February 26, 2021 -- The City of Highland Park is celebrating its sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) in 2019 with highly visible special events, concerts, tours and a variety of other activities including the commissioning of an outdoor public art sculpture. To commemorate Highland Park’s sesquicentennial, the City conducted a competitive solicitation for an outdoor public art sculpture and ultimately commissioned a sculpture entitled ‘Ingress’ by artist Michael Szabo of San Francisco, California. Ingress will be installed in fall, 2019 at the corner park at the intersection of Deerfield Road, Hickory Street, and Laurel Avenue. The HP150 sponsor bricks will also be installed at the park.
Standing over 8’ tall and 24’ wide, Ingress symbolizes both a ribbon honoring the first 150 years of Highland Park, and from another angle, a gateway to the future. The design aims to create experiences of contemplation, curiosity, wonderment, and joy. The interior height of the arch is 7’, allowing people to experience the gateway by walking through and around the sculpture. The sculpture will be fabricated from brushed stainless steel and rich patina bronze, durable and lasting materials, to help reflect the surrounding environment.
“Throughout my career, I have explored how sculptures in a public space can inspire and strengthen bonds between individuals, communities, and their surroundings,” said Szabo. “The City of Highland Park’s commitment to the arts, its outstanding architecture, and friendly people make me proud to have a permanent art piece in the area and to contribute my creative energy to a place that has been part of my life since the early phase of my career as an artist.”
Szabo earned a degree in Fine Art from the Rhode Island School of Design, and in 2014, established Michael Szabo Studio in San Francisco, CA. Over the past 14 years, the studio has been involved in nearly 100 public and private commissions.
Ingress was selected out of a pool of 29 different proposals by the Cultural Arts Commission (CAC). City Council accepted the recommendation of the CAC. In 2018, the City conducted a request for proposals process which was promoted locally and internationally through a variety of arts groups and organizations. The purpose of the sesquicentennial art sculpture is to add to the prestige of the City’s art collection; engage imaginative interaction and reflection; attract and please visitors; contribute to the overall livability of the City of Highland Park; reflect on the innovative energies and creative values of the community; and consider the engagement of viewers who encounter the work in differing modes, including on foot, by bike, and in cars.
For more information about Ingress, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 847.926.1000. To learn more about the City’s sesquicentennial celebration, please visit www.cityhpil.com/HP150.