Best Sculpture With Everything Including the Kitchen Sink

Mike's Pan Tree

Critics' Picks

4400 S. Western

What would Joyce Kilmer make of the tree on the grassy boulevard in Brighton Park? A tree that gleams at God all day, and lifts her pots and pans to pray? Besides soup pots and frying pans, Mike's Pan Tree (or Pantry—get it?) has coffee urns, a Thermos, pie tins, tea kettles, colanders, a rusty ladle, soup spoons, and sink strainers welded to 400-series stainless-steel tubing. And in its crown is a stainless-steel kitchen sink. For the piece, part of the city's "Sculpture on the Boulevards" exhibit (which runs through the fall), Berwyn artist Mike Helbing combined his interest in trees and other natural forms with his interest in recycling discarded consumer products; he collected most of the cookware from scrap yards. Eventually, he points out, the copper bottoms of some of the pans will turn green, just like leaves.


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