CREATIVE GROUNDS @ ANTHONY OVERTON
FRAME(WORKS) OF RESILIENCE
During 2020 we witnessed an unprecedented showcase of different forms of solidarity, mutual aid and community care efforts responding to the impact of both pandemic and civil unrest. Frame(Works) of Resilience is the evolution of Creative Grounds – using creativity and design to support community self-determination efforts and amplifying ways of creative cooperation.
Creative Grounds @ Anthony Overton this year will focus on supporting collective visibility to community-led efforts and prototype a creative space for initiatives focused on SOLIDARITY, COOPERATION and COMMUNITY CARE.
Illustration: Summer Focus Projects @ Overton School Grounds
This year, we'll focus on 3 collaborative projects between June – September 2021 to keep activating the grounds at former Overton School:
1. Community Garden
2. Community Frames + Pop-up Exchange
3. Basketball (Art)Court
The project includes the organizing of monthly community days during the Summer months (June, July, August) – these gatherings are opportunities for participatory, hands-on activities shaping the different projects, exchange and collective learning. Creative Grounds @ Anthony Overton has been a past contributor to Chicago Architecture Biennial, and will be also featured as part of the 2021 Edition "The Available City" under the artistic direction of David Brown.
As part of 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Studio BASAR designed and built the project Breaking Ground: The Schoolyard Workshop in collaboration with students and instructors from the Daniel Hale Williams Preparatory School of Medicine in Bronzeville. One of the goals of this project is to provide an outdoor space for collective learning and gathering, and one of the elements of this design installation are planting boxes facing Indiana Avenue.
This Summer, we'll expand planting areas along Indiana Avenue, and grow a variety of greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, chard) to share with our neighbors.
Photo: BREAKING GROUND project (Summer 2019)
COMMUNITY FRAMES + POP-UP EXCHANGE
The visual identity of Frame(Works) will be a series of 4-5 structures (10’x10’x10’) or “community frames'' on the West access of Overton School grounds (along Indiana Avenue). These frames will be activated with community-led initiatives, projects or efforts featuring displays, workshops or activities focused on solidarity, resilience, cooperation and community care.
These frames are inspired by open markets structures - mobile, temporary, and colorful. Also inspired by weaving, these structures will provide with a frame to showcase community-led efforts
Additionally, during community days this space will be shared with community organizations, artists or vendors and others who want to participate as part of this pop-up exchange.
Images: Inspiration designs for "community frames".
BASKETBALL (ART) COURT
To continue expanding design installation and coloring the surfaces on the grounds of Overton, this year will add a court designed by artist Jade Foreman on the Southside of the gymnasium.
Similar to the previous year, the design team will outline and draw the artwork, and organize open sessions for volunteers to help color the asphalt surfaces. We are committed to reimagining and transforming this parking space into a community space activated by community.
Photo: Cultural and Climate Resilience project (Summer 2020)
Community Days are free & open to everyone, and include a variety of hands-on activities, workshops, pop-up vending and art making.
Saturdays, 2-5pm @ Anthony Overton
(221 E 49th St - Enter on Indiana Avenue)
September 18 (Chicago Architecture Biennial opening week)
FREE + OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
We are grateful for the support and collaborative spirit of:
On The Real Film (Erin Babin + Michael Sullivan)
Bronzeville-Kenwood Mutual Aid Network (Cosmos Ray)
Grocery Run Club (Jorge Saldarriaga + Lucy Angel)
Comercio Popular (Miguel Cervantes)
Open Architecture Network (Craig Stevenson + Grace Liao)
ALT_ (Jon Veal + Jordan Campbell)
Are you a Bronzeville neighbor?
Would you like to get involved?
Send us a message:
ANTHONY OVERTON BUSINESS + TECHNOLOGY INCUBATOR (FORMER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL)
Anthony Overton Elementary School closed in 2013, and was purchased by the Washington Park Development Group in 2015. Designed and built by prominent local architects, Perkins & Will in 1963, Overton represents a modern and progressive approach to education reform and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.
Overton is in the process of being transformed into a business and technology incubation center. "It will offer entrepreneurs facilities training, amenities, and connections to other motivated individuals. The architecturally significant mid-century modern building is an anchor in the community and readily adapted to support new uses like offices, labs, a catering kitchen, a gymnasium, event room and performance stage."
Sources: The Chicago Reporter, National Register of Historic Places Program, Pappageorge Haymes Partners
Photo: Sandra Steinbrecher (2018)
Anthony Overton (March 21, 1865 – July 2, 1946), a banker and pioneer manufacturer, was the first African American to lead a major business conglomerate. Overton established Hygienic in 1898 and produced baking powder, extracts, and toilet preparations. After moving the firm from Kansas to Chicago, he began to manufacture a full line of cosmetics and perfumes under the High-Brown Products label. He parlayed his early success with Hygienic into a highly diverse conglomerate, including The Great Northern Realty Company, The Chicago Bee, and the Victory Life Insurance Company. This was the first major conglomerate led by an African-American.