The School of the Art Institute of Chicago


REVISED Tentative Schedule / Spring 2010

Faculty – Drea Howenstein

TA – Nicole Seisler


Introductions, class goals, structure and projects

Who are we? – questionnaire

Introduction to site-specific art in Chicago  possible sites

ACTIONS: What You Can Do With the City @ Graham Foundation

Homework assignments:

  1. Presentation of your artistic practice: Prepare a 20-slide presentation of your work @ 20 seconds a slide (Pecha Kucha style) that portrays your work, (interests, influences, issues, media, technical expertise, etc.) for presentation on 2/9.
  2. Fill out questionnaire and email to instructor.
  3. Conduct preliminary contextual research on possible projects for this class.
  1. Download & peruse Preprav, European Platform for Alternative Practice and Research on the City, URBAN/ACT,


Presentations & Research Strategies

6.6-minute presentations on artistic practices

Discussion of possible sites and projects

Introduction to portal documents

Review course schedule

Community project case studies

Individual meetings to discuss semester goals

Homework assignments:

  1. Look at the portal documents and read a reading of your choice. Post a short summary on the blog that links the issues in the reading to your project ideas by 2/16.
  2. Read: “How to Make a Community as Well as the Space for It.”
  3. Continue research: identify the issues that most interested you, brainstorm projects ideas, and case studies/examples of projects by artists, designers, gardeners, or collectives, etc. that inspire you.
  4. Write a professional artist/designer statement that clearly identifies your values, goals, experience, specific skills and motivation for doing the project that you will be doing this semester, a component of your project proposal that will help you sell yourself to stakeholders, gatekeepers and funders.
  5. Create a resume that identifies the specifics of # 3, to accompany your project proposal presentation.
  6. Identify the specific site that you will focus on for the duration of the semester and the local issue/s you will address through your project.
  7. Identify the training and/or equipment you will need to begin to work on your project.


Action Research & Concepts

Present visualized research & project concepts

Discussion of sites and local issues

Workshop statements and resumes

Project proposal guidelines

Individual meetings/schedule equipment trainings

Schedule site visits

Homework assignments:

  1. Read: Bennett and Schaefer, “Race Relations Chicago Style: Past, Present and Future”. Be prepared to discuss in class.
  2. Research your site through the internet: statistics, history, google earth, etc., portal resources, maps; take public transportation there, walk around, talk to people, draw the space, photograph, etc.
  3. Investigate the specific social and environmental issues of concern to the local community, critical research questions.
  4. Identify potential partners, permissions, permits, participants, resources & funders.
  5. Do concept sketches and/or models of your ideas for real projects.
  6. Create the first draft of a project proposal.


Action Research & Project Proposals

Discussion of readings

Workshop & critique project proposals

Individual meetings to review research, concepts, proposals, partners, timelines &             potential funding sources.

Homework assignments:

  1. What is Working in Public? peruse pdfs.
  2. Read a second reading on the portal.
  3. Post your finalized professional artist/designer statement and a visual portfolio of your work on the blog.
  4. Finalize your project proposal & post on the blog.
  5. Practice talking about your project with other people.
  6. Schedule a meeting with your identified project partner/s to discuss project possibilities.


Individual Advising

Professional Profile Review

Westside Site Visit – Meet with Director and stakeholders


7 pm Blockclub Meeting Presentation – tba


Presentation of Preliminary Project Proposals

Review of Budgets & Action Plans


Presentation of Preliminary Project Proposals for Project Partners

In-class project proposal presentations for stakeholder feedback

Homework assignments:

  1. Meet with project partners to: present credentials and preliminary proposals to, facilitate partner feedback/input and or conduct a community design process.
  2. Co-conduct asset analysis: identify existing community assets, resources, potential institutional partners, project participants, and funding sources.
  3. Co-develop an action plan & timeline.
  4. Revise designs & proposal as required
  5. Present final project proposal to partners.
  6. Read another reading that supports your project development.


Project Planning

Discussion of final exhibition & community events planning

Individual meetings to review project status, goals, labor, materials & action             plan/timeline.

Homework assignments:

  1. Post final project proposal on the blog.
  2. Propose a calendar for the remainder of the semester classes, activities, events & meetings with instructor & TA.
  3. Work on actualizing your project throughout the semester.
  4. Plan your work for the final exhibition.
  5. Plan your part in the culminating community event.
  6. Continually document your project process & post updates on the blog.

3/30 – 5/11

Actualization of Projects & Exhibition – tba

5/4 – CRIT WEEK – no class


Community Site Event & Celebration