Forms of Imagination explores the way Arts + Public Life creates ambitious public design and architecture projects that foster creative communities in Chicago's mid-South Side. The exhibition and related programs shift the gaze from design product to design process, giving audiences and visitors the opportunity to examine how Arts + Public Life uses its spaces, programs and other resources, as well as its unique partnerships with local artists, designers, students, youth, business owners to enhance the built environment, cultural landscape and livability of Washington Park. The exhibition will include projects by Carlos Rolón/Dzine, PORT Urbanism, Mikel Patrick Avery, as well as the leading architects’ visions for the Green Line Art Center, a future arts space on Garfield Boulevard.
The University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life initiative, led by artist and UChicago professor, Theaster Gates, is a catalyst for mindful urban transformation and creative redevelopment through arts and culture. In 2013, Arts + Public Life opened the Arts Incubator in a renovated 1920’s Art Deco building along an underutilized block on E. Garfield Boulevard in the University’s neighboring Washington Park community—a once vibrant retail and business corridor and epicenter of Chicago’s jazz evolution in the 20th century. The Arts Incubator is now home to gallery space, artist-in-residence programs, community program space, and activities that cultivate both established and emerging artists. Experiencing tremendous transformation, Arts + Public Life plans to expand arts and culture program spaces east of the Arts Incubator aiming to further revitalize Washington Park’s once vibrant cultural scene.
Presented by the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life initiative with additional support from Theaster Gates, Eric McKissack, Amy and John Phelan, and Arts + Public Life’s Place Lab.