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Culture

New Public Art Exhibit Flies into Greektown with ‘Little Wise Owls’ Opening June 5

CHICAGO – Greektown Chicago presents its new outdoor art exhibit – a parliament of Little Wise Owls – showcasing the wild creativity of 19 local professional/emerging artists and students from nine Chicagoland Greek language schools. A small group of these 28 painted, three-dimensional owl sculptures will be present at Elysian Field, 401 S Halsted Street, for the official ribbon-cutting on June 5 while others will already be roosting throughout the neighborhood along Halsted Street from Monroe Street to Van Buren Street. The exhibit will run through Spring 2025.

In Greek mythology, a little owl (Athene noctua) often accompanies Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Given this association, the owl came to represent intelligence, knowledge, and wisdom. In classical times, too, the owl was the emblem of the city of Athens and the goddess Athena was the city’s patron deity. Ancient coins (tetradrachms) from about 525 BC featured the head of Athena on one side and an owl on the other side. The Little Wise Owls sculpted piece is a soft take on this famous minted image.

“Owls are fascinating birds,” said Greektown SSA #16 Commissioner and Arts Committee Chair Eve Moran. “[They were] important in ancient Greek culture and widely considered throughout the world. The goddess Athena is sure to be pleased that local artists are celebrating her little owl with their gifted work. And I hope these symbols of wisdom, dressed in beauty, bring joy to all community residents and visitors in Greektown.”

Little Wise Owls is sponsored by Greektown SSA #16, the neighborhood’s business improvement district, in partnership with the Chicago Greektown Educational Foundation. Through this association, nine Chicago-area Greek schools are participating in the Owl exhibit: St. Demetrios Pythagoras Greek School, St. George Greek School, St. Nektarios Greek School, Plato Academy, Koraes Elementary School, St. Spyridon Plutarchos Greek School, Holy Cross Sophocles Greek School, St. John Pythagoras Greek School, and St. John Guardian Angel School.

More details on the exhibit can be found online: https://greektownchicago.org.

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