Following last fall’s successful completion of the Red Line South Reconstruction Project, the Chicago Transit Board awarded contracts to local artists and an artist team to create new, original artwork that will be installed at eight train stations rehabilitated under the historic project.
The new art will complement existing artwork at the Sox-35th, 47th, Garfield, 63rd, 69th, 79th and 87th stations. The art that is commissioned for Cermak-Chinatown will be that station’s first artwork.
These stations, along with the 95th Street Terminal, were temporarily closed for five months last year, to allow crews to completely rebuild the 10.2-mile stretch from just north of Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street. All stations along the branch were upgraded with new lighting, painting, electrical substation work and other improvements.
“Last year, we completely rebuilt the Red Line South—a historic investment in the South Side that improved the speed and reliability of train service,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “Now, we will add the finishing touches to this project by working closely with these remarkable artists to commission new original works of art that will capture the spirit of each of the unique and diverse communities surrounding each station.”
The CTA issued a Call for Artists in June 2013, which was re-advertised in November, to solicit qualifications from artists and received more than 300 submissions. An evaluation committee reviewed all submissions and based on artistic merit, qualifications and professional recognition of the artists, the following contracts will be awarded:
- Cermak-Chinatown: Indira F. Johnson (Evanston)
- Sox-35th: Paula Henderson (Chicago)
- 47th: Andrew Hall (Chicago)
- Garfield: Cecil McDonald, Jr. (Chicago)
- 63rd: Emmanuel Pratt (Chicago) and Olalekan Jeyifous (Brooklyn, NY)
- 69th: Douglas Fogelson (Chicago)
- 79th: McArthur Binion (Chicago)
- 87th: Thomas Lucas (Chicago)
The artwork for the eight South Red Line stations is paid for with Transit Enhancement Funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The total project budget is $590,400 and includes artist fees, fabrication, shipping/delivery, administrative fees and a project contingency fund. Installation of the artwork is scheduled to begin in late 2014 and will require a separate contract.
Currently, the CTA already has more than 50 works of art at 41 stations along the Pink, Red and Brown Lines. This collection of public artwork will continue to expand to include 21 new, original works of art in the coming years as part of the recently completed Red North 7 and Red Line South Reconstruction projects and also as part of the upcoming Wilson Station Reconstruction, 95th Street Terminal Improvements and the Your New Blue projects. The CTA has hired internationally renowned artist Theater Gates to develop an artwork program for 95th Street, which will be rebuilt and expanded in the next couple of years.
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