All posts tagged: Chicago Public Art Group

Hyde Park Public Art (5 of 5)

In a recent phone conversation, Olivia Gude of the Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG) expressed her opinion that when a site-specific piece of art needs repair, Americans take on an “either/or” mentality. The piece will either be restored or destroyed. In older areas of the world, a third alternative has been commonplace for centuries: adding something new to an older structure. Take the Basilica of St. Peter as an example. Begun by Michelangelo in the Renaissance, it was expanded and tweaked by other great architects as styles changed over time.  Recently, I have to admit I fell into the binary thinking that Gude has described. When reading the text next to The Spirit of Hyde Park mural at 57th Street and Lake Park Boulevard, I became confused.  “Restored and reinterpreted by CPAG,” it read. What did reinterpreted mean in the context of public art? Weren’t murals simply painted over or touched up over time? Taking in the wall, a mix of styles was evident. Bold, abstract patterns mingled with realistic depictions of students and protestors …

Tell the Next Mayor, Why Art Matters.

On Friday night, February 11th, 2011, SIFC partnered up with The Chicago Urban Art Society (CUAS) at their space in Pilsen. This was not just any event—it was an occasion, an opportunity for the art communities and political figures in Chicago to meet and engage in conversation with one another. Other partnering organizations included: Three Walls, Cro, New City, Chicago Reader, WBEZ Radio, Gozamos, Urban Gateways, Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago Public Art Group, The Chicago Art Department, Co-Prosperity Sphere, The Institute For Arts entrepreneurship and Barrio Bonito Urban Showcase. SIFC set up shop with a video confessional booth.  We invited anyone to address the mayoral candidates by answering one question: “Why is art in Chicago important to you, and why should it be supported by our next mayor of Chicago?” Lauren Pacheco and Peter Kepha (directors and founders of The Chicago Urban Art Society) have been pushing hard for progressive citywide support of the arts. They have met with numerous aldermen and are two of the most important ambassadors of art in the city of …

A Mayoral Engagement: What Does Art in Chicago Mean to You?

It is a Mayoral Engagement at The Chicago Urban Art Society. Join SIFC at Chicago Urban Art Society (CUAS) this Friday February 11th, 2011 for the Mayoral Meet and Greet for the Arts! SIFC will be asking, “What Does Art in Chicago Mean to You?” This is a great opportunity to engage in conversation and dialogue with other arts-minded people, local arts organizations, artists and arts educators. All mayoral candidates have been personally invited! On Friday, we are turning the SIFC photobooth into a videobooth confessional and asking one question all night long, “What does art in Chicago mean to you?” Help CUAS and the rest of Chicago’s art advocates in this extra campaign effort get ART elected!

Hyde Park Public Art (2 of 5)

“Where are you coming from?” “Where are you going?” In 1991, Olivia Gude, an avid muralist, stood outside the 56th Street Metra station with a tape recorder asking these questions to people who passed by. As one might think, she came up with a wide variety of answers. “I’m coming from the comfortable middle class and I want to head to the upper class.” “I’m coming from Earth and going to heaven.” “I don’t know where I’m going. I’m lost.” With the responses, she created an oral history-based mural filled with other such quotations and wintry portraits of bundled up Chicagoans. She did so in partnership with the Chicago Public Art Group, with which she has now been working for twenty-five years. Gude recognized that art was “far from being this preserve that was separate from life, [but] intrinsically part of all of these issues about culture, about human possibility, about justice.” Her 56th street mural focuses on the former; namely, the culture of a neighborhood. Reading the quotations of the mural, I was fascinated …