Howard El competition showcases artwork

The Chicago Transit Agency is commissioning several works of art for display at the renovated Howard Red Line stop.

The artwork, which may include painted tiles, glass murals, mixed media mosaics and suspended sculptures, will be integrated into the station's architecture.

"My ultimate dream would be an artist who gets selected from Rogers Park," says Alderman Joe Moore (D-49), who hosted a community forum on the program at his office Monday.

Lorrie Woos, who has lived in Rogers Park for more than three decades and attended the forum, says she wants the Howard station to look better than any other.

"We are a gateway station to the north side and it would be terrific to make a huge impact," she says.

Professional artists from Chicago and elsewhere have until May 15 to submit slides of previous work, a resume, and a written statement about their qualifications.

The $265,000 budget allocated for the Howard El station is the largest so far. It includes artist fees, site preparation, fabrication and shipping of the artwork to the Howard station.

"These are quite expensive projects, but only because the artwork has to be durable and last for 50 years," says Elizabeth Kelley of the Chicago Public Art Program.

The Howard station project, which includes constructing a new entrance building as well as improved access for the disabled, is scheduled for completion next year.

At the forum, Kelley heard feedback from community members, some of whom requested that the artwork also be placed in the existing portion of the station.
Artist submissions are judged by a committee including members from the Public Art Program, the CTA, and the local community.

The committee picks artists who are invited to submit a formal proposal, which includes a scale model. Those artists receive a $500 design fee.

The committee then selects a winning design, and commissions the artist to execute it at the station.