Stations among many receiving new artwork to improve the commuting experience as part of Mayor Emanuel, CTA’s commitment to expanding public art on transit system
New, one-of-a-kind artwork will serve as the finishing touch for the Addison and Irving Park Blue Line stations, which recently underwent significant renovation and upgrades as part of Mayor Emanuel’s Your New Blue program, a major modernization of the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line begun in 2014. The Chicago Transit Board today awarded contracts to two renowned artists to commission new public art for permanent display at both stations.
Under the Mayor’s leadership, CTA’s public art collection has nearly doubled since 2011 to more than 60 works of art on all eight rail lines. The collection includes mosaics, art glass and sculptures created by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, many of whom are local.
“Original artwork adds tremendous value not only to CTA stations but also to our customers’ overall transit experience,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. “The addition of new artwork at Addison and Irving Park by these two talented artists will transform these stationhouses into gateways for the surrounding community by reflecting a piece of their story.”
CTA’s collection will further expand over the next few years by nearly a dozen new works of art, including those announced today. Other new artwork is planned as part of the completed Your New Blue station renovation work at Western and Damen, as well as the new Washington/Wabash Loop station opening in 2017; the bus turnaround facility at Austin and Chicago avenues; and the Wilson station and 95th Street terminal on the Red Line, both of which are currently being reconstructed.
The CTA has selected Chicago-based artist, curator and educator Dan Devening for new artwork at Irving Park station, and internationally acclaimed Italian artist Francesco Simeti for artwork at Addison, selecting the artists from nearly 350 proposals submitted to the agency as part of a Call for Artists issued in February 2016.
CTA will host public meetings with the selected artists to gather community input, which will assist the artists in their development of site-specific artwork. Meeting details will be announced in the coming months.
The artwork will be paid for with Federal Transit Enhancement funds provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The comprehensive budget for both projects is estimated to be $200,000, which includes costs associated with artist fees, fabrication, shipping/delivery and contingency.
About the artists:
Dan Devening / Irving Park Blue Line
Dan Devening is an artist, curator and educator living in Chicago, IL. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since the mid 1980s, his paintings and works on paper have been featured nationally and internationally. Devening is also the Director of devening projects + editions, a gallery project in East Garfield Park featuring exhibitions and site-specific installations by emerging and established international artists.
Francesco Simeti / Addison Blue Line
Born in Palermo, Italy, Francesco Simeti graduated in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Among the most internationally acclaimed Italian artists, Simeti is currently engaged in a number of public art projects in the United States, including the Brooklyn subway stop in New York, and has made site-specific installations in various museum spaces, including MARCO of Rome, the RISD Museum, Providence, Art & Idea Gallery in Mexico City and Columbia University in New York.
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