Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Michelle T. Boone and Chicago Park District General Superintendent & CEO Michael P. Kelly to unveil “Yellow Arch,” a new sculpture at Michigan & Jackson and outline other new pieces of public art coming to Chicago neighborhoods.
“Public art installations like ‘Yellow Arch’ spark the curiosity and imagination of Chicago residents, allowing more people to learn about art, appreciate it and be inspired by it,” Mayor Emanuel said. “This is the next step in our work to add public art into public spaces like parks, libraries and transportation hubs so that more residents have the opportunity to experience art and culture both throughout the City and within their own neighborhood.”
As part of the Chicago Cultural Plan, the Mayor has outlined a citywide vision for art and culture that has incorporated public art into projects at a variety of City departments. Upcoming announcements include exhibitions, installations and art-making activities, both downtown and in various neighborhoods, including Bronzeville, Edison Park, Garfield Park, South Chicago and West Humboldt Park.
Through the Chicago Park District’s public art program, “Yellow Arch,” located in the Sir George Solti Garden at Michigan & Jackson, is a new sculptures by Wendell Castle installed this week, and will be on display through April of 2017. This is a significant public exhibit, as the Art Institute currently displays four works of art furniture by Wendell Castle in their American Art Gallery collection. The third year of the Chicago Tree Project will also begin this month, with artist Kara James showcasing a sculptural carving of a tree at Olympia Park. Additionally, the Park District is in negotiations for several significant works of art by international artists to be installed this summer and fall.
“Chicago parks are home to an impressive collection of public art,” said Park District Superintendent Kelly. “We are excited to include the temporary installation of Wendell Castle’s “Yellow Arch” in the Sir George Solti Garden and the diverse works of other artists that will be exhibited district-wide.”
The Millennium Park Foundation and DCASE have partnered to bring additional temporary art installations to Chicago, as sculptures by Chakaia Booker will be on display in Millennium Park through April of 2018.
DCASE is also bringing new art into public libraries, bringing artwork by artist Patrick McGee to Richard M. Daley Branch Library later this summer. Also this summer and fall, DCASE will be posting commission opportunities for future DCASE public art projects at O’Hare Terminal 3, Albany Park Branch Library, 12th District Police Station, Little Village Branch Library and Town Hall District Police Station.
“Chicago is a pioneer in the public art sphere,” said DCASE Commissioner Boone. “We are excited to showcase the work of artists Chakaia Booker, Phyllis Bramson, Paola Cabal, Patrick McGee and Christine Tarkowski with the public this summer and fall – and to support more local artists via five commission opportunities opening soon.”
Not only is public art being brought to Chicago, City programs are fostering the development of young artists. Through One Summer Chicago, the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) will facilitate a mural project created by 60 youth, an artist and six mentors at three Community Service Centers – Garfield (10 S. Kedzie), King (4314 S. Cottage Grove) and South Chicago (8650 S. Commercial) this summer.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is collaborating with DCASE to add public art to public transportation. In June, works of art by Paola Cabal and Christine Tarkowski will be installed at the Washington and Madison Street Loop Link BRT stations. Additionally, the Michigan Avenue Medallions 2016 Seasonal Display, which is landscaping inspired by the artwork of Phyllis Bramson, will be present from Oak St. to Roosevelt Road this summer. CDOT and CTA will also soon announce plans for artwork at the new Washington-Wabash ‘L’ station and the new Union Station Transit Center.
Earlier this year, the Mayor and CTA announced another expansion of the CTA Public Art Program: 10 additional rail stations and the first-ever bus location to receive art, the Chicago Avenue/Austin Boulevard bus terminal. CTA will announce the selected artists by end of year. CTA has one of the most extensive collections of public art of any U.S. transit agency – currently featuring more than 60 works of art across all eight rail lines. Under the Mayor’s leadership, CTA’s collection of public art has nearly doubled since 2011.
The Chicago Public Art Collection managed by DCASE includes more than 700 works of art exhibited in over 150 municipal facilities around the city, such as police stations, libraries, and CTA stations. The Collection provides the citizens of Chicago with an improved public environment and enhances city buildings and spaces with quality works of art by professional artists.
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