Bricolage 2007

Vol. XVIII No. 3 - FALL 2007

Yes, that’s a new word, coined by Artist Tracy Van Duinen to describe his art work in the Public art field.

A Bricolage is an art work on a public wall that is made of tiles but is assembled in the fashion of a mosaic. For the past year Tracy has been working on a project in Edgewater. This has entailed gathering groups of residents to get their ideas of what should go on the wall which is located on the underpass of Lake Shore Drive at Bryn Mawr. In June the installation of the project got underway with the initial drawing done by VanDuinen, Todd Osbourne and Cynthia Weiss. They are part of the Chicago Public Art Group led by Jon Pounds.

On July 10th, work on the wall began in earnest with students from Alternatives supplying the craftsmanship to apply the tiles to the wall. Community members were invited to join in anytime between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Lets backtrack a little and see how this project came to be. Alderman Mary Ann Smith contacted the Public Art Group to look at the wall and consider it for a project. An initial meeting with some community members was held at the Edgewater Beach Apartments in the fall of 2006. They expressed an interest in having historical elements in the project as well as the lake, recreation activities, the el and nature. Other meetings were held to get more community input. Next workshops were planned and community members began decorating tiles. One of these workshops was held at the EHS museum, Another workshop where artists made tiles was held at St Andrews church. Perhaps an interesting part for many EHS members will be the stenciled photographs of some of Edgewater’s historic buildings such as the Edgewater Beach Hotel, the historic homes on Kenmore torn down by Loyola University and some other historic photos such as the photo of John Lewis Cochran who named Edgewater in 1885.