Time Machine Project With Pritzker School
Time Machine Project Takes Art Out of Classroom, into Storefront Windows
WICKER PARK — Time is running out to catch a glimpse of Time Machine: 2013, a community art project that features artwork on display in storefront windows throughout Wicker Park and Bucktown.
On Friday, 65 pieces spanning a wide range of mediums — created by students and professional artists who visited Pritzker School in Wicker Park during a special week in April — will be auctioned off during an evening of drinks, food and live music at Ignite Glass Studios in West Town.
Nearly 40 retailers in Wicker Park and Bucktown are now showcasing student andprofessional art in their display windows as part of a joint effort organized by the school’s parent teacher organization (PTO) and Friends of Pritzker, a volunteer fundraising arm of the school.
“We tried to do this as close to a professional art show would be,” said co-chair Heather Strong, who founded the first community art project five years ago.
Strong said that money raised at the 2013 fundraiser will be applied to art-related projects at the school, including field trips to art studios or museums arranged through the PTO and bringing in resident artists to teach in classrooms.
Located on the northwest corner of Damen Avenue and Schiller Street in Wicker Park, Pritzker School is a CPS fine arts and performing arts magnet cluster school as well as a neighborhood school for children in grades K-8.
Proceeds from the previous year’s community art projects have helped upgrade the audio system in the school’s auditorium and renovate the science lab and playground, Strong said.
Bucktown artist Donald Jackson and owner of The Color Wheel Studio was one of 18 visiting artists who visited the school, where students in every classroom were studying time periods from the Stone Ages through the Modern Era and the future.
Jackson said the children he worked with in the third grade class were focused on the Middle Ages time period, so he decided to create a three-paneled wood triptych, since it was a popular art form from that time period.
Jackson had each student create a self-portrait on paper and then asked them to draw “anything they love that makes them happy.”
Jackson said the 22 young artists portrayed happiness through Beyonce, video games, bounce houses and siblings, among other things.
After the session, Jackson took the work back to his studio and assembled the self-portraits on the right and left panels so that when the hinges of the triptych are turned inward, they look in at the center, which is full of the things that make the young artists happy.
On the back of the piece Jackson painted the Chicago flag.
The students named their creation “Our Triptych,” and the piece has been displayed in the window of Una Mae’s Freak Boutique at 1528 N. Milwaukee Ave. for the past two weeks.
Owner Nancy Becker that she’s participated in the project since its inception four years ago when previous themes had the students creating birdhouses.
“It’s great, people love looking at it,” Becker said of “Our Triptych.”
In addition to the works produced by students that will be auctioned off in a silent auction, local professional artists such as Wesley Kimler, Cathy Norris Bruni and L. Lee Junge have donated 29 pieces as well, six of which will be auctioned off in a live auction.
Illustrator and printmaker Anne Benjamin created a custom poster to advertise the project and 60 limited edition prints were made. The Special Service Area taxing district #33 kicked in a community grant to fund the printing of the posters as well as art supplies, Strong said.
For photos of all the projects created and a map of where to find them in local storefront windows, consult this map.
“Community Art Project: Time Machine 2013” will take place 7 to 11 p.m. May 10 at Ignite Glass Studios, 425 N. Armour St. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $45 or $50 at the door. Birchwood Kitchen will provide light bites and cover band Red Pop Fury will perform, too.