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They’ve included walkabouts where groups of people explored sites for public art; a guided hike at the refuge, which will be connected to the South Loop by a trail; and mock city-development review sessions to test how the city might deal with proposals for public art.
“We have a lot of learning to do as an organization about the barriers to doing this kind of work, where do we have to get smarter, do we have to simplify things,” Specht said. “We aren’t going to end up with sculptures on every corner, but we will have guidelines.”
Artist Ta-coumba Aiken worked on a mural about the South Loop most of the week, and Specht said she hopes it will be displayed in the area before probably going back to the Theatre and Art Center.
The goal of the charrette is not art for art’s sake, but “art for the sake of creating a more hospitable, welcoming, enjoyable place where people want to spend time,” she said. “And a humane, pleasant place where people feel connected to one another.”
Mary Jane Smetanka • 612-673-7380