Students in the Drawing Lines course took a deep dive into public art during our three-week Civic term. Students in this course were challenged to define the seemingly simple term, public art. In search of an answer, students took a tour of the murals in Pilsen with Luis Tubens of Pilsen Public Art Tours, they talked with Nathan Mason, Curator of Exhibits and Public Art at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, they visited Steve Weaver and Maryrose Pavkovic from Chicago Public Art Group, they toured public artworks in the Loop and Wicker Park, and they discussed the concept of placemaking with Katanya Raby from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. Students were out on the field almost every day learning from experts, collecting data, and exploring artworks in search of a definitive definition.

The class closed out the term by working with We All Live Here artist, Rich Alapack to wheatpaste a mural on the wall of Moody’s Pub in Edgewater. This unique experience gave the students the opportunity to assume the role of public artists; working against the elements and talking about the project with passers-by. At the end of this day, students were confident in their own definition of the term, public art and certain that there is no one definitive answer.

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