Through a unique partnership between the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs? Public Art Program and the Chicago Transit Authority, new original artwork now adorns eight newly renovated stations on the 54th/Cermak branch of the Blue Line.
The Public Art Program administered the selection, design, creation and installation of public art for the project, which has been so successful that public art may be incorporated for upcoming CTA renovations as well.
?There is no aspect of our urban life that isn?t enhanced by the uplifting, affirming influence of the arts," said Lois Weisberg, Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. "We were honored to partner with the CTA on this exciting collaboration and look forward to working on future CTA projects."
?The ambitious $483 million Blue Line rehabilitation project has given CTA customers eight, newly renovated, fully accessible facilities and a faster, smoother ride," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?And, the public art along the Blue Line adds to the overall appearance of the rail stations and promotes a friendly, inviting atmosphere."
?These art enhancements are helping foster a sense of ownership and identity within their surrounding neighborhoods," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?Quality public transportation is a key factor in the economic strength of communities. By improving mobility and access to jobs, schools, businesses and recreational activities, the CTA is contributing to economic growth."
The Public Art Program established separate project advisory panels for each station consisting of City, CTA, art community and neighborhood representatives who served as advisors in the selection of the artwork. CTA customers who pass through those stations are now treated to the following:
? Damen Station: a multi-media mosaic on the exterior wall by artist Juan Angel Chavez
? Western Station: a Byzantine glass mosaic on an exterior wall by artist Hector Duarte
? California Station: a multi-media mosaic on an interior wall by artist Christopher Tavares Silva
? Kedzie Station: a custom-made stoneware tile wall near the stairwell by artist John Himmelfarb
? Central Park Station: a Byzantine glass mosaic on an interior wall by artist Olivia Gude
? Pulaski Station: a Byzantine glass mosaic on an interior wall by artist Adam Brooks
? 54th/Cermak Station: painted porcelain tile on a platform wall by artist Nicole Gordon
? Kostner Station: a digital transfer on porcelain tile on an exterior wall by artist Ivan Watkins, and jet-cut stainless steel fencing by artist Beatrice Coron.
The CTA allocated $1 million for the 54th/Cermak Branch Art Project and retains ownership rights to all of the artwork created.