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The “Sweet Gnome Chicago” Spring Show is an exciting partnership with artists Zena Sakowski and Rob Kelly, the Chicago Park District, the Lincoln Park Conservancy, and Chicagoans like you. With funding provided by the Lincoln Park Conservancy, Ms. Sakowski oversaw a massive artistic process in which unique and colorful garden gnomes were painted in classes, homes, and cultural centers by Chicagoans of all ages. Participants created gnomes in honor of parents, countries, sports teams, movies, and more; thus, each gnome has its own unique “personality.”

Our after-hours event gives you the chance to enjoy the Spring Show and to meet Zena, Rob, and some of their collaborators—the artists behind your favorite gnomes–while the Conservatory is closed to the general public. We’ll have expert docents on hand, music, and Name-A-Gnome and Gnome Scavenger Hunt activities for the kids (and young-at-heart!).

Plus, launching with the event, visitors will now have the opportunity to purchase Large Gnomes from the Spring Show. Exclusive to event attendees, you will have the chance to select the specific large gnome you want to buy! We will not offer this option outside of this night and gnomes will be picked on a first come, first serve basis after the show closes on May 12th.

We can’t wait to see you at this unique after-hours event at the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

About the Partnership

Sweet Gnome Chicago was created by artists Zena Sakowski and Rob Kelly in cooperation with the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Sakowski and Kelly, who live in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, set up a workshop in their home, bought a kiln, and created all the gnomes for this project. The art was built from the ground up here in Chicago: from the creation of the pottery plaster gnome molds to hand pouring, bisque firing, and hand glazing over 400 gnomes. The giant, 15-foot gnome was sculpted from pink home insulation foam using a X-Acto knife. Learn more about the show and this partnership in Zena’s own words – https://www.lincolnparkconservancy.org/get-to-gnome-the-artist/.

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