Columbia College Teams Up with Shepard Fairey and “The Provocateurs” Exhibition

July 29, 2014
By: Bethany Hexom

Shepard Fairey, photo credit Jon Furlong

Shepard Fairey, photo credit Jon Furlong

Columbia College Chicago has teamed up with Shepard Fairey (OBEY series, Obama HOPE) and three other Art Alliance: The Provocateurs artists to showcase their work in the Wabash Arts Corridor as part of the exhibition with Lollapalooza. Four of the top names in subversive street art—Shepard Fairey, Cleon Peterson, POSE, and RETNA—will use the corridor as their “living urban canvas,” injecting provocative, large-scale artworks into one of Chicago’s major emerging art scenes.

Columbia College will host a private reception and walking tour with the artists July 31, 5-6 p.m.

The artists are in town creating installations to help showcase their work for The Provocateurs running July 31 – Aug. 4 at Block Thirty Seven in tandem with Lollapalooza. The show features work from more than 40 of today’s biggest names in street and contemporary art. The outdoor art, as part of the Wabash Arts Corridor, will remain indefinitely. These pieces include:

  • Shepard Fairey: Latest in his OBEY series “We Own the Future,” 44’ x 44’, 916 S. Wabash, north wall
  • Chicago-based POSE: Bold-colored, pop-art inspired narrative graphics, 120’(w) x 25’(h), 72 E. 11th on the west and north walls
  • Cleon Peterson: Dystopian brutality in black and white, 40’(w) x 14’(h), 634 S. Wabash (Warehouse Liquors), south wall
  • RETNA: Free-hand graffiti/glyphs, 43’(w) x 62’(h), 33 E. Congress, south wall
Cleon Peterson mural, photo credit Jacob Boll

Cleon Peterson mural, photo credit Jacob Boll

“Street art and graffiti are no longer strictly defined as vandalism and deserves to be recognized as a valid and important art genre,” said Shepard Fairey, artist and curator of The Provocateurs. “It challenges the notion that public space should be dominated by advertising and government signage. Columbia College and the City of Chicago have enthusiastically supported our outdoor mural project.”

The Wabash Arts Corridor promotes the use of public space as a “living urban canvas” for artists to intersect with the cultural and educational assets of the South Loop – including eight educational institutions, 19 galleries, 14 performance spaces, five major hotels and more than 40 restaurants. The space for Peterson’s mural was made possible by the sponsorship support of the Chicago Cultural Mile Association and the Wabash Arts Corridor partnership with Warehouse Liquors.

Shepard Fairey "We Own the Future," photo credit Jon Furlong

Shepard Fairey “We Own the Future,” photo credit Jon Furlong

“These artists are changing the way we perceive and experience art in urban environments,” said Mark Kelly, WAC co-chair and Columbia College Chicago vice president of student affairs. “We launched the Wabash Arts Corridor a little over a year ago to support such projects like The Provocateurs. These installations are powerful contributions to Chicago’s cultural vitality and urban landscape.”

ABOUT:
The Wabash Arts Corridor is Chicago’s “living urban canvas.” Founded in 2013, the WAC is one of the city’s major cultural assets comprised of eight educational institutions, 19 galleries, 14 performance spaces, five major hotels and more than 40 restaurants. Connecting local businesses and commerce with education, cultural programming and the visual, performing and media arts, the WAC is an urban lab for creative expression, innovation and excellence in the arts.

Art Alliance: Provocateurs
Assembling one of the largest art shows ever done, Art Alliance: The Provocateurs, features trailblazers of the art world such as Shepard Fairey, Swoon, HAZE, Space Invader, Dzine, Mark Mothersbaugh, FAILE, Ryan McGinness, Winston Smith, RETNA, Stanley Donwood, Monica Canilao, Clare Rojas, Estevan Oriol, Evan Hecox, Gary Panter, Jen Stark, Camille Rose Garcia, Revok, Cleon Peterson, D*Face, WK Interact and many others. The show will be far more than a typical exhibition by combining world-class art with experiential and interactive components such as: music, public art, charities, local community interests, and education.

In 2014, the Art Alliance: The Provocateurs exhibition will take place during, and in partnership with, Lollapalooza, one of the largest music festivals in the world, which draws hundreds of thousands of culturally sophisticated and creatively curious visitors to Chicago each summer. www.artalliance.com

For more information on the Wabash Arts Corridor, please contact Tara Vock at (312) 369-7606.