New artwork at the Western and Addison Blue Line stations are the finishing touch to recent station improvement work and the Your New Blue program
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced the addition of two new works of public art added to the Western and Addison Blue Line stations and serve as the finishing touch to station improvement work performed as part of the $492 million Your New Blue program to modernize the O’Hare branch. These vibrant installations are the latest example of CTA’s ongoing commitment to expand public art to bus and rail facilities throughout the city.
“We are always proud to expand our public art collection with the addition of stunning new artworks,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “These exciting and engaging pieces are not only to beautify the facilities, they are also there to inspire and bring a burst of refreshing energy for our riders and the surrounding communities.”
CTA’s collection of public art has nearly doubled over the last decade to include more than 70 permanent works of art across all eight rail lines and multiple bus facilities. This dynamic and immersive collection of public art includes mosaics, art glass, sculptures and interactive installations created by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, many of whom are local.
Addison Blue Line
Replacing 40 clear glass window panels throughout the Addison stationhouse is the vibrant art glass installation known as, Constant Flow into multitudes of specific Form, by Francesco Simeti (Palermo, Italy). To create this ornate and organically lush scene, the artist combined illustrations of indigenous trees, plants and wildflowers. Woven within the landscape are fragments of Louis Sullivan-designed architectural ornamentation in homage to the legendary architect’s work in the vicinity of the Addison station.
The title of this artwork is a phrase excerpted from A System of Architectural Ornament, the collection of Sullivan’s masterpiece drawings and ideas, published as his final statement about the geometry underlying both natural and man-made forms.
Western Blue Line
Known as Remnants | Restos, this art installation was created by the Chicago-based artist team of Edra Soto and Dan Sullivan. Intended to be a “functional sculpture” (furniture) this artwork was fabricated of cast concrete with blue terrazzo embellishments and are attached to the plaza with galvanized steel supports. The pieces are now a permanent feature of the outdoor plaza at the Western stationhouse entrance. In collaboration with the artist-team, CTA also added in ground lighting in the plaza and relocated a bicycle rack for improved function of the outdoor space.
The artists state that the sculptures present recognizable architectural forms and shapes that celebrate the culture and heritage of the adjacent communities which include Bucktown, Wicker Park and Humboldt Park.
CTA issued a Call for Artists in 2014 for the Western project, and in 2016 for the Addison project. Both artists were selected from a competitive field of other artists based on their artistic merit, qualifications, professional recognition, and their written statements of interest. Federal Formula Funds provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) were used to pay for the two station art projects valued at $270,000, which covers costs associated with artists’ fees, design, materials, fabrication, delivery, etc.
For more details on these new installations, visit transitchicago.com/art.
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About the Artists
Francesco Simeti (b. 1968 X, Palermo, Italy) graduated in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Among the most internationally acclaimed Italian artists, Simeti is currently engaged in a number of public art projects in the United States, including the MTA Bensonhurst Gardens transit station in Brooklyn, NY the Multnomah County Health Department Headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and has made site-specific installations in various museum spaces, including MARCO of Rome, the RISD Museum, Providence, Art & Idea Gallery in Mexico City and Columbia University in New York.
Edra Soto (b. 1971, Puerto Rico), is a Puerto Rican interdisciplinary artist and co-director of the outdoor project space The Franklin.
Recent venues presenting Soto’s work include Smart Museum, IL and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago. Soto’s public art commission titled Screenhouse is currently at Millennium Park. Soto has attended residency programs at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Beta-Local, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency.
Soto’s public art commission titled Screenhouse is currently at Millennium Park. Soto has attended residency programs at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Beta-Local, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency.
Soto was awarded the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, the Illinois Arts Council Agency Fellowship and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant among others.
Between 2019-2020 Soto exhibited and traveled to Brazil, Puerto Rico and Cuba as part of the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund.
Soto holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico.
Dan Sullivan was born and raised in Maine, studying in Minnesota before moving to Chicago in 1997.
In 2005, Dan founded Navillus Woodworks to focus on custom fabrication. Navillus Woodworks has done custom commission-based work for museums, institutions, art galleries as well as architects, designers, and homeowners. Recognized as one of the leading design-build businesses in Chicago, Navillus Woodworks work can be seen at Riverwalk East, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Revival Foodhall, River City, and the offices of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill.
With his wife, conceptual artist Edra Soto, he has collaborated on sculptural pieces that have been exhibited widely in venues including the MCA Chicago, Perez Art Museum Miami, and Hunter East Harlem Gallery.