CHICAGO — New art is coming to "L" stops in Lincoln Park, University Village, Jefferson Park and East Garfield Park in what one CTA official said was an effort to "enliven the space."
The Chicago Transit Authority Board approved contracts last week to four renowned artists to develop the artwork after reviewing close to 350 responses to a "Call for Artists" issued last year.
The CTA selected the following artists to commission new, one-of-a-kind public art:
• Diversey/Brown Line: Mathew Wilson
Wilson is affiliated with the School of the Art Institute. His "Industry of the Ordinary" project is "dedicated to an exploration and celebration of the customary, the everyday, and the usual."
• Illinois Medical District/Blue Line: Jason Messinger
Messinger, of Chicago, produces artwork that "feeds the eye and soul of the viewer," he says on his website, and re-imagines "the world into patterns and diagrams of movement and color, light and gesture."
"I have the great honor to be selected to do artwork for the new train station planned at Chicago's Illinois Medical District Blue Line CTA station!" Messinger said in a statement on his website. "The stop serves four major hospitals, two medical universities, and more than 40 health care related facilities! It is truly a honor to create something for such a busy stop!"
• Jefferson Park/Blue Line: Jamie Pawlus
The Indianapolis artist often uses signs in his work, including a "happiness" message at Indianapolis International Airport.
- Kedzie/Green Line: Erin Curtis
Curtis, of Washington DC, was commissioned by the local arts commission and department of public works in that capitol city to wrap a garbage truck in art. Called "French Trip," Curtis' effort resembled decorated vehicles seen in India.
The art, which is scheduled to go up on the Brown, Blue and Green lines, is the latest step in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s efforts to expand public art across CTA bus and rail facilities, officials said.
Since 2011, more than 60 works of art across all eight rail lines, CTA officials said. This includes mosaics, art glass and sculptures that were created by nationally and internationally known artists.
“Walk into any of our 60-plus rail stations that have public art on display and try imagining that space without the artwork — and you will quickly realize how different your commuting experience would be,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. “The addition of the artwork in our stations not only enlivens the space and enhances travel experience, it also adds to the character of the surrounding community.”
Public meetings with the selected artists will be scheduled in order to gather input from the community into the artwork designs, officials said.
Meeting details will be announced in the coming months, officials said.
The artwork will be paid for with Federal Transit Enhancement funds provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), CTA officials said.
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