Lighthouse public art display coming to the Mag Mile

CHICAGO (WLS) -- On this Father's Day, a father and son are teaming up for a very special art project. It's all a part of a display coming to Michigan Avenue this week.

Life-size lighthouses placed along the Magnificent Mile aim to raise awareness about children and adults with disabilities.

Adding the finishing touches, Nino and his son Mario took part in the free public art display called "Lighthouse on the Mag Mile."

"My son Mario and I. This would be our second that we've worked on for an installation on Michigan Avenue. And I thought it would be a great idea to showcase his work again," said father Nino Rodriguez.

The exhibit will feature more than 50 six-foot tall lighthouse sculptures by national and local artists to celebrate access and inclusion for people with disabilities.

"We are raising awareness of the capabilities of people who have disabilities. We are celebrating access and inclusion in the workforce, in arts and transportation. And these are areas where Chicago has been a pioneer and a leader in the country, in the world, for people with disabilities," said Janet Szlyk, the president and CEO of Chicago Lighthouse.

"I just want to let people know that if they have somebody who- a child or anybody in their family- who has a disability or something different about them there's always some creativity about them," said Rodriguez.

Each lighthouse has a personal touch. Mario's love of endangered animals will on display.

"Because of the animals I see as well as the fact that the animals are being threatened due to poaching and fur trade," said Mario Rodriguez, one of the lighthouse artists.

"He wanted to paint endangered animals. He wanted to focus on animals that need help or he loved and he wanted people to pay attention to. I said, 'Great Mario let's do this together. I draw the background and you design it,'" Nino Rodriguez said.

Anyone can head down to the Mag Mile for this first of its kind exhibit starting Tuesday.

"The millions of tourists that come through our city, our beautiful city in the summer, will be able to take an audio tour much like you do in a museum," said Szlyk.

The lighthouses will be on display until August 11 and there is an app that will help guide you on the tour.
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