Mayor Emanuel Plans to Expand Art at CTA Rail Stations, Bus Terminal

February 23, 2016

Artwork to be added to Blue, Brown, Green and Pink lines, including five stations in mayor’s “Your New Blue” Blue Line O’Hare branch modernization

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Transit Authority announced today the CTA’s kickoff of a search for local, national and international artists interested in creating new, one-of-a-kind artwork for 11 locations throughout its service region as part of the mayor’s expansion of public art at CTA stations.

Under the Mayor’s leadership, CTA’s collection of public art has nearly doubled since 2011 – currently boasting more than 60 works of art across all eight rail lines. It includes mosaics, art glass and sculptures created by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, many of whom are local.

“Part of building a modern, 21st century CTA is showing how our mass transit system can be a vehicle not just for commerce but also for culture. Through this expansion of public art throughout the system, we will take that commitment to the next level,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “By inviting more artists to use their talent and creativity to help tell the story of Chicago at our rail stations and bus terminals, we will enhance the experience for riders and build a better quality of life in our neighborhoods and communities.”

In the Request for Proposals, the CTA is seeking artists to create original works of art for 10 stations along the Blue, Brown, Green and Pink lines, including five O’Hare branch stations that are part of Mayor Emanuel’s $492 million Your New Blue modernization program.

The CTA will also seek an artist for the CTA’s bus terminal at Chicago Avenue and Austin Boulevard, which would be the first time the CTA has added art to a bus terminal.

“Mayor Emanuel and I believe that public art on CTA enhances the quality of our customers’ transit experience and reflects the vibrant character of the surrounding neighborhoods,” said CTA President Dorval Carter. “We’re pleased to expand art for the enjoyment of our customers.”

Now through April 1, the CTA is accepting qualifications from artists who are interested in enhancing the public spaces at the following locations:

Blue Line

  • Cumberland
  • Jefferson Park
  • Montrose
  • Irving Park
  • Addison
  • Illinois Medical District           


Brown Line

  • Diversey


Green Line

  • Kedzie
  • Clinton


Pink Line

  • Polk


Bus Terminal (Outdoor)

  • Chicago Ave./Austin Blvd.


Community meetings will be held by the CTA to provide additional information on these public art projects and to answer questions from the public and interested artists. Additional meeting details will be announced in the coming months.

Local, national and international artists are invited to apply. Prior public art experience is not a requirement. Applicants are asked to submit their qualifications and portfolio for consideration per the instructions in the Request for Proposal posted to CTA’s website (here). Submissions must be delivered in person or by mail no later than 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 1, 2016 to CTA Headquarters, 567 W. Lake St., 2nd Floor Bid Office, Chicago, Illinois, 60661.

After reviewing all submissions, as many as 20-30 artists may be invited to interview based on artistic merit, qualifications and professional recognition of the artists, and the artists’ written statements of interest. The final 11 artists or artist teams will be determined following the interview process.

The art would be installed at CTA locations beginning in 2017 and would be integrated into the stations’ individual designs.

Federal Transit Enhancement funds provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will be used to pay for the 11 art projects. The comprehensive budget is estimated to be $2.5 million, which includes costs associated with artist fees, fabrication, shipping/delivery, installation, project management and contingency.

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More info

Call for Artists details, instructions and contact information available here.

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