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Portoluz presents: WPA 2.0, a brand new deal

Posted by Admin On June - 7 - 2011

Portoluz and Preservation Chicago, will co-sponsor a special tour of the WPA murals at Lane Tech High School, 2501 West Addison, Chicago, IL,  Thursday, June 9th, 5pm. Admission is $10. 

In 1934, forty murals from the General Motors Exhibition Hall at the World’s Fair “Century of Progress” became a part of Lane Tech’ art collection, and additional works were added during the WPA era. Many were produced through the Federal Art Project, one of the divisions of the W.P.A. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had made several attempts prior to the creation of the FAP to provide employment for artists on relief, most notably the PWAP – the Public Works of Art Project – which operated from 1933 to 1934, and the Treasury Department Section of Painting and Sculpture, which was created in 1934 after the demise of the P.W.A.P. The FAP provided the widest reach, creating over 5,000 jobs for artists and producing over 225,000 works of art for the American people, including some of Lane Tech’s most visually stunning art works. The widespread popularity of the murals with the public generated great pride at the high school, but over the years the mural collection suffered serious deterioration. In 1995, Lane Tech’s principal and teacher Flora Doody initiated the Mural Restoration Project to save this important collection. Students and alumni lead the in-school tours of the thirteen murals that are currently included in the tour. The Lane Tech mural tour is being co-sponsored by Preservation Chicago (www.preservationchicago.org), founded in 2001 as a not-for-profit organization that advocates for the preservation of Chicago’s historic architecture through education and community outreach. “Lane Tech’s murals represent some of the City of Chicago’s least viewed and most memoarable public art works,” says Preservation Chicago Executive Director Jonathan Fine. “We jumped at the chance to bring these murals to a wider audience, as a way to bring great public art to the people and foster greater interest in preserving and sharing the City’s historic artistic and architectural treasures.”AND…COMING UP
On June 25th, portoluz is presenting a lecture on the work of renowned visual artist and designer Edgar Miller, at a classic “Edgar Miller home,” the Sol Kogan Studios in Old Town. Edgar Miller worked in as many art forms as he could imagine – including sculpture, watercolor, drawing, stained glass, the graphic arts and, later in life, graphic design. His most popular collections can be found on and in the richly remodeled buildings of Old Town, with visually stunning art and artifacts that include stained glass, fresco, ceramic tiles, sculpture and mosaic. Larry Zgoda is a renowned stained glass artist, a friend of Miller’s, and an important champion of his legacy. It was Miller’s quirky recycled glass, mosaic, and tile work on the 1920s Carl Street Studios complex that inspired Zgoda’s artistic path some 30 years ago, and that continues to guide his beliefs in the lost power of ornament. Pre-registration is required by RSVP to portoluz@gmail.com.  
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