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Four picked as Artists in Residence for Chicago’s INVEST South/West initiative

The inaugural group of local creatives represent five South and West Side neighborhoods/community areas

Austin painter Antonia Ruppert.
Loren Marie/Provided Photo

Four Chicago creatives have been chosen to put together public art projects and ideas for future cultural programs in their neighborhoods as part of the city’s INVEST South/West initiative.

The Artists-in-Residence are: Auburn Gresham-based painter and muralist Dorian Sylvain; Austin native Antonia Ruppert,whose work can be seen at The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital and the Chicago Public Librarys; Englewood designer and engineer Eric Hotchkiss, and New City/Back of the Yards sketch and paint artist Fernando Ramirez (in partnership with the Project Onward nonprofit for artists with disabilities).

They’re part of a pilot program in the community improvement initiative that aims to pump resources into 10 priority community areas.

The recipients of the Artist-In-Residence program were selected through a community-led process by a panel of community stakeholders, city officials said.

New City/Back of the Yards artist Fernando Ramirez
Project Onward

“Now more than ever we are relying on our artists to enrich our communities and bring joy to our lives as we contend with the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 crisis,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Likewise, our artists are counting on our support like never before as they struggle to make ends meet. This pilot project serves as a critical program to not only uplift our city’s artistic life in the near-term but also lay the foundation for the long-term vitality of Chicago’s proud cultural landscape.”

At the conclusion of an engagement period, the artist will deliver a capstone public art project and provide a series of recommendations to help guide the development of future creative projects in their neighborhoods.