Yoko Ono joins Emanuel to announce art installation for Jackson Park

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Picasso, Miro, Calder and, in about a year, Ono — as in Yoko Ono.

The artist, singer, peace activist and occasional target of ridicule is — like those 20th Century greats — set to honor the city with a piece of her public artwork.

On Friday, Ono, dressed in her trademark all-black and accompanied by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, made a brief appearance in soggy Jackson Park to announce the future arrival of her work — “Sky Landing.”

What will it look like? No one was saying Friday.

“All I know is it’s going to be one with the land and the sky,” said Chicago Park District. Supt. Michael Kelly.

But Kelly said it’s a bit of a coup for the city to land an Ono.

“Yoko is one of the hottest artists right now going in contemporary art,” Kelly said. “Her show at MoMA [The Museum of Modern Art in New York] is getting rave reviews. So we’re lucky that she is here with us now.”

For now, visitors to Jackson Park’s Wooded Island can stare at the grass-covered, horseshoe-shaped mound where the sculpture will go eventually — and wonder.

Sky Landing — part of a $29 million investment in returning the park to the original vision of landscape artist Frederick Law Olmsted — is set to be unveiled in the Japan-themed Garden of the Phoenix in June 2016. Jackson Park is also one of two sites being considered for the future Barack Obama presidential library.

That $29 million worth of work also includes a new pavilion at a restored Jackson Park Music Court — and, apparently, the hope that Ono will not be the only famous visitor to the area.

An artist’s rendering of the planned pavilion features inserted pictures of some well-known faces in the crowd, including President Barack Obama, as well as Beyonce and her husband, Jay Z.

Ono herself offered few clues about her art installation. She gushed about the city’s extraordinary love for Japan.

“There is an incredible, incredible intense opening of the heart from the Chicago end …,” Ono said. “It’s almost like the intensity is almost insane.”

Yoko Ono’s artwork will be installed here, outside the Japanese Garden in Jackson Park, officials said. | James Foster / For Sun-Times Media

Some famous, familiar faces were inserted into the crowd in this picture the city released of a planned music pavilion in Jackson Park. | Provided


Toshiyuki Iwado (right), Japanese consul general in Chicago, bows to Yoko Ono and Mayor Rahm Emanuel after speaking at Friday’s ceremony to announce the future installation of Ono’s first permanent public art installation in the U.S. | AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

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