Public Art on CTA
Since 2011, under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the CTA’s collection of public art has undergone its largest expansion ever – now proudly boasting more than 60 pieces of art exhibited at over 50 stations, including mosaics, sculptures and paintings by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. The newest works of art added to this collection are the result of recently completed major project work to either rehabilitate an existing rail station or build a new station.
Public art plays an important role in civic life around the world. Chicago has a rich tradition of public art, from the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza to the Anish Kapoor and Jaume Plensa works (Cloud Gate and the Crown Fountain) in Millennium Park.
The addition of artwork at CTA stations and terminals not only promotes a friendly, inviting atmosphere, it also provides riders with a glimpse into the rich history and unique characteristics of the surrounding communities.
On this page:
Call for Artists
CTA is now accepting qualifications from artists interested in having their artwork displayed at the Montrose Blue Line station.
Deadline: 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 3
Additional information for interested artists is available in both the press release and contract details.
Future art installations
The CTA plans to add more works of art to its growing collection at the following locations over the next few years, with installations beginning in 2016:
Blue Line: Jefferson Park*, Montrose, Irving Park*, Addison*, Western*, Damen*, UIC-Halsted and Illinois Medical District*
Brown Line: Diversey*
Green Line: Kedzie* and Clinton
Loop Elevated: Washington/Wabash* (new station)
Pink Line: Polk
Red Line: Wilson*, Clark/Division and 95th*
Other: Chicago/Austin bus terminal* and Union Station Transit Center*
*Indicates an art installation project already underway with a commissioned artist/artist team.
Many of the pieces featured in CTA’s public art collection are a result of the Arts in Transit Program – funded by the Federal Transit Administration and coordinated locally through the CTA, the City of Chicago Public Art Program, and the Chicago Department of Transportation. A number of other pieces were created through the CTA’s Adopt-A-Station program and through partnerships with local artists and organizations, including Gallery 37, Chicago Public Art Group and Marwen.
Art projects underway
Theaster Gates, Artist
Upon completion of a $280 million reconstruction project, which is expected in 2018, the 95th Street Terminal will be the showcase station of the entire CTA system—and a premier multimodal transportation terminal in the region. The crowning jewel to this momentous project will be the largest public art project in the agency’s history – a $1.3 million endeavor by internationally acclaimed Chicago artist Theaster Gates. More than just artwork, Gates’ project fosters community engagement, job creation and provides a student apprentice program. The artwork imagined for this station is an integrated feature in the terminal building and a stand-alone work of art.
Cecil Balmond, Artist
As part of the historic Wilson Station Reconstruction Project, the CTA has commissioned internationally acclaimed artist, designer and engineer Cecil Balmond to create new artwork for permanent display in the new main stationhouse.
The Wilson station serves as a gateway to the burgeoning Uptown neighborhood, which boasts a popular and historic entertainment district, the Little Vietnam neighborhood, Truman College, Montrose Harbor, the Lincoln Park lakefront park and more. The new artwork will be installed in the main stationhouse following the completion of project work, which is expected in late 2017.
Construction of the new Washington/Wabash Loop Elevated station is under way and is expected to be complete in 2017. The $75 million project will combine the nearby century-old stations on Wabash at Randolph and at Madison with a new modern and fully accessible station. Plans for commissioning new, one-of-a-kind artwork are already under way, with the Call for Artist qualifications issued in late 2015. Additional details regarding the artist and artwork will be announced in 2016.
Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues, Artists
The artist team of Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues of Ball-Nogues Studio was selected to commission new artwork for the historic Damen Blue Line station, which in 2014 underwent a $13.6 million rehabilitation as part of the $492 million Your New Blue project. The new exterior artwork, which will be installed in 2016, is expected to be interactive and engaging the station and the surrounding neighborhood.
Western (O’Hare Branch)
Edra Soto and Dan Sullivan, Artists
New public artwork created by Chicago artists Edra Soto and Dan Sullivan will enhance the Western station, which received minor upgrades as part of the $492 million Your New Blue modernization project. Selected from more than 100 applicants, the new artwork by Soto and Sullivan is expected to be a large-scale sculptural embellishment for the stationhouse exterior.
Locations of Selected Art
* Indicates locations fearturing new art installations since 2010.
Conservatory-Central Park Drive
Download the catalog:
2016 CTA public art catalog (.pdf)
- CTA Seeks Artist for Montrose Blue Line Station (press release, 01/23/2017)
- Irving Park, Addison on the Blue Line Are Latest CTA Stations to Get New Public Artwork (press release, 12/14/2016)
- CTA to Host Community Meeting on Dec. 8 for New Artwork for Austin Bus Turnaround on West Side (press release, 12/05/2016)
- Four CTA Rail Stations to Receive New Artwork by Award-Winning Artists (press release, 10/14/2016)
- CTA Hires World-Renowned Artist to Create Artwork for Austin Bus Turnaround (press release, 09/14/2016)
- CTA Hires Award-Winning Chicago Artists for Two Downtown Public Art Projects (press release, 06/03/2016)
- Mayor Emanuel Plans to Expand Art at CTA Rail Stations, Bus Terminal (press release, 02/23/2016)
- CTA to Host Community Meeting on Unique Artwork for New Wilson Red-Purple Line Station (press release, 05/05/2015)
- CTA to Host Community Meeting Seeking Public Input on the Your New Blue Damen Station Art Project (press release, 09/26/2014)
- CTA Hires Internationally Acclaimed Artist to Create Artwork for New Wilson Station (press release, 07/16/2014)
- Mayor Emanuel and CTA Unveil New Artwork for Eight Red Line South Stations (press release, 06/23/2014)
- CTA Selects Your New Blue Contractor and Artists for Damen, Western and California station renovations (press release, 02/05/2014)
- CTA Selects Artists for New Original Artwork at Red Line South Stations (press release, 01/07/2014)
- CTA Seeks Artists for Blue Line Station Artwork as Part of the Your New Blue Project (press release, 12/13/2013)
- CTA and Artist Theaster Gates to Host Five Community Meetings for the Historic 95th Street Terminal Art Project (press release, 10/8/2013)
- CTA seeks internationally renowned artist for 95th Street Terminal project (press release, 07/12/2013)
- CTA Announces Artwork Plans for Red Line South Stations (press release, 06/18/2013)
- CTA to Host Community Meeting for Input on Red North Station Art (press release, 10/19/2012)
- CTA Seeks Artists for North Red Line Stations (press release, 09/13/2012)