I invite you to a community meeting to review and provide feedback on two proposed sculptures for the 49th Ward. The community meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 26th, 7:00 p.m., at the Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf.
Designed and fabricated by artist Davis McCarty, the sculptures are proposed for the north and south entry points to Rogers Park–Juneway Beach Park on the north and the Devon-Sheridan triangle island on the south.
If they receive community approval, the sculptures will be financed with a $10,000 grant from the 49th Ward’s discretionary capital improvement fund, known as the “Aldermanic Menu” and a matching $10,000 grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) under its 50 X 50 Neighborhood Arts Project.
Mayor Emanuel declared 2017 as the “Year of Public Art,” a citywide celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of two of our most seminal public artworks—the Picasso in Daley Plaza and the Wall of Respect, which once stood at 43rd Street and Langley Avenue on the city’s South Side. The 50 X 50 Neighborhood Arts Project, which aims to create public arts projects in all 50 Chicago wards, was one of the new programs launched this year.
Earlier this year, DCASE issued an open call for artists, artist teams and arts organizations to submit their qualifications for the project. DCASE and representatives from Chicago’s cultural community reviewed the applications and created a pool of pre-qualified artists for aldermen to choose from.
In keeping with my tradition of community participation, I asked a panel five artists from the community to work with DCASE to select an artist for our ward’s arts project. The panel included Matt Runfola, Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center; Kathleen Paluch, Greenleaf Art Center; Ana Bermudez, Rogers Park Business Alliance; David Kogan, DKP Image & Media Inc.; and artist Tanya Marquez.
Given that our ward already enjoys a wealth of artistic murals, the panel decided to seek out an artist to design sculptures for the north and south gateways to our community.
DCASE provided the panel with a list of more than 40 prequalified sculptors. The panel reviewed the work of all 40 applicants and narrowed the list to five finalists. After careful consideration of the five finalists, the panel selected Mr. McCarty to submit proposed designs for both locations.
Mr. McCarty will present his proposed designs at next Tuesday’s meeting and I will invite you comments and feedback. I hope you can join me.