In 2001, then Alderman Vi Daley took her interest in enhancing the Lincoln Park neighborhoods in a new direction. With the support of local organizations, she created a neighborhood art exhibition that involved large-scale sculptures. Vi Daley and seven other neighborhood organizations and small businesses joined together to present what would eventually become the Chicago Sculpture Exhibit. With encouragement and suggestions from the Department of Chicago Cultural Affairs and the Chicago Park District, 2002 saw the installation of eight sculptures in the Lincoln Park neighborhood from May through October. Another major change occurred in 2007, when Alderman Tom Tunney brought the Lakeview communities into the show. In 2011, at the time of the 10th Anniversary, 20 sculptures were installed for one full year in Lincoln Park and Lakeview. Following the 10-year anniversary, a larger Board of Directors was created to further enhance the show and build a stronger base for the future.

From eight pieces and the name Lincoln Park Community Art Initiative to a recent average of 50 pieces, the Chicago Sculpture Exhibit has maintained many of its prime characteristics. All works are sited in public view and viewers are encouraged to walk right up to the sculptures and become familiar with them. The show is funded entirely with donations. There is no charge to enjoy these works of art and it is hoped that they are a part of the community’s everyday enjoyment.

As Chicago neighborhoods continue to welcome sculpture into their environments, CSE will continue to lead the way in introducing artists to the community. Coming years promise to be as exciting, if not more so, than the previous.