Six Finalists Announced for Wicker Park Bucktown Neighborhood's Largest Public Art Commission

21-Feb-2017 22-Mar-2017

Six Finalists Announced for Wicker Park Bucktown Neighborhood's Largest Public Art Commission

Six finalists announced for Wicker Park Bucktown neighborhood’s largest public art commission
Artists’ models to be publicly displayed at Jackson Junge Gallery February 21 – March 21

CHICAGO (February 7, 2017)—The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce and WPB Special Service Area (SSA) #33 are thrilled to announce six finalists for the largest public art commission in their history: John. E Bannon, Lynn Basa, Nicole Beck, Curt Brill, Paul Kuhn and Chris Boyd Taylor. Selected by a jury of Chicago arts professionals, one artist will be awarded a $30,000-$75,000 commission to create a permanent installation to be displayed at the highly visible intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Wood Street in the heart of the Wicker Park Bucktown neighborhood.

Each finalist will receive $1,000 to create a small model to be publicly displayed at Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N Milwaukee, for public comment from February 21 – March 21. The WPB SSA #33 Commission will announce a winner in March 2017, to be awarded the final public art commission.

The Milwaukee Avenue/Wood Street intersection was redesigned in 2014 by the Chicago Department of Transportation in collaboration with 1st Ward Alderman, Proco “Joe” Moreno, and the WPB SSA #33 Commission. The redesign served two purposes: creating a safer environment for all users at this confluence of traffic, and developing a location specifically for a future public artwork.

WPB SSA #33 has a longstanding record of supporting the artistic and cultural communities in Wicker Park Bucktown. Through both arts initiatives led by the WPB SSA #33 Arts Committee and the annual Community Grants Program, WPB SSA #33 awards funds to local artists and organizations to enhance quality of life within the neighborhood and foster community growth and development.

Artist bios
John. E Bannon was born in 1966 and is from Arlington Heights, IL. He has been a resident of Chicago since 1992. Bannon is a multi-media visual artist and educator whose work is seen in public and private collections worldwide. He received his BFA in 1990 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his MFA in 2002 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Exhibitions include: Wicker Park Festival, Chicago; Truck Gallery, Calgary, AB, Canadal; Lakefront Sculpture Exhibition, Chicago; Fassbender/Stevens Gallery, San Francisco/Chicago; Center of Contemporary Art, Miami; Glass Art Society, Seto, Japan; Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, Ft. Myers, FL; Glass Art Society, Hain-Chu City, Taiwan; Lollapalooza Festival, Chicago. Publications include: The Chicago Public Art Guide and CTA Public Art. His Bibliography includes: UR Chicago Magazine and the Chicago Tribune. His collections include: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority; Rowan University, New Jersey; Chicago Transit Authority HQ; Clune Construction, Chicago; and Cellular One, Baltimore. He has received the following awards: IAS, Grant Illinois Arts Council; CAAO Grant, Chicago; Governor’s International Arts Exchange Program Grant, IL; and the Travel Grant, Fuji Hunt. More information is available at his website, here.

Lynn Basa sees every public art opportunity as a chance to encourage positive social interactions. Her work has taken the form of beacons, shelters, seating, and pathways tied together with the theme of our inevitable journey through life and time. She has completed over 50 public and private site-specific commissions across the U.S., is the author of “The Artist’s Guide to Public Art,” and has taught public art professional practices in the Sculpture department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her studio is in the storefront of a former sausage shop on Milwaukee Avenue in Avondale where she hosts a residency, called “Corner,” for artists to experiment with installations that are relevant to the surrounding neighborhood. More information at her website, here.

Nicole Beck is a renowned Chicago artist whose sculptures have been commissioned into the art collections of the Chicago Chambers of Commerce for Lakeview, Lincoln Park and West Town, and at DeVry. She also has commissions nationwide and has exhibited in more than 60 national outdoor sculpture shows. A video documentary for her incredible Amplifiers at the College of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Illinois Urbana - can be found on youtube. Beck is a founding Board Member of Chicago Sculpture International and presently sits on the Board of the TriTaylor Community Association in the Medical District where she understands the importance of an engaged and productive community. More information is available at her website, here.

Curt Brill believes that this life is mysterious and wonder filled. As a 3D visual artist, he is charged with the mission of expressing my sense of awe through the works that he creates. His intention is not only to express his sense of the Human spirit, but to create works that lead people to connect to their own wealth of Humanness. More information is available at his website, here.

Paul Kuhn is a Chicago area artist and owner of Twelve Limbs Art Studio, located in Naperville IL. Paul received his BFA in 2003 from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While focusing solely on paintings and murals early in his career, Paul has spent the past six years working with sculptures. His first permanent outdoor sculpture, titled, "Tragedy to Triumph," was dedicated in April of 2014 and serves as a memorial to the downtown Naperville train crash of 1946. In 2016 Paul had his work shown at the Electric Forest Music Festival, North Coast Music Festival, and AAHH! Fest.

Chris Boyd Taylor was born and raised in the suburbs of Columbus Ohio, graduating with fine arts degrees from The Ohio State University and Alfred University in New York. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally, with two major public art commissions Remolcador en Camino at the Pablo Neruda Plaza in Montevideo, Uruguay, and The Cardboard Kids at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. Additionally, he was an Emerging Art Fellow at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens New York where he installed Conewango, a year-long public artwork. Taylor currently resides in the foothills of the Appalachians, where he teaches sculpture at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. More information is available at his website, here.

The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce serves as a cornerstone of the Wicker Park and Bucktown commercial districts, advancing the financial goals of neighborhood businesses
through the creation of a dynamic economic climate, increasing the neighborhood's visibility and viability, and encouraging profitable relationships within the community. The Chamber administers the Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area (SSA) #33, guided by a Commission of SSA stakeholders who serve on active committees. For more information, please visit

Opening Reception March 3rd, 2017
Time TBA

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