Preliminary work has begun by the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission on a Public Art Master Plan. The nine-member volunteer Commission, which serves to promote and advance the arts in West Chicago and acts in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and City Council in matters pertaining to artistic and aesthetic aspects of the City, believes the addition of displays of public art throughout the community greatly enhances the quality of life for all who live, work and visit it by adding beauty and creating a distinctive identity.
“A built environment that includes public art plays a critical role in shaping first impressions and lasting memories of a community, and was identified by a wide range of community stakeholders in the West Chicago Strategic Plan as an objective over the next 10 years,” said Cultural Arts staff liaison Rosemary Mackey.
Installations like the annual Community Banner Art Project, which incorporates art from local and area artists on street banners that hang downtown from May through September, and In this – together, an outdoor mural hanging at 103 W. Washington Street, are examples of recent efforts by the Commission to add art to the cityscape.
A first step in the master planning process, asset mapping, will be undertaken through community outreach to determine the extent of existing public art installations. A Public Art Inventory form to capture this data may be found at http://westchicago.wpengine.com under Forms. Inter-governmental partners, community organizations, businesses, and residents are encouraged to complete the short form to help the Commission identify existing public art.
Addressing the need to identify and promote art citywide, Mackey said, “There are many other pieces of art that currently exist for the enjoyment of the public in West Chicago, but to our knowledge there is no comprehensive list of them. The Commission would like to compile an inventory of art in public spaces to help direct the locations of future acquisitions and market current ones collectively as community assets.”
Additionally, the Commission would like to develop an Artist Registry to track the number of artists living in West Chicago in order to identify the diverse creative talent pool residing in the community, share Calls for Art, solicit input on cultural initiatives and communicate about community projects related to the arts. The information gathered is intended for use only by the City of West Chicago and the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission and will not be shared. An Artist Registry form may be found at www.westchicago.org under Forms.
Please contact Rosemary Mackey at (630) 293-2200 x139 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments about the Public Art Master Plan, the Public Art Inventory or the Artist Registry.