Archive for July 2012

Jessica Stockholder's "Color Jam" and Placemaking in Chicago

Artist Jessica Stockholder has created what she calls a '3-dimensional painting' spilling across the surfaces of street and buildings at the intersection of State and Adams in Chicago's loop. The piece is called "Color Jam" and will remain in place through the summer.  In addition to the physical installation, the piece also invites the public to participate in a series of related programs or "JAMS", which include happenings, talks and concerts. Local businesses have invented related products ('color-tinis') and services inspired by the piece.
The concept of “placemaking” has been on my mind these days. The contest by the Metropolitan Planning Council mentioned in my last post has brought it into immediate focus, and lately I realize I’ve been more surrounded by the idea than I had previously thought. (Reminder: if you or anyone you know is engaged in... Read more »

Transforming Urban Places - A new contest awards creative urban artists and neighborhood organizations

How does a city enliven its public spaces and enrich the lives of residents? One option is to promote ‘placemaking’. That’s a term that seems to cover a lot of ground, but at its most basic expression, involves individuals working creatively to make a place better. A contest recently announced by the the Metropolitan Planning... Read more »

A Short History of America

A Short History of America
In honor of the 4th of July, I offer this, from the great cartoonist R. Crumb. Crumb drew “A Short History of America” in 1979. It shows an urban landscape gradually obliterating a single wilderness scene. Later, Crumb added three possible scenarios to the question posed in the final panel: “What Next?”. He drew a... Read more »
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Wilderness, the Frontier and the Chicago Marijuana law

Wilderness, the Frontier and the Chicago Marijuana law
I’m researching a trip into the wilderness for some R&R soon, and I came across a headline on a National Park website about staying safe from bears and marijuana. Intrigued and slightly bemused, I clicked on the marijuana warning. I figured I’d find a ‘Reefer Madness‘ sort of imagined terror. Instead, the warning raised a... Read more »