Ceremony to welcome ‘Artists Monument’ to UIC

Art installation

Workers recently installed the “Artists Monument” by retired UIC art professor and artist Tony Tasset. Photo by Jenny Fontaine.

 

After several months on display in Grant Park and exhibition in New York City, an 80-foot-long artwork called “Artists Monument” by recently retired University of Illinois at Chicago art professor Tony Tasset will finally have a permanent home on the UIC campus. A welcome ceremony is scheduled to celebrate the new public art piece at Harrison Field.

WHEN:

Aug. 30

5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Public comments from UIC officials, Chicago officials and artist Tony Tasset

WHERE:

Harrison Field (Intersection of Harrison and Halsted streets)

DETAILS:

The outdoor piece, “Artists Monument,” first seen in New York in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and later on display in Grant Park, will have a permanent home outside on Harrison Field, which is near the CTA’s UIC-Halsted Street Blue Line stop.

The piece measures 80 x 8 x 8 feet and bears the names of 392,486 artists listed alphabetically on brightly colored acrylic panels. The artists mentioned range from Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol to emerging artists, some of whom have had only a single exhibition to their credit.

UIC officials purchased the sculpture with the use of a private endowment that focuses on improving the University of Illinois campuses, said Steve Everett, dean of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts.

In addition to displaying a work by an internationally renowned artist who spent 29 years with the university, the installation serves as a “welcoming entryway” to the UIC campus for students, faculty and the community as they use the CTA’s UIC-Halsted Blue Line stop.

“The piece lists artists more democratically by listing their names alphabetically, rather than by fame,” says Everett.

“We thought in some ways the idea of this piece captured a lot of what UIC endeavors to do for the city. It strives to be a unifying, leveling opportunity for students of all economic and social demographics to be able to come to a public, urban university,” said Everett. “We thought this work of art provided a nice, communal statement about who we are.”

Tasset, who retired in May, said that his aim was to create a monument celebrating creation instead of destruction and felt honored to have the public artwork at UIC, “My teaching home for nearly three decades.”

“A public institution with a strong commitment to the humanities seems a perfect location for a monument to artists. I hope it becomes a destination for artists from around the world,” said Tasset. “Having my art at UIC sure beats getting a watch when I retired.”

 

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