Artwork created by Chicago-area junior and senior high school students now adorns the Midway station on the Orange Line thanks to Urban Gateways: Center for Arts Education. Chicago Transit Authority officials and Urban Gateways student artists and staff dedicated the art today and recognized Urban Gateways for their adoption of the Midway station. The Adopt-A-Station program links community organizations with the CTA bringing artwork to CTA stations and creating a unique gateway to communities served by the CTA.
“The CTA’s Midway station serves as an entry point for customers who take more than 2.5 million rides into the city each year,” said CTA President Frank Kruesi. “We thank Urban Gateways for engaging these young artists in this project, which has made the Midway station more vibrant and inviting for our customers.”
The artwork consists of 30 pieces each painted on wood and mounted directly on the station’s orange ceiling beams. Each painting is approximately 24″ x 34″.
The paintings follow a time-focused theme and include images of the Chicago skyline, jazz performers, dancers and children next to clocks and use the airport as a backdrop for people measuring their life by its arrivals and departures.
The artwork dedicated today was created in the summer of 2005 by junior high and high school students involved in “Art Options”, an Urban Gateways mentorship program designed to enhance their professional art career development. Students learn how to complete a large art project from its conception as an original design implementing various art techniques to produce a finished art piece. Twenty students worked four days a week for six weeks creating the artwork.
Urban Gateways: Center for Arts Education is a non-profit organization that provides multicultural performing, visual and literary arts programs for children, teachers and parents in the Chicago area. The agency’s goal is to improve the quality of education for children by incorporating the arts into their daily lives.
Currently, 20 CTA stations are under adoption including the Red Line Sheridan station with art reflecting the area’s identification with the Chicago Cubs and its fans; the Red Line Cermak-Chinatown station which highlights masks and statues that capture the area’s Chinese roots; the Green Line’s Conservatory-Central Park Drive station adorned with mosaic murals created by neighborhood youth; and the Brown Line Merchandise Mart station which displays photography by Columbia College students.
The CTA launched the Adopt-A-Station program in 1997 to develop partnerships between community organizations, local businesses and individuals. The program helps create rail stations that reflect the history and diversity of the communities served by the CTA.
Adopting organizations are offered an opportunity to enhance and revitalize the appearance of CTA rail stations by commissioning local artists to create murals, sculptures, mosaics, paintings or photographs. Station adoptions cover a two-year period.
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