This spring, keep your eyes open for vibrant artwork displayed on vacant lots around our community. The Foundation for Homan Square is partnering with ArtWest Gallery founder and artist, Alexie Young, to showcase her 2020 School of the Art Institute of Chicago residency project, “Lawndale Love Letters”. This public art project is the first installation of the FHS Vacant Lot Campaign.
The FHS Vacant Lot Campaign is a public art project that brings arts and culture activation to currently vacant lots in Homan Square while the lots are being prepared for permanent development. The vision for this project is born from the FHS Community Advisory Council, who has emphasized the importance of positive activation on vacant lots while the team of community-based developers from the Foundation for Homan Square and IFF prepare the lots for new homes. Managing the project, FHS and IFF are joined by United Front, a group of SAIC Arts Administration students who provide program support.
This spring, we are kicking off the Vacant Lot Campaign on three lots in Homan Square – 3654 W Polk; 3439 W Flournoy; and 3300, 3308 W Flournoy. Starting Fall 2021, IFF and FHS will develop these lots into 21 units of new construction affordable and disability-accessible housing. However, construction isn’t planned to start until Fall 2021, so while the team assembles all the pieces necessary to build the housing, Alexie Young’s “Lawndale Love Letters” will spread the word about the project as well as her art.
The signs will display existing work, as well as new work that is inspired by conversations with Homan Square residents. Via a QR code, the signs will also include information for residents on the upcoming housing developments on the lot. The team will reveal the signs during late-spring virtual and in-person community events. This project will increase a sense of place, walkability and safety in Homan Square by activating vacant lots with bright artwork reflecting the pride of North Lawndale.
This project is made possible by generous support from Elevated Chicago, a cross-city a collaborative focused on racial equity, arts and culture, climate change resiliency, and public health in Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Click here to see images: Art Renderings