911 Emergency Communications Center

Public Art Program  >  911 Emergency Communications Center


1411 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60607


911 Oasis

911 Oasis

Nancy Dwyer

1997, Red carnelian granite and tree in stainless steel planter
H 1.5 ft. x W 32 ft. x L 25 ft.
City of Chicago Public Art Collection 

Nancy Dwyer’s 911 Oasis blurs the boundaries between fine and commercial art, merging industrial and graphic design processes to transform language into sculptural objects. The sculptural installation consists of 29 three-dimensional letters cut from red carnelian granite. The letters spell the quotation, “No man is an island entire of itself,” from a classic 1624 John Donne poem. Looping around a single tree in a planter (a play on the “island” concept), the letters form the shape of the numbers, 9-1-1. The installation acknowledges the commitment of emergency services personnel to the well-being of the community and functions as a seating area where employees can take a break from their demanding work.



Carolyn Ottmers

Cast aluminum, dimensions vary, H .5–3 ft. x W 4–8 ft. x L 5–10 ft.
City of Chicago Public Art Collection 

Intersect comprises eight cast-aluminum leaves scattered across the plaza of the 911 Emergency Communications Center. Each leaf is unique in size and shape. Like much of Carolyn Ottmers’ work, this installation combines organic and industrial elements, merging nature with the urban environment. In contrast with the industrial material from which they are cast, some of the leaves curl or twist, others lie flat, mimicking the lightness and delicacy of their natural counterparts. The topside of each leaf displays a vein structure and satin finish, while the undersides reveal the imprint of the grid-like map of Chicago. They are arranged to appear as if they have just come to rest after being swept across the plaza by a gust of wind.



John Phillips

1997, Acrylic and oil on canvas, three paintings: H 6 ft. 6 in. x W 11 ft. 10 in.; H 8 ft. 8 in. x W 12 ft. 6 in.; H 6 ft. 2 in. x W 20 ft. 10 in.
City of Chicago Public Art Collection

John Phillips employs bright, flat colors, organic shapes and bold lines to activate the surface of the canvas in these three paintings. In the tradition of abstraction, the paintings do not refer to anything specific outside the artwork itself but rather are concerned with form, color, space and balance. The dynamic compositions are inspired by the artist’s collection of 1950s rhythm and blues music. Phillips’ paintings begin as computer-generated sketches, which were enlarged and transferred to canvas. The smooth surfaces and clean lines are achieved through his meticulous handwork.