This is the central online forum for the class to have ongoing discussions and to leave each other messages.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail Drea (ghowen@saic.edu) or Annan (asheha@saic.edu) or to post your question right here!


8 Responses to Dialog

  1. bendimock says:

    Perseverance Pays Off — Teens Bring a Skate Plaza to Chicago’s Little Village

    About a year ago, I got a call from Simone Alexander from Enlace Chicago about a skate park that a handful of students were pushing for in the Chicago neighborhood of Little Village. I came down to Little Village and met with Simone and the students, but at the time, it seemed like a pipe dream. As energized and motivated as the students were, there were so many hurdles and hoops that they had to jump through that it appeared as though the skate park would never be built.But perseverance pays off and the youth of Little Village proved me wrong. The youth organization called SILVER (Skating in Little Village and Earning Reputation), in partnership with Enlace Chicago and the Chicago Park District, has helped design, raise money, and develop outreach strategies in the Little Village community. And now, one year later, they are holding the grand opening of their skateboarding plaza.

    The official “SILVER Skate Plaza” is already open for skating but the super fly official grand opening is coming in August. Located on the Northwest side of Piotrowski Park on 31st St. and Kildare Ave., the plaza will provide the community with a “safe place to skate together” says one of the youth creators, Santana Rodriguez, 16.

    What’s really cool is the plaza’s ability to bring the community together. This is not just a skate park. The plaza has been specifically designed to be multi-functional for the whole community. “The plaza has many uses such as using it for the arts, break dancing, local music shows, poetry slams, and many other community events,” says Rodriguez.

    Asked why they ended up with a skate plaza rather than a skate park, Magdiel Velazquez, 17, spoke of the plaza design: “When I joined the group, they were talking about building a skate park. A few of us thought it would be better to build a plaza because we don’t want the little kids to get hurt and because most of us are street skaters.”

    Other sponsors of this skate plaza include Uprise Skate Shop, the Tony Hawk Foundation, LISC Chicago, the Crib Collective, and the American Ramp Company. While these other organizations have been important in getting the plaza finished, the entire project has been youth run with youth vision. Two years after their initial goal of creating a safe place to skate, the Little Village community finally has its plaza.

  2. publicartnow says:

    Open Engagement: Art and Social Practice

    Portland, Oregon
    May 13–15, 2011


    The Open Engagement conference is an initiative of Portland State University’s Art and Social Practice MFA concentration. Directed by Jen Delos Reyes and planned in conjunction with Harrell Fletcher and the Art and Social Practice students, this year’s conference features internationally renowned artists Julie Ault, Fritz Haeg, and Pablo Helguera. The work by these artists’ touch on subjects including democracy, group work, the boundary (or lack there of) between art and life, education, and transdisciplinarity. In addition, Open Engagement will play host to the Bureau for Open Culture, Bad at Sports, an exhibition by the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, and concurrent summits on art and education and social practice/participatory programs and practices arising at museums. The summits will feature representatives from OTIS College of Art and Design, the University of California Santa Cruz, MICA, California College of the Arts, The Walker, Portland Art Museum, The Hammer and others.

    This year’s Open Engagement sets out to discuss various perspectives on art and social practice. Through conversations, interviews, open reflection on experiences, and related projects created for or presented at the conference we will be looking at five themes that encompass ideas connected to social practice:

    Peoples and Publics• Social Economies • In Between Places • Tracking and Tracing • Sentiment and Strategies

    Open Engagement is a free conference that will take place May 13–15, 2011, in Portland, Oregon. Several meals during the conference will be provided emphasizing slow food and community cooking. A variety of transportation will be accessible drawing on Portland’s bike culture and public transportation. Conference activities will be integrated with local businesses, using pubs and cafes as conference hubs.

    This year’s conference will host over 80 artists, activists, curators, scholars, writers, farmers, community organizers, film makers and collectives including: Christine Hill, Ted Purves, Harrell Fletcher, Joseph del Pesco, Christian Nagler, Dawn Weleski, Julie Perini, Stephanie Diamond, artSpa, Wealth Underground Farms, Julie Ault, Fritz Haeg, Pablo Helguera and many more.

    For more information see:


    Jen Delos Reyes, Crystal Baxley, Sandy Sampson, Katy Asher, Ariana Jacob, Ally Drozd, Lexa Walsh, Jason Sturgill, Carmen Papalia, Mack Mcfarland, Stefan Ransom, Garrick Imatani, Sara Rabinowitz, Harrell Fletcher


    PSU, PNCA, The Portland Art Museum, The Ace Hotel, Pinball Publishing, Wealth Underground Farms, The Hollywood Theater

  3. stefanj88 says:


    14th Chicago Bike Winter Art Show


    Specifically for Jules and Ben but relates to everyone…

    Artist Maria Scillepi gave 30 local messengers GPS trackers to wear for one day. The result was the riders became living brushstrokes creating a motion portrait of a day in the life for Chicago bike messengers.

    A psychedelic introspection into the colliding world consciousness of the new millennia and the bicycle revolution. Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent, bioluminescent rain forest frogs and deep space utilize interdisciplinary puppetry and original music for this live, synesthetic experience.
    Mar 11, 8 & 10pm | Mar 25, 8pm For more info, visit http://www.lollyextract.com.

  4. publicartnow says:

    Here are a few links to artists and projects that were mentioned in class. Maybe some of these links will provide you with ideas and/or inspiration for your future project.

    A German artist group creating projects that aim to improve socio-political issues

    Bikes Against Bush
    An interactive protest/performance using bikes that print messages with spray paint

    A Chicago-based artist using sculpture, painting, and installation methods to address culture through a lens of spirituality, beauty, desire, faith, folklore, and identity

    The CITY MUSEUM in St. Louis is an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects.

    Tactical Sound Garden
    The Tactical Sound Garden [TSG] Toolkit is an open source software platform for cultivating public “sound gardens” within contemporary cities allowing people to “plant” their own sound using a WiFi enabled device.

    Tools for Actions
    The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) presents Actions: What You Can Do With the City, an exhibition with 99 actions that instigate positive change in contemporary cities around the world.

    Mess Hall
    An experimental cultural center in the heart of Rogers Park, Chicago where visual art, radical politics, creative urban planning, applied ecological design & other things intersect & inform each other

    Street Level Youth Media
    Educates Chicago’s urban youth in media arts and emerging technologies for use in self-expression, communication, and social change.

    A group of artists, scholars, teachers, and writers focused on the relationship of history to contemporary society whose goal is “to retrieve and relocate absent historical narratives at specific locations in the New York City area through counter-monuments, actions, and events”

  5. stefanj88 says:

    Here is the Concept Idea for the mural I am working on. This will be simplified. Please give me feedback!

  6. michelec25 says:

    Check this out! Blacks in Green Event Next Week…


  7. georgi says:

    As mentioned, here’s some links that might interest you guys-

    Community-based conservation films East Africa-based group of filmmakers who collaborate with communities to make films for community education.

    Farmers helping Farmers Canadian farmers helping Kenyan farmers to become self-reliant in agricultural production.

    Food Beware A documentary on educating French kids about healthy eating, agriculture- a community’s conversion to organic food.

  8. publicartnow says:

    If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail Drea (ghowen@saic.edu) or Nicole (nicole@nicoleseiser.com) or to post your question right here!

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