About the artwork installed at 103 West Washington Street and dedicated on December 6, 2014:
Holding hands is typically defined as an act of physical intimacy involving two or more people. Depending on age, gender and heritage, the gesture itself can be a symbol of affection, control and respect. From the mother and child to the husband and wife, and from children playing a game to protestors forming a human wall, we typically reach out for each other’s hands to show that we are in this together. However, within this very act of reaching out to hold a hand, there is also the possibility for something new and exciting to happen. Inspired by the formation of relationships and the building of new networks, In this – together seeks to symbolize and depict a moment loaded with excitement for what’s next. This of course includes the endless possibilities for love, trust, support, security, stability and togetherness that exist in our community.
During the late summer and fall of 2014, West Chicago-based artist Anni Holm, collaborated with the people of West Chicago to photograph hands that represent this community. All the hands were then cut out digitally and layered to create this mural. Approximately 950 people have had a hand in this piece, so to speak. This project could not have been realized without the help from the following community partners: WeGo Together for Kids, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, City of West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, City Museum and Historical Preservation Commission, and DuPage Children’s Museum.
The following people had “a hand in this piece”:
Anni Holm, a West Chicago-based Danish artist, donated her time and talent to creating the mural, with funding for materials and installation for In this – together coming from the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, the West Chicago City Museum, and with assistance from the DuPage Children’s Museum. A second art piece titled In this – together (II) facilitated by Holm, which engages the community in tracing and cutting out the shape of their hands in fabric, is also planned in conjunction with In this – togetherand will be created for permanent installation at Leman Middle School, the site of the Community Block Party which launched the WeGo Together for Kids/United Way LIVE United Neighborhood Network.
The artist would like to acknowledge and thank the following volunteers who assisted her with the project: David Toney, Chris Lucero, Sara Phalen, Nerissa Kuebrich, Ali Mehdi Zaidi, Maja Kirstine Vestergaard Pedersen, Brittany Nickels, Diana Gabriel, Mario Contreras, Sarah Baranski and Angie Evans, and Tony Abasolo.