While Chicago is well known for its architecture, theatre, fine art, public landscaping, and music scenes, there is a significant lack of applied visual arts in public spaces. By focusing on making this exhibition an outdoor one, we hope to accomplish two important objectives. First, we want posters to be realized as the quintessential public art form, because they engage citizens at street level, requiring an emotional and intellectual response. They also stimulate dialogue and articulation of important issues—social, political, and economic. Secondly, we want to help the City of Chicago craft its international reputation as a proponent of international cooperation and communication—and as a strong civic advocate of design.International poster biennials have been held worldwide from Warsaw to Helsinki, Hangzhou to Tehran, but this is the first event of its kind to be held in the United States.
You can find the rules for the competition here. President of the jury will be the legendary John Massey. Other international heavyweights among the jury members are France's Michel Bouvet, Japan's Shigeo Fukuda, Israel's Yossi Lemel, and Mexico's German Montalvo. You can see a sampling of the striking, often dazzling work of the jury members, including the poster, shown to the left, by Chicago's Jay Ryan, here.
An opening night reception for members of the jury will be held at Mies van der Rohe's Crown Hall at IIT on Saturday June 7th from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. It's free for Biennial members, with a suggested donation of $20.00 for non-members. Space is said to be limited. RSVP to Aude Charmetant at 312/494.5250 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. An exhibition of jury members' work will be open to the public from June 8 through the 10th, 10 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
Then, beginning September 15th and running through October 15th, Daley Bicentennial Plaza, the park that Mayor Richard M. Daley dismisses as "nowhere" in his quest to to force a new Chicago Children's Museum into it, will be home to what organizers say will be a "one-of-a-kind outdoor exhibition" of posters, the "art of the streets." The cylinders you see here are said to take their "aesthetic cue from the poster columns of Europe." Unlike the Children's Museum, the exhibition will be free of charge, and "demonstrate that art and culture are not reserved only for patrons of museums and galleries."
It looks to be a hell of a show. Preview it here.