With the “D” word all over Chicago’s news today, we started thinking about disasters in general.
The “D” word, for those who are not weather junkies, is derecho (even spell check thinks it’s a misspelling). A derecho is a severe storm, similar to a tornado, that moves in a straighter line. To qualify for derecho status, a storm must be 240 miles long and have wind gusts in excess of 58 mph that create an explosive wind pattern similar to a hurricane.
In a twist of what could only be fate, I came across a Chicago art exposition on the subject of Chicago disasters of the past (no derechos) at Linda Warren Projects. The exhibition, by artist Eric Edward Esper, is aptly called, “Chicago Catastrophes, Conflagrations and Calamities.”
The collection brings to life eight momentous works of art depicting Chicago’s most serious disasters in the last one hundred years. Although the disasters were horrific, Esper’s oil paintings are beautiful.
You can preview them, plus a little history of each catastrophe, in the gallery below. Or view them in person at Linda Warren Projects at 327 N. Aberdeen, Ste.151 in Chicago.