Street Art Chicago Scenic Studios managed the creation and installation of the "ComEd Fine Art Fridges" project to showcase the companies green initiatives.
Cool stuff: Refrigerator art graces Michigan Avenue
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO
Plop a bunch of brightly decorated refrigerators down on the Magnificent Mile in 90-degree heat, and, of course, curious passersby will tug on the door handles to try to peek at what's inside.
They never found out, though. All of the doors were sealed shut.
No matter. All of the cool stuff was on the outside -- glittering marine-life mosaics, giant plaster peapods, beaten-up old boots sprouting grasses and flowers.
In all, nine decorated fridges -- all of them older models -- appeared Monday on North Michigan Avenue, a public art project meant to draw attention to ComEd's refrigerator recycling program. The utility company is urging people to stop using refrigerators built before 1993, to replace them with newer, more energy-efficient models. As an incentive, ComEd will pick up and haul off working old refrigerators for free -- and write you a $25 check.
The artists who designed the refrigerators were asked to incorporate green themes. For her piece, "Cold Spot: A Gulf Story," artist Nicole Beck smothered her fridge in a swirling, glittering mosaic to draw attention to the Gulf oil spill and humans' endless thirst for oil. Beck's fridge prompted countless kids to run their fingers over its bumpy, ridgy contours.
It also inspired Connie Voisine, 45, of Las Cruces, N.M., to decide to give her own refrigerator, back home, a makeover.
"Our fridge looks really boring," Voisine said as her 4-year-old daughter, Alma Bradburd, examined Beck's artwork. "It's inspiring me to decorate my refrigerator. I'm going to buy some beads, some tiles and some shells."