Tag: Tashi Norbu

A Giant Sculpture, Made in Maywood, Fits Well in Grant Park

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews|| Photos: Alexa Rogals/Wednesday Journal

A 15-foot wooden sculpture that was built in Maywood last year by contemporary artist Tashi Norbu has now become part of the fabric of Chicago’s Grant Park.

The sculpture, called “Urban Buddha,” was built from reclaimed Brazilian wood on the grounds of Re-Use Depot, 50 Madison St. in Maywood.

Continue reading “A Giant Sculpture, Made in Maywood, Fits Well in Grant Park”

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A Sculpture Made in Maywood is Headed for Grant Park

norbu

Tashi Norbu in front of his wooden sculpture “Urban Buddha,” which sits on the grounds of ReUse Depot in Maywood. On Tuesday, it will be installed in Chicago’s Grant Park. | Michael Romain/VFP

norbu-paintingMonday, October 17, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 10/17/16

A giant sculpture made of reclaimed Brazilian wood on the grounds of Re-Use Depot, 50 Madison St., in Maywood will be headed to Grant Park in downtown Chicago on Wednesday.

The sculpture, called “Urban Buddha,” was created by Tibetan-born contemporary artist Tashi Norbu, who splits his time between the United States and the Netherlands.

Norbu said he created the work of art as a social statement on numerous global crises, such as deforestation and global warming.

“Deforestation from palm oil production is unbelievable nowadays,” Norbu said during an interview last Sunday. “The Chinese are doing the same thing everywhere in the world.”

“The message is for us to be the flower, not the bee,” Norbu said. “We have to be like the flower that grows beautifully by itself and you don’t have to look for something that the bee does.

“If you’re a good flower, the bee comes. If you’re a flower, you don’t have to go anywhere to look for happiness. You are yourself happy. You build yourself within.”

Norbu said that on Tuesday, the gigantic artwork will be transported to Grant Park by truck. It will require maintenance every six months, he said.

During his time in Maywood, the artist has left his mark on more than the physical landscape. He’s also left quite the impression on Gordon Hanson’s chess club, which meets weekly at the Maywood Public Library.

“He’s teaching us Buddhist chess,” Hanson said. “The purpose of the game of chess is to put the king in checkmate. The young kids want to kill all the other pieces — the pawns, knights, rooks, the bishop and the queen.

“Not that you shouldn’t do that, but [Norbu] says you should go the more peaceful path of checkmate and if it means taking the queen or pawn, fine, but it shouldn’t be about the American mental attitude of killing all the pieces.” VFP

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Maywood’s ReUse Depot Becoming a Boon for Local Artists

ReUse Depot .jpgTuesday, August 16, 2016 || Originally Published: Forest Park Review || By John Rice || Left: Artists work on a wooden Bhuda at ReUse Depot, 50 Madison St.

Tashi Norbu started his career as an internationally-acclaimed artist in a typically humble way. He was 4 or 5 years old, too poor for paper and pen, drawing a picture of the “Tortoise and the Hare” in the dirt of his Himalayan country of Bhutan. His grandfather was watching and thought Norbu had the skill to become a Thangka painter. Norbu not only mastered this traditional Tibetan art form, he studied Western Art in Belgium and Modern Art in Amsterdam. 

His latest project took him from his home in the Netherlands to Maywood. During the weeks leading up to July 4th, Norbu was busy working on a large-scale Buddha at ReUse Depot. The sculpture was commissioned by the Chicago Park District for the skateboard park at Roosevelt & Michigan in Grant Park.

The Buddha combines all of Norbu’s influences. Using wooden boards, Norbu incorporated the modern western form of Cubism. The Buddha itself is an eastern icon, with Norbu painting Buddhist mantras about compassion on the boards. Finally, the sculpture embraces the modern sport of skateboarding. It has a passageway at its base that allows extreme sports fanatics to skateboard through the sculpture. By constructing the Buddha from recycled materials, the sculpture, “Carries a huge message regarding the deforestation of Tibet by the Chinese,” the sculptor said.

Norbu could not have found a better place to create his 15-foot sculpture than ReUse Depot. Owner Kyle Fitzgerald generously donated the thousands of dollars of wood and paint that were needed. He also provided all the tools. Fitzgerald even joined in the work, happy to fire up his chain saw. Other community members joined in to paint the Buddha. But Norbu’s steady partners were Brooks Warman and Matt Doljanin. They provided hands-on help because Norbu’s time is very limited.

Warman and Doljanin met at North Park College, as sophomores studying business economics. College was great but both were itching to apply their knowledge in the real world. Doljanin’s father, Patrick, manages top boxers from around the world. “I always wanted to manage someone with talent,” Doljanin said. “I wanted to work with artists.” The two friends left North Park to start North Branch Management. Norbu is one of their top talents, commanding high-end prices for his pieces.

Warman was scouting in Maywood, looking for a historic building to house their gallery, when he stumbled on ReUse Depot. Director of Operations Katie Widmar, greenlighted the project and allowed them to build Buddha in their parking lot. Norbu already had a vision for the sculpture and they had Hal Link, who runs a woodworking shop, design the piece. They submitted the drawings to the Chicago Park District and got the OK to build the Buddha. They started work in mid-June and added boards to the sculpture every day. They worked feverishly because Norbu was scheduled to go to San Diego to create a piece called “Stairs to Heaven.”

It was heavenly for Warman and Doljanin to work alongside their star artist. ReUse Depot was also a godsend. “It’s the perfect partner, because it’s saving trees through recycling,” Warman said. “We miss having AC and a computer but we get to work hands-on with Taji.” The project was even more of a treat for Doljanin because Norbu stayed at his place for several weeks. “I learned a lot about Tibetan culture and selflessness,” he said, “I learned life lessons about how our actions affect others.”

“Compassion is the key trait of Tibetan Buddhism,” Norbu said, “My art comes from compassion.” He used Fitzgerald as an example of this spirit. “Kyle’s a great guy. He’s not greedy. He’s not a miser. He wants everyone to work together to save the Earth. I’m happy to be part of this movement.” VFP

D O N ‘ T  M I S S 

The Maywood Old Timers Picnic || 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. || Maywood

Old Timers

Since its founding nearly 20 years ago, the Maywood Old Timers Picnic has become a source of history for those interested in mining the village’s rich past.

This year, the picnic will be held on Aug. 20, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Ave. and Fred Hampton Way (or Oak St.).

Bring your family and friends. There will be food, fun and entertainment. For more information, call (708) 740-0747. Please leave a voicemail if you don’t get through.

ENTERTAINMENT 

Safe Summer Music in the Park || 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. || Maywood

Attendees at the annual Old Timers picnic will get to indulge in free live music starting at 5 p.m. Performers will be setup on the village’s historic gazebo. The smooth sounds are sponsored by the village’s Safe Summer Initiative.