Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chicago Worldcon 2000

I used to go to science fiction conventions all over the country. I would pack my art up in a chunky bundle and drag it, usually by car, to places as diverse as Chattanooga, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois. I attended Chicon, the World Science Fiction Convention, in Chicago in September of 2000. I drove out there, taking extra time to see Midwestern places such as Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Gary, Indiana (if only from a distance). Chicago was thrilling for an architecture fan like me. In fact I have only dim memories of Chicon but I have never forgotten the guided tour I took of Frank Lloyd Wright's home in Oak Park and other Wright buildings in that neighborhood. I loved the dazzling skyline and Lake Shore Drive and the sight of a body of water that looked like an ocean but was not an ocean. (Isn't that the sea? Why aren't there waves? Why doesn't it smell like the sea?) And of course I saw the greatest thing ever, the Tevatron particle accelerator at Fermilab, about 50 miles west of Chicago. What was the Worldcon about? I don't remember. I would continue my "Great Midwestern Trip" through other Midwestern places, traveling for almost all of September, making drawings and taking pictures (which I can't quite find in all the clutter). In those days I could do things like a month-long road trip. I had more money and more time, no day job, and lots of art to market.

This sketch depicts the atrium of the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, one of the convention hotels. It had a tall industrial-style space, reminiscent of steel mills and other manly Chicago achievements. There was a shallow pool, only for decoration, at the bottom of the atrium, with a fountain emerging from a metal abstract sculpture. I wonder if any of that is still there.

Various markers and colored pencils, 6" x 10", September 1, 2000.

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