By Paul Klein

Jessica Stockholder is a wonderful, charming, humble, major, highly influential artist who has changed how sculpture is made, perceived and appreciated.

Chicago is fortunate that she moved here, to the University of Chicago, a year ago. (And I am fortunate that she will be participating in a Klein Artist Works webinar in July.)

Unlike most art-related articles I’ve seen in non-art publications, none of the comments I’ve seen online is negative. This is remarkable. We have a large work of art that is pushing boundaries, entering new territory, changing the landscape, interacting with the City, altering people’s lives and it is being embraced.

Color Jam, at the intersection of State and Adams, is a project enabled by the Chicago Loop Alliance, an organization comprised of Loop businesses who each pay into a fund to augment business(es) in the Loop, and they realize that art has many purposes, of which at least one, is theirs. Kudos and thank you.

This is the 3rd Loop Alliance long-term summer art project. The first was Tony Tasset’s huge Eyeball. (Mr. Tasset is also participating in a Klein Artist Works webinar this summer.) The second was Kay Rosen’s Do Good Chicago. Color Jam may be the most unequivocally popular, and the Loop Alliance deserves major credit for the level of quality they’ve embraced.

The Loop Alliance has come to stand for quality – unlike the preposterous, huge, stupid sculpture of the wonderful Marilyn Monroe, or the embarrassing, ridiculous 5-foot golf balls that will line Michigan Avenue in honor of the Ryder Cup later in September. Over 100 of these 5-foot balls will be painted, including one by LeRoy Neiman. And even worse, these balls will be on view during ExpoChicago and the International Sculpture Conference.

But for now, let’s celebrate the moment.

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