Guest Blog: Art in Chicago Neighborhoods Book Now Available

Today we're featuring a guest blog by Commissioner Mark Kelly of the City's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. He joins us to share a new book available online and at all CPL locations.

Never did I imagine in my first days as commissioner that a conversation I would have with Mayor Rahm Emanuel would ultimately lead to the awesome 50x50 Public Art Project. Chicago has an incredible public art collection—its murals, its statues, its installations—and with the 50x50 Project, we pushed that farther into every neighborhood in the city.

Published in December 2018, the catalogue Art in Chicago Neighborhoods: Year of Public Art is the culmination of more than a year of unprecedented creative output by artists in Chicago. And it’s now available at every CPL location—and online on the DCASE website.

I want to encourage everyone to take these books and use them as a guide, an inspiration, as you check out the public art in your neighborhood and the public art in the city. Public art reminds us that art is not necessarily made for museums, for walls or for galleries, but rather public art is part of the human condition—we were born to create, and public art places art where it should be in our civic life.

I think the book does a great job of reminding us of that and bringing it to life. I hope you take as much delight in your journeys through this book and in your journeys through the public art realm of the city as I had in helping make this come about working with our mayor, aldermen, community groups and the talented Chicago artists who brought their creative spirit and artistic chops to their installations. Enjoy!

Want to learn more about public art in Chicago? Check out CPL's booklist If You Liked Art in Chicago Neighborhoods: Year of Public Art.

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