QA sheds light on what artwork in north Red Line stations might look like

More than 60 questions from artists and answers from the CTA shed some light on what the artwork for the Red North Station Interim Improvements project will be like and how it will be displayed. The number of questions indicate the high level of interest in the project from artists. We hope that translates into some high quality work that riders will enjoy for many years.

The deadline is Wednesday for replies to a Request for Proposal, asking local, national and international artists to submit qualifications and their portfolio for consideration. Then an evaluation committee will select about 25 artists from the submissions based on artistic merit, qualifications and professional recognition of the artists, and artists’ written statements of interest. That group of 25 artists will be asked to submit specific art proposals. The seven artists ranked highest among the group will be offered a commission.

Here are some highlights of the questions.

  • Chicago artists will NOT be given preference.
  • Artists will be selected by February of 2013, with installation completed by September of next year.
  • Artwork will be within arm’s reach of CTA customers. So they better be durable.
  • CTA will power-wash the art, so durability again is key. Think materials such as tile or stainless and enameled steel.
  • Having established that, the CTA is NOT looking for images of proposed artwork in artist responses.
  • The CTA will seek additional input from the community in the process after the Wednesday deadline for initial artist responses to the public art project. That meeting is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 23 at CTA headquarters, 567 W. Lake St.
  • One artist wondered when a more complete plan of the Lawrence station rehab would be available, since currently there is no stationhouse. CTA replied details would be available in a few weeks. We’d all love to see those.
  • The CTA recommends that the artwork created for the station be two-dimensional, or in “minimal 3D relief,” because of space constraints.

(Hat tip to Patrick Barry from CTA Station Watch.)


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  • Art at L stations?
    A total waste of money for some scrap metal welded into weird shapes that absolutely no one like except the artist & he/she only likes the cash they got for this so-called art!

  • I certainly would like to see some kind of mural inside the Granville station. I'm not sure how you make it durable and power-washable, but we'll find out. I'd like it to include references to the neighborhood's landmarks and history, but also be about something more.

    (Oh, yes, such a troll I am indeed.)

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