Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The House of Posts of South Shore

The House of Posts of South Shore, 1992
Nina Smoot-Cain
1818 East 71st Street

Public artist and art educator Nina Smoot-Cain (born 1943) has spent more than 30 years collaborating with artists and arts organizations on more than 20 projects in the city. Such is the case with this location. Now the Ray of Hope Center of The Arts, it was once home to "Two Artists Row," part of a major experiment in creating art incubators in South Shore. This building, along with one across the street known as "One Artists Row," was where a tremendous percentage of African American Artists in Chicago were based.
The columns or "House Posts" are elaborately decorated with Cain's mosaic. The Song of Enlightenment mosaic panels on the building were created by other members of The Chicago Public Art Group, including Mirtes Zwierzynski, Orisegun Olomidum, Rene Townsend and Phil Schuster with assistance from student artists from Gallery 71, a project that gave summer jobs in art to local teenagers. Other works by Ohio-born artist Nina Smoot-Cain include mosaics in the Pullman and Harold Washington Libraries.

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