1/29/09

Belmont Station Public Art Forum

A special thank you to all who were able to attend the Public Forum for the Artwork for the Belmont CTA Station Renovation Project. Everyone there could tell you it was an 'eye opening' experience. My proposal was very well received by many members of the community, but I am not sure what the final results will be.

The Public Art Department went to great lengths to indicate how carefully the system was designed to be impartial, including the enforced anonymity of the artists with their proposals. The Public Affairs Department asked how people heard about the forum, and all the usual suspects (newspaper listing, CTA web site, etc.) only accounted for a handful of attendants, so everyone else was either asked by an artist or another interested party to attend. It may be that some artists 'padded' the forum with their own carefully-scripted fans. Like everything in Chicago, Politics will no doubt play a large part of this process. I just hope that in the end the Belmont Station (which is 'my' local station) receives the best-looking proposal, not the best connected.

Regardless of the eventual outcome, I was pleased that my proposal generated such positive feedback from so many people who attended and whom I did not personally know. That kind of positive reinforcement is always appreciated. This whole proposal was very exciting for me, I feel that the work I proposed was designed for the station's prominence and longevity, and that if selected, would provide riders with a little joy each day. Thanks again for those who were able to make it.

And in particular, I would like to thank the people in the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs who selected my work, from among thousands of artists, for consideration in this commission. Final selection will take place by mid-February.
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