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PROGRAMS/CONSTRUCTION

Recovering Equilibrium | Social Studies | Constellation of Cultures
In the Eye of the Storm | Voice of the Homeless | Sense of Government | Family Voices/Austin | Strands of History | Chinatown Passages | Scripture Wall | Urban Talismans | Wall of Fame | Westlake Cultural Front


FAMILY VOICES/ AUSTIN










Client:
Community Architexts---Chicago
Site:
Streetscape/ 5500-5701 Chicago Avenue---Chicago
Funders:
The National Endowment for the Arts/ Creation Program
Illinois Arts Council
Girl's Best Friend Foundation
Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
Hurvis Family Foundation
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs


This public design program appropriated and adapted a number of abandoned sign structures atop small businesses along the streetscape. Designed to draw attention to the myths and stereotypes of the outside community, it collected and articulated the collective public voice of a largely invisible, multi-generational community of mothers, daughters and caregivers in this inner city African-American neighborhood.

An assertive act of infiltration into the urban landscape, the double-sided sign structures carry large-scale declaratives—readable from cars passing through-which primarily speak to the outside community. Layered beneath and extending below are longer statements-directed to pedestrians-which primarily speak to the community itself. The declaratives read as highlighted sound bites, appropriating a mass media trope on behalf of the local neighborhood. Constructed of painted steel support structures, plexiglas and corrugated thermoplastic panels, and die-cut vinyl inscriptions.