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Classic Amusement Park – Chicago Waterfront Art


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This Amusement park print from dusk on Chicago’s Navy Pier has always attracted a good deal of attention. In fact this was one of the first prints I sold in a small gallery show in Atlanta several years ago. That first sale was one of those little special moments that got the ball rolling on my art career. It’s one thing creating artwork you enjoy. It’s another when you realize that it’s connecting with other people!

For a period of time, I had to commute to Chicago frequently for work. Although I rarely had time to really explore Chicago, there were a few rare moments where I got out to see more of that beautiful city. On the occasion pictured in this Amusement park print, I had just a little time to wander around the pier before night fell on the windy city. And to capture the lights and motions of an amusement park, I can think of no better time, eh?

This print has been described to me by some as classic Americana. It really has that epic feel of an American theme park as night falls. So much so that everyone who sees it thinks its a different park, i.e. the one they know best. I’m sure it’s because these amusement park rides seen in motion are so ubiquitous. Ferris wheels are, after all, the epitome of theme parks. And I’ve read that most of these swings, or Chair-O-Planes, are made by the same manufacturer. I guess that universal feel is something of a hallmark of Americana – a feeling that encompasses the American experience.

I know this amusement park print will long remains one of my favorites. Not simply because it was the beginning of my career as an artist but because I love the bright colors and the fluid motion. I love the feel I have when I look at it. The feeling that I’m there in the cool night air of Navy Pier in Chicago again. And, of course, I love the wide appeal of this print that everyone seems to think is from their favorite park.

Have you gazed up at the amusement park rides on Navy pier on a night in Chicago? Or does this print remind you of the classic American theme park experience? I hope you’ll share what makes this print special in your eyes!


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