Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=228035
Story Retrieval Date: 10/25/2014 2:48:06 AM CST

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Argyle Station Art

Courtesy of Chicago Transit Authority 

Lynn Basa's "Cornucopia" will be on display at the Argyle stop sometime this year.


CTA initiative puts art on display

by Carolyn Freundlich
Feb 20, 2014


Dorothy Hughes is waiting for the Chicago Transit Authority to take eight boxes from her studio.

Until then she envisions what the content will look like once it comes alive on a wall at the Berwyn Red North in Edgewater.

“It embraces the feel of the lake and the foliage with the city buildings. They meet in this piece,” the artist said. “Sort of like the neighborhood, it is really diverse.”

Color and contrast combine to make Hughes' “Roots With Diversity.” The buildings are illuminated in brilliant blue, green, yellow and gold. The earth green leaves are not as bright but just as big as the buildings. A light blue Lake Michigan weaves under and through the 5-by-8 foot ceramic mosaic.

“I think everyone should be able to take something different from it,” Hughes said of “Roots With Diversity."

While the piece is finished, it's not yet on display.

For now it is stacked in sections waiting on the next stage of a recent CTA initiative, which is a plan to inject roughly $3.5 million into public art at stations along the Red and Blue lines.

“When you have that in your station I think it’s wonderful that you can experience art. You can have that encounter and engagement as part of your daily life,” said Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Museum of Contemporary Art curator. “It’s valuable for education, learning, human growth and understanding.”

So far more than 50 pieces of art have been installed at 40 stations. Approximately 18 pieces – at seven North Side Red Line stations, eight Dan Ryan stations and three along the Blue Line - are scheduled to go up sometime this year. The CTA has not set a date, according to CTA spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski.

“Each original piece of artwork contributes to each station’s identity and enhances the travel experience for the more than 780,000 customers who pass through our stations each weekday,” Hosinski said.

The CTA has played a big part in the public art project, selecting artists for theme-based pieces appropriate for each station. The Federal Transit Administration covers the cost of supplies and commission.