Ray Charles Easley Memorial Sculpture- Chicago, IL

  • Commissioning Entity

    City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

  • Application Open Date


  • Application Deadline Date


  • Minimum Budget


  • Maximum Budget


  • Location of Commission

    Chicago, Illinois, United States

  • Geographic Eligibilty


  • Contact Name

    Maryrose Pavkovic

  • Contact Email

    [email protected]

  • Contact Phone

  • Commission Document

    View Link Document

  • Brief Description

    The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), in partnership with the office of Alderman Christopher Taliaferro and the Chicago Park District invite professional artists and artist teams with a demonstrated history of completing major permanent outdoor public art projects to submit their qualifications for a $150,000 commission remembering community leader Ray Charles Easley and his continuing legacy to be placed in Austin Town Hall Park. (Location is pending Park Enhancement Committee approval).


    This project is generated by the City of Chicago’s Public Art Menu Program, through which DCASE works collaboratively with Aldermanic offices to administer neighborhood public art commissions using discretionary capital funds provided by the City’s Wards.


    DCASE, Alderman Christopher Taliaferro, and the 29th Ward seek to honor Ray Charles Easley for his significant contributions to the Chicago Westside community. As a long-time community activist with the Westside Branch of the NAACP, Mr. Easley held the position of Chair of the labor and industry committee.

    In this role, he facilitated job opportunities for Westside residents by offering classes, teaching basic skills, assisting with job applications, and providing computer guidance. His efforts in promoting job readiness and empowerment positively impacted the lives of many within the community.

    In addition to his work with the NAACP, Mr. Easley served as the human resources director for the Village of Maywood. He also collaborated with organizations such as the Westside Ministers' Coalition, the Westside Health Authority, and the Northwest Austin Council. Furthermore, he chaired the board of Circle Family Health Care Network, demonstrating his dedication to improving healthcare accessibility in the community.

    Ray Charles Easley's contributions are a testament to his commitment to Chicago’s Westside, leaving a lasting legacy of service and empowerment.

    The site for this sculpture will be near the east entrance of Austin Town Hall Park, 5610 W. Lake St. Chicago, IL 60644 next to Central Avenue. The park has been a place of community activism, where residents have gathered for protests, rallies, and social justice movements. It has provided a platform for the local residents to voice their concerns and advocate for change.

    Successful public art proposals will approach the artwork’s subject with a deep understanding of Ray Charles Easley’s personal story and his leadership role in impacting the Westside of Chicago. Successful proposals will address its site with a bold and creative vision that is sensitive to the historic setting. Designs will be informed by a robust community engagement process involving the artist and interacting with project area neighborhood residents, Ray Charles Easley’s family, historians and organizers. Designs should include elements of an appropriate size, scale, likeness and orientation to engage viewing from multiple potential vantage points. The artwork must be engineered to withstand the demands of a permanent outdoor installation in a dense urban setting and require minimal to no annual maintenance; only durable and resilient media will be considered. Artists skilled in crafting sculptures that accurately capture the likeness of the subject are preferred.

    Community members are encouraged to share this opportunity with artists they hope will apply.

    Please see commission document for full project information. Click here to apply.