Today the Chicago Architecture Biennial announced an expansion into Chicago's neighborhoods by adding six museums and institutions that will serve as Community Anchor sites for 2017. They include The Beverly Arts Center, DePaul Art Museum, DuSable Museum of African American History, Hyde Park Art Center, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.
During the second edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, this consortium of community sites will provide a variety of events, exhibitions and programs that will encourage visitors to explore different locations throughout the city, as well as experience some of Chicago's historic museums. The initiative is funded through the generous support of The Chicago Community Trust and confirms the Chicago Architecture Biennial's commitment to being a city-wide initiative by expanding beyond downtown.
'There is no better place than the City of Chicago to come together, share ideas, and focus on the future of architecture and design," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "The 2017 Chicago Architectural Biennial will build on the success of the inaugural 2015 event and feature Community Anchor sites in neighborhoods across the city. We are proud to share Chicago's world-class architecture with visitors from across the country and around the world this fall."
The 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial is free and open to the public from September 16, 2017 through January 7, 2018. More than 100 architects and artists representing countries from around the world were selected to present their work around this year's theme, "Make New History." The opening of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial will align with the sixth annual EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, which will run September 13-17 at Navy Pier.
The Community Anchor sites were selected to display additional exhibitions that will complement the programming presented at the Chicago Cultural Center, the main hub of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Each site will have its own unique programming, ranging from installations to historic tours and more. Several institutions, including DuSable Museum of African American History and Hyde Park Art Center, are tapping local artists like esteemed photographer Lee Bey and Chicago Architecture Biennial alumna Amanda Williams to create projects. The Beverly Arts Center, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture will examine the heritage of their building sites and how they relate to the architecture, design and histories of nearby neighborhoods and cultures. DePaul Art Museum is bringing in an international artist to create an immersive installation that considers modernist architecture from a post-colonial African perspective.
This year, The Chicago Community Trust is providing a $200,000 grant for the Community Anchor sites to support the development and curation of the special programs and exhibitions that will be on display for the duration of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
"Each neighborhood in Chicago has rich history and a strong passion for the arts," said Terry Mazany, President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. "The Chicago Community Trust is providing this grant to the Community Anchor sites to help create excellent architecture-related programming throughout the Chicago Architecture Biennial."
The Chicago Architecture Biennial is a privately funded organization and has drawn support from major civic and business leaders. "The Chicago Architecture Biennial is an international exposition that reinforces the city as a premier place for the practice of architecture and design as well as intellectual conversation about the field," said Chicago Architecture Biennial Board Chairman, Jack Guthman. "This is an exposition for both Chicagoans and visitors to help them experience the city's rich cultural legacy and the neighborhoods, museums and institutions that make Chicago what it is today."
In addition to the exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and programming at the six Community Anchor sites, the Chicago Architecture Biennial will have a variety of other exhibitions, events and programs—downtown and dispersed throughout the city and surrounding region. The full list of program partner institutions will be announced later this spring.
2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial Community Anchor Sites
The Beverly Arts Center
As a Community Anchor of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, The Beverly Arts Center will forge a collaborative exhibition with architectural historian and photographer Lee Bey and architect and installation designer James Gorski that demonstrates the coexistence of history and the present in the built environment. The theme, Elevation, is a natural fit for The Beverly Arts Center for two reasons. Not only does the site have the highest natural elevation in the city, but also the history of where The Beverly Arts Center came from will be a pillar in elevating Chicago into the future.
The exhibition will address the layers of geological and natural conditions, the social and cultural history of upward mobility and racial change, and the stylistic expressions of iconic architectural traditions that are emblematic of the Beverly neighborhood, ranging from the Chicago Bungalow to modernism. As part of the exhibition, the site will look at what they foresee for the community going forward and will examine the historical perspective of the rail lines connecting Beverly with the hub of downtown and the rail lines as a method to help propel the community forward.
"The neighborhood of Beverly is rich with architectural history; from the Chicago Bungalow to modernism," said Shellee Frazee, Artistic Director of The Beverly Arts Center. "Our collaborative exhibition featuring Lee Bey and James Gorski will look to the history of the Beverly neighborhood, how it directly connects with the present day architectural landscape and some ideas about the future."
To learn more about The Beverly Arts Center, visit http://www.beverlyartcenter.org.
DePaul Art Museum
In the heart of the Lincoln Park Campus of DePaul University, DePaul Art Museum Director Julie Rodrigues Widholm will organize the first U.S. solo exhibition of work by Mozambican-Portuguese artist Angela Ferreira. Ferreira's research-based investigations tap into the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial theme "Make New History," and her work mines the complex historical relations that link African indigenous culture, slavery and European modernism. Ferreira makes historical ideas tangible through documentary photographs, architectural drawings and a structure that will become a platform for performances and community gatherings. In this exhibition, Ferreira will bring together two unrealized projects: Mies van der Rohe's 1913 commission for a private museum/house in Holland, and Mozambican architect Pancho Guedes's Circus School in Cape Town, South Africa.
"Mies van der Rohe's modernism is synonymous with Chicago architecture. Angela Ferreira's work offers a unique perspective on this familiar subject, while connecting Chicago to a global conversation around the history and politics of architectural forms and materials," said Widholm. "Ferreira's work as an artist allows us to consider the complicated relationship between art, architecture and social concerns in order to write new histories."
To learn more about DePaul Art Museum, visit http://museums.depaul.edu.
DuSable Museum of African American History
In 2017, the DuSable Museum of African American History will host Chicago: a Southern Exposure, an exhibit of architectural photography designed to bring attention to the places and spaces—both great and small—of Chicago's South Side, which is often overlooked by the architectural press, tourists and many Chicagoans themselves.
Featuring the work of architecture photographer, critic and South Side resident Lee Bey, Chicago: a Southern Exposure is the first major show devoted to South Side architecture. The exhibit will feature large-form photography of the area's quality buildings, open spaces and the South Side work of luminaries such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen; as well as distinguished and pioneering black architects such as John Moutoussamy and Ryder, Morrison and Margerum. The exhibit will also document remarkable examples of architectural adaptive reuse by the South Side's predominantly black population who—long before it became a popular architectural trend—converted banks, car dealerships, supermarkets and other building types into new uses.
In addition to Lee Bey's exhibit, The Roundhouse at the DuSable Museum will be the official location for a large-scale exhibition project curated by the Palais de Tokyo's Katell Jaffres. It will be the first public exhibition ever hosted in the historic Burnham and Root designed building and the first U.S. satellite exhibition of Palais de Tokyo. The group exhibition will present emerging artists from both the French and Chicago art scenes, focusing on the dialogue between architecture and artistic process. The Chicago iteration of the Palais de Tokyo's Hors Les Murs will emphasize the relationship between the space of The Roundhouse and the selected artists' site-specific works. This partnership between EXPO CHICAGO, Palais de Tokyo, the lnstitut Français, the DuSable Museum and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States will open during EXPO ART WEEK on September 12 and run concurrently during the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial through October 29, 2017.
"This exciting project will play a large part in the DuSable Museum's legacy and will display the history of the African American culture as a large part of the Chicago landscape," said museum President and CEO Perri lrmer. "As an exciting added bonus this year, we can't wait to host EXPO CHICAGO's Palais de Tokyo in the museum's Roundhouse this fall."
To learn more about the Du Sable Museum of African American History, visit https://www.dusablemuseum.org.
Hyde Park Art Center
As part of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Hyde Park Art Center will create a set of three exhibitions around this year's theme, "Make New History." The first exhibition will feature a new largescale installation by Chicago-based artist Sara Black and New Zealand artist Raewyn Martyn. Together they will create an immersive artwork by reconstituting lumber byproducts into a built environment that connects the history of building with wood to Chicago's industrial past and the local impact of global deforestation.
The second project aligned with the Chicago Architecture Biennial features an architect-in-residence collaboration with the Illinois Institute of Technology led by Amanda Williams, a 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial participant, who will lead a fall semester seminar on experimenting with nontraditional building materials to think through ideas of community repair.
The final exhibition activates the exterior of the building with a 21st century mural incorporating collage, video, poetry and sound in response to the 50th anniversary of the Wall of Respect, a nationally renowned mural that presented portraits of African American heroes on a South Side Chicago building from 1967-1971. Like its forebear, the project will utilize architecture as a tool for discussion, visibility and action around pressing social issues and community pride.
"Fitting well with the theme 'Make New History,' our three participants that will be featured at the Hyde Park Art Center look to explore Chicago's industrial past and the idea of community repair on the South Side," said Kate Lorenz, Executive Director of Hyde Park Art Center. "One of our participants, Amanda Williams, was a 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial participant, and we look forward to seeing her work on display again this year."
To learn more about the Hyde Park Art Center, visit http://www.hydeparkart.org.
National Museum of Mexican Art
The National Museum of Mexican Art's exhibition Placemaking and Landmarks: The Creation of Mexican Spaces in Chicago will draw from the museum's permanent collection and local photography archives to showcase the transnational cultural connections forged by Mexican immigrants who have long endeavored to "make new history" in the shaping of Chicago's built environment. Through this lens the exhibition will celebrate adapted cultural spaces but also will reveal the displacement of communities from spaces through urban renewal and gentrification historically and in the present.
"Mexican culture and heritage have played a large role in the architectural landscape of Chicago," said Carlos Tortolero, President of the National Museum of Mexican Art. ''Through our exhibition, we will look at the construction of Mexican landmarks in Chicago from past to present."
To learn more about the National Museum of Mexican Art, visit http://nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org.
National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture
The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC) will engage artistic and architectural practices to activate an understanding of the architectural and cultural heritage of the national landmark site of NMPRAC. The exhibition will reveal the continued relevance of a historical succession of cultures and influences, from Danish immigrant landscape designer Jens Jensen, who worked at—and on—the NMPRAC site, to the Puerto Rican advocates who worked to establish NMPRAC as a cultural pillar. These influences collectively define the museum structure, its function within one of Chicago's original public parks and its relationship to neighboring communities.
"At the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, our exhibit will look at the history of our building," said Billy Ocasio, CEO of NMPRAC. "The museum structure shows how architecture is largely influenced by the culture and heritage of the people that surround it, and provides a key to the past."
To learn more about the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture Chicago, visit http://nmprac.org.