95th/Dan Ryan

One of the civil tapestries made of decommissioned fire hoses hung in the South Terminal building

Photo by Aron Gent (C)

South Terminal Building

america, america
Theaster Gates
Decommissioned fire hoses
2018, CTA Public Art Collection

Created specifically for the south terminal building of the 95th/Dan Ryan station, america, america is part of Theaster Gates’ critically-acclaimed Civil Tapestry series of artwork. Fabricated of decommissioned fire hoses, this work alludes to the Civil Rights movement and in particular, the use of high pressure water hoses against peaceful African-American demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama, in May 1963.


AESOP is the first of its kind in the nation active radio/DJ booth in a rapid transit station

North Terminal Building

AESOP (An Extended Song of Our People)
Theaster Gates 
Mixed media 
2019, CTA Public Art Collection

As the culmination of thoughtful conversations with artists, activists and South Side residents, artist Theaster Gates conceived this room to reflect the rich cultural history and limitless future of music in the African American community. Located in the north terminal building of the 95th/Dan Ryan station, AESOP (An Extended Song of Our People) functions as both an artwork and a functioning audio room from which music and cultural programming is broadcast in the two terminal buildings.

Internationally acclaimed for his visionary projects, Mr. Gates reclaims and reactivates urban spaces as an act of art, transforming the old into new beauty. This audio room is constructed and embellished of significant materials from     

Chicago’s cultural history: furnishings and carpeting designed by Arthur Elrod for the Johnson Publishing Company (Ebony/Jet); repurposed slate black boards from St. Laurence School in Grand Crossing; wood trays used in the production of chewing gum at the Wm. Wrigley, Jr. Company; and a collection of vinyl albums from Dr. Wax Records.

DJ performing a live session in the AESOP radio booth


About the artist

Theaster Gates Studio, in collaboration with the Rebuild Foundation, is employing local DJs to activate the room, making musical programming accessible for the community and customers of the station. 

A lifelong Chicagoan, Theaster Gates is an artist, educator and innovator who combines the practices of urban planning, object making and performance. He is founder of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation, a platform for cultural development that provides free arts programming, and develops affordable housing and working spaces. 

In addition to the Chicago Transit Authority, his artwork is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.


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