Temporary Artworks for Opening Season of The 606
This is the first in a series of temporary artworks to be installed throughout The 606. These pieces were selected through an invitational process guided by a partnership between The Trust for Public Land, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The first installation in this category was timed to the opening of The 606. Future selections will be led by these partners and a curator, with the participation of an arts committee.
Artist: Louis de Marco
Title (s): “Cloud Chart” “Pay Attention” “Halo Chart”
Location: Churchill Field Park
Organization: Project Onward
About the Artist: Louis DeMarco (b. 1985, Chicago) is an artist with autism who has developed visual strategies for both describing and coping with the anxieties, obsessions, and distractions that sometimes overwhelm him.
DeMarco painstakingly catalogues the “clouds” (each with its own distinct color) that appear above him when neuroses and fears overtake him. The Cloud Chart is a sort of emotional periodic chart that reflects the artist’s effort to understand his own negative behaviors. DeMarco counters the negativity of the Cloud Chart with the more hopeful Halo Chart, an inventory of positive behaviors that are cloud antidotes. Similarly, Pay Attention is an example of his text-based series Words to Live by, which includes positive reminders and motivational messages carefully rendered in yellow block letters against a background of blue skies and puffy white clouds.
An alumnus of Gallery 37, the City of Chicago’s youth arts program, DeMarco joined Project Onward in 2005. As a Project Onward artist, his work has been featured in exhibitions all over the world, including the Museum of Everything’s Exhibition #4 in London, featuring his text-based drawing “You’re Not Only Human” on the cover of the exhibition catalogue. In 2012 he was commissioned by Chicago musician and educator Matt Baron to create the 16-page album art for Songs for Learning, the debut CD by Baron’s band Future Hits. In addition to being a highly skilled visual artist, Louis DeMarco is also an accomplished bass player and songwriter for the rock-and-roll band DHF Express, fronted by fellow Project Onward artist Adam Hines.
Project Onward is a nonprofit studio and gallery dedicated to supporting the career development of visual artists with mental and developmental disabilities. Located in the Bridgeport Art Center, Project Onward provides workspace, art materials, and opportunities for professional growth to artists who have exceptional abilities but face challenges ranging from autism to mental illness.
Artist: Kay Rosen
Location: Billboard at Milwaukee Leavitt
About the Artist: Drawing on her academic background in linguistics, Kay Rosen uses language as her primary material and subject, creating text-based works that explore the ways that language can be represented visually. Playing with different approaches to typography and layout, Rosen’s work often employs puns, anagrams, and textual puzzles, forcing the viewer to consider new ways of reading and approaching language. Rosen has a BA in Linguistics, Spanish, and French from Newcomb College of Tulane University. She attended graduate school in Linguistics and Spanish at Northwestern University. Rosen teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Rosen’s work has been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions and projects at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the MIT List Visual Art Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Aspen Art Museum, and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in New Zealand. She has also been included in notable group exhibitions such as Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language at the Museum of Modern Art (2012), Prospect 1 New Orleans curated by Dan Cameron, and the 2000 Whitney Biennial. Her work is the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Norton Family Collection.
Artist: Chakaia Booker
Title: Untitled (as yet)
Location: Damen Arts Plaza
Since the 1980s Chakaia Booker has been addressing ecological concerns and explorations of racial and economic difference, globalization, and gender. In the 1990s she began recycling discarded tires into complex assemblages and creating the type of objects for which she is most widely known. The worn and patinated finish of the rubber parallels human diversity, while the tire treads suggest images as varied as African scarification and textile designs. The visible wear and tear on the tires evokes the physical marks of human aging. Equally, Booker’s use of discarded tires references industrialization, consumer culture, and environmental concerns. Her work, as yet untitled, will be installed during the opening season and remain up for at least one year, with the possibility of a one-year extension.
Booker has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Rutgers University and a Master of Fine Arts from the City College of New York (CUNY). Booker’s inspirations embrace a wide range of disciplines ranging from African dance, ceramics, weaving, basketry to t’ai chi.
Title: Graffiti Garden
Location: Bloomingdale, between Kimball and Central Park (south facing walls)
Organization: Kuumba Lynx
A collective of artists representing a multi-generational cross-section of crews painting in Chicago, have organized a series of permission walls that will include crews that have been painting along Bloomingdale Avenue since the 1980’s as well as international and emerging artists. These crews originally formed as an alternative to street violence and many work to promote strong communities.
Artist (s): John Weber and Catherine Cajandig
Title: Children Are Our Future
Location: California and Bloomingdale
Organization (s): Chicago Public Art Group and Youth Service Project
Originally installed in 1979 by the artists in collaboration with Youth Service Project as part of The United Nation’s “Year of the Child,” the current project brings the original partners together to reimagine that work. The original work at Bloomingdale and California gained historic importance as the first post-modern mural in the Midwest, substituting text for images, using bilingual texts and using mixed materials symbolically. Cement relief portions never vandalized in any way, over 35 years demonstrates the effective communication of non-figurative elements.
The “renewed” mural will tell current residents that they are part of an on-going neighborhood history and serve as a message from one generation to another.
Location: Humboldt Boulevard Viaduct
Luftwerk’s TransLIT illuminates The 606 with dynamic projected video inspired by flora and fauna coupled with original music by Owen Clayton Condon at the Humboldt Boulevard overpass.
Luftwerk is the artistic vision of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero. Their art practice focuses on the exploration of what makes a space a place and how art plays a vital role within urban and natural environments. With each individual project, Luftwerk discovers and accentuates the unique connections between architecture, environment and the communities which interact within these places, transforming their experiences of space and site through light and sound.
With immersive light art installations at landmarks such as the AT&T Plaza in Chicago’s Millennium Park, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Illinois, and Tampa’s Kiley Garden to name a few, Luftwerk installations open new aesthetic conversations within public spaces and landmark structures, encouraging viewers to perceive the environment, histories, and concepts surrounding them with a heightened awareness for meaning and place.