“Webster’s New Explorer Dictionary and Thesaurus” (1999 edition) defines recreation (noun) as refreshing strength or spirits after work, and a diversion, entertainment and/or amusement. Many Chicagoans participate in recreation and sports. Many Chicagoans watch recreation and sports. Chicago artists can create art from recreation and sports.
Photographs can more easily depict sports art than paintings. Being that sports involves action, a painter would need a “photographic memory” to recall the precise scenario of an action, sports moment. This photographic memory requirement also applies to sculptors who want to capture sports moments in clay, metal or wood.
Professional photographers at professional games often create art without knowing it. (Photographers are at Chicago White Sox games and Chicago Bears games.) This can be a photo of a baseball player sliding into home plate. A hockey player that slides into the opposing team’s net, along with the puck that he has just hit, is an example of a dramatic moment. (Did this ever happen to a Chicago Blackhawks player?)
Sports photos can become art through the application of special effects filters. A photo could depict a skier racing downhill with a wind blast (special effect) in his face. A mundane photo of a sailboat on Lake Michigan can become artistic when an artist applies a solarization filter.
Humorous, recreation or sports photos are often art. A photo may depict a chess player being crowned as he places his pawn on the 11th row. (Many Chicago parks have chessboards engraved on outdoor, concrete tables.) A photo may depict a billiards player holding out his shirt (“losing his shirt”) as his opponent sinks the eight ball in a corner pocket. (Yes, Chicago has pool halls.)
Using Alternative Photography is often art. An example could be a black and white photo of bowling pins tumbling (Chicago has hundreds of bowling alleys.) using a pinhole camera. Another example is a cliché-verre print of a diver diving into a Chicago Park district swimming pool.
The arrangement of common, sports photos can sometimes become art. If you apply different, duotone colors to four, boring photos of baseball umpires at a Chicago Cubs game, and then arrange such photos in a radial pattern mounted on a 16 in. x 20 in. white cardboard, you may win an art contest. Fancy, wooden-engraved frames are not enough to qualify your enclosed snapshots of Buckingham Fountain as art. However, if you took each photo in a different season (spring, summer, autumn and winter), and they have oval frames instead of the usual, rectangular frames, you may have created art.
Like in many other cities, Chicago recreation and sports occur indoors and outdoors. Sometimes, animals get involved; horses raced at Maywood Park. Canada Geese interfered with many golfers on Chicago-land golf courses.