City Engages Visual Artists to Promote COVID-19 Vaccines

August 16, 2021

CDPH and DCASE Commission Creative Designs from Local Artists for Billboards and Social Media Campaign

Joint Information Center    media.coronavirus@cityofchicago.org

CHICAGO - The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), and the Design Museum of Chicago are getting creative in the campaign to get Chicagoans vaccinated against COVID-19. Specifically, they are tapping into the creative talents of more than 80 local artists to design original art exploring themes of health, vitality, community, and vaccine distribution to encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

The commissioned art will be featured on print and digital billboards throughout Chicago neighborhoods and on the City and artists’ social media channels. The first 26 original works were unveiled today at Chicago.gov/VaxChiArt, with additional pieces being shared over the coming weeks.

“When people get vaccinated against COVID-19 they are not only protecting themselves, they are helping to protect their communities and Chicago as well,” said Allison Arwardy, M.D., Commissioner, CDPH. “This campaign showcases these themes in unique and culturally relevant ways. It shows how we can all work together to truly put the pandemic behind us.”

“Artists have a distinct perspective on our city and its many cultures. Showcasing their creative work adds another dimension to the movement to protect residents and communities through these life-saving vaccines,” said DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly. “This campaign demonstrates the power of art in our lives while also supporting Chicago creators, many of whom have been economically impacted by the pandemic.”

“The common thread in this dense tapestry of creative talent is simple and earnest—Get vaccinated and protect Chicago," said Tanner Woodford, founder and executive director of the Design Museum of Chicago. "This series boasts a talented pool of Chicago artists and designers who are using their tools and skills for the common good."

"It felt good to do my part to help fight COVID by getting vaccinated,” said Chicago artist Elloo. “This past year has taught me to value my health, life, family, and community. Every vaccine is a step towards a better, brighter 2022."

Artist Esther Garcia said, “Summer in Chicago can be a beautiful, glowing season - and our collective eagerness to inhabit it fully, to warm our bones and hearts in the sunshine of our friends, is understood by anyone who has made it through that other season. Make it safe for everyone - get vaccinated, hug your friends and loved ones, meet their friends, and bring summer inside at the end of the season without fear. We can end COVID, we can do it together - and all be here for next year.”

Artists in the campaign so far include: Afrokilla, Alice Hargrave, Anthony Lewellen, Ashley Lin, Bob Faust, CZR PRZ, Carlos Rolón, Carlos Segura, Cody Hudson, Cristi López, Dan Grzeca, Dont Fret, Elloo, Emmy Star Brown, Esther Garcia, Gabriel Villa, Hector Duarte, Jason Pickleman, Jeff Zimmerman, Johnny Sampson, Kelly Knaga, Langston Allston, Lori Seidemann, Moises Salazar, Penny Pinch, Pouya Ahmadi, Rosemary Holiday Hall, Rubén Aguirre, Shannon Downey, Sonnenzimmer, Substance Collective, The Kid From Pilsen, Thomas Williams, Unyimeabasi Udoh, William J. O’Brien, and Won Kim.

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