Sunday, April 14, 2013

Art stops: Arts On Chicago

The Art Within Us (TAWU) Artist Group is transforming bus stops along Chicago Avenue between 32nd and 42nd Streets into “Art Stops.” The inspiration comes from many of the TAWU artists being users of the transportation along the busy thoroughfare of Chicago Ave. These bus stops are a place where days are started and ended, where conversations are held and friendships are forged. They are used daily by so many members of the community that it only seems appropriate to beautify them with original art.

The idea to transform bus stops into art stops stems from the “Artstop Garden” located at 32nd Street and Chicago Ave S. The Artstop Garden was created by the Parkside West Block Club in 1991 after local artist Florence Hill purchased the abandoned lot from the city. In 2008 the Artstop Garden became the winner of the Police Building Blocks Award. The goal was to create a feeling of serenity through the interactions of sculptures, flowers and trees. And that they did. By taking this lot under their wing, the neighborhood has created a green space that creates pride in the neighborhood, which, in turn, prevents crime.

TAWU Artist Group is continuing this concept throughout the Arts on Chicago in the hopes of increasing neighborhood pride and bringing the communities together through the world of art. 

The goal of Art Stops is for metro transit users to feel uplifted by these works. As commuters interact with each piece, when they use the receptacle to dispose of their trash or sit on one of the benches, they will be reminded of the spirit and diversity that exists in this place where they dwell, work, or go to school. Each piece reflects a sentiment about the essence of the community and the desire to see it thrive. The hope is that these “Art Stops” will inspire a new audience of art lovers who will not only appreciate the beauty of the art, but will also be encouraged to engage in keeping the community clean and safe for all.

The project begins on 32nd Street and Chicago Avenue on the lot of the “Art Garden” with an installation that will serve as an introduction to the Arts on Chicago corridor.

- my contribution  to this project is with TAWU artist, painting a canvassed image for a kiosk on32nd street introducing people to the whole project at the art garden, that currently exist there.  The second piece is what we call soul poles where we developed images of the neighborhood and it's people in 4x4 poles posted along the 10 block stip, mine will be located on 37th near a quarry. At the same location I have two garbage cans that I was also commissioned to paint there.  Lastly I set up two benches where some of our artist will create images on where bus stops exist. 
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