The City will provide works of art in public places, using private and available public funds, in accord with a public process, to enhance the visual and sensual environment in the City, contributing to the quality of life in the City of Evanston.
The Public Art Committee provides a process by which the City shall acquire and maintain works of art; commission works of art; identify and administer a Public Art Fund for acquisition, maintenance and disposition of works of art; establish and administer a Public Art Plan and a Public Art Program; to dispose of works of art.
Search & Effect
Earlier this year, the City of Evanston’s Public Art Committee completed a call to artists for a new downtown public art project. Search & Effect, a multimedia project proposed for installation at the Sherman Plaza Garage by the artist team of Krivanek+Breaux, was selected from among five finalists and approved by the Public Art Committee and City Council. Funded through the City’s Percent for Art Program, the project will be installed in 2013 at the southwest corner of the garage, near the intersection of Davis and Benson streets.
We exist within diverse social, political, economic, technological, and cultural systems that range in scale from intimate to global. Downtown Evanston is a crossroads of commercial, educational, and cultural activities that can be expressed in a site-specific artwork. The social and functional zone defined by the elevators and lobbies of the Sherman Plaza Self-Park offers the dramatic potential to create a large-scale metaphoric sitework that can be inhabited and experienced by many users and viewers passing by.
This large-scale public sitework encompasses the entire high-rise structure. Looking upward at the façade from ground level, a viewer becomes aware of the up-and-down movement of elevators as spotlight beams are focused downward to suggest searching. The view outward from inside the elevator cabs will be mediated by patterns of Text-Icons, to enhance the experience of looking outward over the city. Entering or exiting the elevators on the upper floors, building users will trigger motion-activated spotlights in the observation area, highlighting large-scale Pattern-Icons upon the surfaces of panels that face outward. Viewers can become further engaged by casting shadows of their bodies upon these surfaces, to assert a human presence. At ground level, passersby on the sidewalk encounter Silhouette+Shadow Inscriptions that are revealed by the spotlights of descending elevator cabs, words that suggest the unforeseen outcomes, consequences, and impacts of ideation and creation upon individuals and broader society.
We are seeking your input to contribute to the meaning and representation of the public artwork described above. The collected responses from Evanston residents will contribute to the actual inscriptions, icons, and symbols that are developed and incorporated in the final artwork. Please click here to complete the brief survey.
Evanston Custer Avenue Bridge Project (The Blue Line)
Artist Jim Brenner created this gateway identification artwork that denotes the entry to (or departure from) South Evanston. It transforms the Custer Street bridge fence, on the 200 block of Custer Ave., into a sculpture that utilizes the effect of motion across distance to create a sense of movement from a changing perspective.
The vertical plates of steel function as vertical louvers in a window shade, creating a sense of cadence that occurs as one passes the sculpture with the blue line of LED light appearing to rise and fall as one goes by. The result is an artwork that is interesting both for pedestrians and as seen from a moving car.
Library Sidewalk Poem Project
The City of Evanston’s Public Art Committee and the Board of Directors of the Evanston Public Library created a poetry competition to select five original poems to be installed in concrete on the sidewalk ramp in front of the Evanston Public Library in downtown Evanston.
Winners have been chosen: Selected Poems
A dedication was held on October 19, 2011.
The Encounter, the sculpture atop the Maple Avenue Garage, was dedicated on Friday, December 18, 2009. Created by artist Hubertus von der Goltz, The Encounter features two figures delicately balancing and moving toward each other on a plank.
The sculpture symbolizes the coming together of people from different cultures and walks of life just as the public below will encounter each other on the sidewalks of Evanston as they work, shop, take in a movie or go to dinner. The garage is located at 1800 Maple Avenue.
Fire Station #5 Public Art
Public Art has been installed at Fire Station #5, located at 2830 Central Street in Evanston (see photos in this section).
The City of Evanston has replaced the existing Fire Station #5 with a new, state-of-the-art two-story structure. Building materials were selected to blend in with existing buildings on Central Street, primarily red brick, terra cotta tile, and glass. This new construction was designed to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, meeting consensus-based national standards for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Green aspects of the building include a wall for vines and storm water collection and reuse for washing trucks. The site of the new building has a limited setback area from the street, which impacted the type of project that would be appropriate for the site.
The winning plan was submitted by Robert Smart. His plan is outlined below.
There is a community-wide effort to save the historic art in Evanston schools! Are you aware that several hundred objects of historic and artistic value still survive in Evanston schools? Learn more!
Margherita Andreotti, PhD, conducted a Preliminary Survey of Historic Art in the Evanston schools with contributions by Christine Bell, PhD, and Nancy Flannery. Their report is divided into two pdf files
(a written report as well as accompanying photos).
Community Public Art Program
Is there a site in your ward -- a wall, garden, corner, park, etc. -- that would benefit from a community art project? The Evanston Public Art Committee is pleased to encourage public art projects in a variety of neighborhoods throughout the City. The Community Public Art Program invites neighborhood groups to apply for funding support for public art projects that would enhance the quality of the community.
The Willard School amphitheatre mosaic, at left, was funded through this program.