The Lobby Gallery, tucked away on Sangamon Street, just northeast of the corner of Halsted and Chicago, is just that. A lobby that's a gallery. It's an awkward space with an elevator at the entrance and a staircase that winds clunkily to the second floor. Usually, the space features artists who create works that hang on the walls. But not this month.
This month the gallery features an installation called "Terra Incognita" by artist Jenny Roberts (who is also a friend of mine).
Jenny presses an exploration of the lobby space itself. She created a series of topographical islands out of a indoor/outdoor material that is reminiscent of astroturf and putting greens. You need to navigate her installation physically by stepping on or over it as you move through the small, otherwise sterile space.
I always find I make some delightful discoveries when I consider her work, like the little piece of astroturf that seemingly "flows" out of the gallery and sits on the sidewalk outside. The window makes the flow of the greenery look complete from inside or out. It suggested to me a playful way to reconsider how lobby and street work together in often unintended and overlooked ways.
Of course, the Lobby Gallery talks about her a lot more eloquently than I do. Please read about her here. See another example of Jenny's work online here (be sure to look at the detail). The show runs through this Saturday, January 14.