Chicago Lion’s Collars to be Powered by the Sun

November 25, 2010

The two lions that stand guard outside the Art Institute of Chicago will soon be wearing holiday wreaths, only this year’s wreaths will be green, and I’m not referring to their color.

The wreaths will be solar-powered.

Lion outside Art Institute of Chicago wearing an everygreen wreath

No more traditional wreaths for this lion.

Each year on the day after Thanksgiving, the bronze lions outside the museum get wreaths made of evergreens and ribbon.

Not this year.

This year’s massive creations were modeled after North American cranberry wreaths, which will glow at night thanks to solar-powered lights.

Each wreath is made up of 2,011 separate, red spheres, and inside each sphere is “a wish for the world in 2011” written by Chicago-area children, a nod to the spirit of Buddhist and Taoist wishing trees.

The wreaths were made by husband-and-wife Bruce and Stephanie Tharp, who are University of Illinois Chicago professors and the design team from Materious.

To see if the giant wreaths could withstand Chicago’s weather, the couple hung each wreath off their South Loop balcony.

Of course, it’s been unseasonably warm in Chicago lately.

The Wreathing of the Lions ceremony is set for 10 a.m. on Friday, November 26 at the Michigan Avenue entrance.

Afterward, there will be a drop-in workshop to create a Welcome Home Wreath inspired by your favorite Art Institute treasures.

For more information, visit

Categories: Events, In the City

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