Chicago El Stories
Jon Gitelson
Glass photographic tiles
2008, Arts in Transit

Jon Gitelson’s mural for the Armitage Brown Line station showcases shared and personal histories of Chicago as related to the artist by Chicagoans and Brown Line passengers. Central to the glass mural is a collection of forty-five photographic images, determined by the artist’s own research, which function as dual portraits of the city and of the memories of its residents.

Mr. Gitelson conducted a series of interviews at the Armitage Brown Line station in which he asked individual passengers to share memories of places or experiences within the City of Chicago that are of personal significance. Each interview was captured by the artist in an audio recording. The artist then visited and photographed the scene of each event, free of people, creating a unique portrait of each  individual’s memory while also allowing viewers of the artwork to vicariously visit each location. Below each photograph is an excerpt of the related interview. Surrounding the central grouping of images, and referencing the geographic starting point for the artist’s interviews, is a black and white border depicting a street map of the community surrounding the Armitage station.

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