunset over Santorini by Eleni and Dahlia Medero

Presented by St. Demetrios Solon Greek School (Chicago)

Location: Athenian Candle Co., 300 S. Halsted Street

Helios over Chicago Waters by Maria Neri, Anthony Neri and Stefania Triolo

Presented by Holy Wisdom Academy Greek School (Willow Springs)

Location: Meli Cafe, 301 S. Halsted Street


Under One Sun by preschool through 8th grade students, guided by Bridget Grimaldi, Vasilike Bolos, Marianthi Koritsaris, Maria Bolos, Filisa Mantas and Marissa Anderson

Presented by Plato Academy (Des Plaines)

Location: Greek Islands, 200 S. Halsted Street

Helios, the Greek Sun God by 6th grade student Eleftheria Alexandrakis with Joanna Rasoulis, Dimitris Kontos, Theodora Behlis and Katia Denic

Presented by Pythagoras Greek School at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church (Elmhurst)

Location: Athena Restaurant, 212 S. Halsted Street

ΦΩΣ (phos, meaning “light”) by students from preschool to 8th grade

Presented by St. George Greek School (Chicago)

Location: Temple in Elysian Field at Van Buren & Halsted

Galini Blue by Stefani Andrews,Nicoletta Andrews, and Anjolie Riontino

Presented by Koraes Elementary School (Palos Hills)

Location: Spectrum Bar & Grill, 233 S. Halsted Street

On Homer’s Shores by high school students with Olga Metropulos

Presented by Pythagoras Greek School of Saint John the Baptist (Des Plaines)

Location: Artopolis Bakery, Cafe & Agora, 306 S. Halsted Street


“Koroibos” 1st Olympic Champion 776 B.C. by high school and 6th grade students with Olga Metropulos

Presented by Pythagoras Greek School of Saint John the Baptist (Des Plaines)

Location: 9 Muses Bar & Grill, 315 S. Halsted Street

Sun sculpture design/build by Eve Moran and Connie Hinkle, The Greektown Arts Committee.

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