Union Station Transit Center

The colors of CTA's eight rail lines are featured in patterns of dots and bars on the glass windbreaks of the Union Station Transit Center in downtown Chicago.

The Consolation of Color
James Jankowiak
18 vinyl, eco-solvent digital prints on glass
2016, Arts in Transit

Artist James Jankowiak highlights the role of color and familiar forms as a means of communication

in the day-to-day environment. Eighteen abstract compositions, displayed in symmetrical pairings throughout the station, imply movement and symbolize Chicago’s vast transit system in general and specific ways.

The artist’s palette is comprised of eight colors in tribute to the Chicago Transit Authority’s color-coding system, implemented in 1993, to rename the CTA’s eight rail lines by color for ease of use by transit customers.  In the artwork on the north loading platform, Jankowiak celebrates historic Union Station in color patterns comprised of 12 vertical stripes. Together the patterns represent the 24 trains that depart and return to Union Station, symmetrically, from each side of the station structure.

A native of Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, James Jankowiak is a self-taught artist and arts  educator.

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