The City of West Chicago is proud to celebrate the work of all artists included in this year’s Community Art Banner Exhibit, Home, by highlighting two or more each week on the City’s website and social media accounts.
A total of seventeen artists gained entry to the juried exhibit this year and have their art displayed on banners that have been installed on Main and W. Washington Streets, and will remain hanging through early September. An interactive map will help residents and visitors identify the location and artist of each banner.
The following artists have contributed to this year’s public art banner project, which has become an art staple in downtown West Chicago each summer: Lewis Achenbach, Margaret Bucholz, Krystal Fuller, Annie van Gorkom, Anni Holm, Krista Kimme, James Lauro, Christopher Lucero, Kathy Manning, Buddy Plumlee, Laurie Pollpeter Eskenazi, Cassandra Reymundo, Bridget Simbila, Janelle Standinger, Kathy Steere, Emese Toth, and Bruce Treudt.
The theme Home was chosen by the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, which has coordinated the project for more than ten years. When themes were being considered among Commission members last summer, Home seemed like a natural pick as a companion to the 2019 City Museum exhibit of the same title. Little did anyone dream at the time that 2020 would bring such a deliberate focus, and in some ways new meaning, to the theme of home given the ongoing pandemic.
Residents and visitors may vote online for their favorite banner through the online People’s Choice ballot found at www.westchicago.org.
This Week’s Featured Banners
Two West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission members created the featured banners being highlighted this week by the City. Artists Buddy Plumlee and Lew Achenbach have contributed in countless ways and continue to provide support for the Commission’s goal of community enrichment through the arts.
Plumlee is the artist who also created Signa Rotae, the mosaic structure that is installed on the pedestrian trail adjacent to the Metra line at Sesqui Park; and Achenbach is the widely known artist and founder of the Jazz Occurence, and had a series of artwork installed at City Hall for a temporary exhibit in 2019.
Each provided the following artist statements for their currently installed banner art:
“War Paint takes place in the wilds of suburbia, a place devoid of adulthood, where the hunter-gatherer youth seek to build and defend their Minecraft utopia.” ~ Artist Buddy Plumlee
“Home is family. Home is foundational and where I draw inspiration from. So I thought I would go way back, to an original family and an original home. There dwells good and evil, love and fear, sky and earth, the past and our future. Today and yesterday, love is what holds families together. And Home is where love dwells.” ~ Eden by Artist Lew Achenbach
For more information, and a retrospective of previous Art Banner Exhibits, visit the Public Art section of the City’s website.