Client: Chicago Public Arts
Location: Chicago, IL, United States
Completion date: 2004
Artwork budget: $35,000
Public Art Agent
Chicago Public Arts
Vector Custom Fabricating
This 22’ x 9’ x 9’ sculpture is made of steel, aluminum, & polyurethane paint, with cedar benches. This sculpture celebrates the discovery of penicillin that conquered tuberculosis. The building was the former auditorium on the grounds of the tuberculosis sanitarium and is now the Peterson Park gymnasium.
The City of Chicago contacted me about this project because they knew my work was colorful and playful, and that was what they were looking for this setting.
When I looked into the history of this building I discovered that my grandfather had been in the sanitarium. I was deeply moved by this, and I felt compelled to create a sitting area along with the sculpture that was meant to uplift and celebrate what currently goes on here. I thought of this as meditative place to stop and think. In addition, the City of Chicago allowed me to write my personal story and incorporate it into this space as a plaque. I appreciated the opportunity to create a setting that honors the past and celebrates the present. In my mind, it's a triumphant work with great significance.