For a month, in 1998, I would begin every day by making an installation somewhere on the sidewalks of Chicago, using spices, seeds and sugar, as an offering for Spring. At day's end, I would return to see what happened to the piece. It was part of the exhibition "Not in My Lobby, You Don't" curated by Chuck Thurow for the Hyde Park Art Center.
Some installations were inspired by the buildings around them, or by the uses of the area. At the Rainforest Cafe, I used material from the rainforest -- coffee, sugar, cocoa -- in a pattern inspired by the restaurant's cartoony architecture. At an intersection in historic Bronzeville, my use of gold, silver and metallic powder framed an inspirational poem. In Grant Park, I only used seeds that the pigeons and gulls would enjoy, learning later that the bed of turmeric they rested on was a bird-repellent.
Some patterns were swept up immediately by diligent maintenance workers. Others were walked through by commuters or blown away by Chicago's infamous winds. But every day was a new opportunity to interact, to create and to bring a dose of the unexpected to the street where we live.