In polite circles, folks refer to this Chicago oddity as the Waste Fountain, the Poop Fountain, the Dog Fountain, Fountain of Waste, and the Crap Fountain.
This, uh, clever piece of urban art has been described using every euphemism possible much like its inspiration.
But let’s not be coy. This is the Internet, so I can use the official name of this bronze sculpture/fountain found in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village on the corner of Wolcott and Augusta.
There’s no other name for it: the words SHIT FOUNTAIN are deeply etched into four sides of the marble pedestal, topped by a mighty bronze coil. While it might seem shocking or controversial, the purpose of the fountain is neither. The artist—Polish immigrant and famed Chicago Jerzy S. Kenar—wanted only to remind dog owners to pick up after their pets.
Only a few yards away sits Kenar’s Wooden Gallery, where he has displayed and sold his original works for the last two decades. The problem is, the atmosphere of his picturesque studio, behind a nest of picturesque flowers, in a picturesque Chicago neighborhood was ruined by the foul piles of dog excrement left by walkers daily.
Kenar is a creative fellow. He knows strongly-worded signage and/or fines don’t do much to deter these wayward poopings runs. In 2005, he came up with his own solution and installed a conspicuous reminder directly on the sidewalk.
Like any dog lover, he understands that a dog dropping doo-doos on the sidewalk isn’t the fault of the animal but of the owner. To reflect this, he dedicated the statue to all the dogs of Chicago.
One thing is certain: no one in Chicago has made a pile of shit as pretty as Kenar did.
Want to Know More?
Check out Mr. Kenar’s Facebook page HERE for a virtual tour of his studio along with images of his past works.