The “Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns” exhibit at the Chicago Botanical Gardens was a breath of fresh – albeit pumpkin-spice-scented – air. After months of feeling trapped, increasingly bored with the virtual/streaming/digital distractions, we were starved for something that felt real. Tangible. Organic.Â
The coolest part was that the carved pumpkins were arranged according to themes – first came pumpkins carved with iconic images of scary folklores from different cultures, then endangered animals in Illinois, then Dia de Los Muertos/Santa Muerte, and finally sci-fi magazine covers from the Golden Age. Cool stuff. Much needed.Â
I’ve sorted out the pumpkin-carving designs into some broad general categories. And no, I did NOT upload all 1,000 jack o’lanterns. It just felt like it as I built this gallery.