SAIC Professor and Lead Artist on The 606 is modeling new pathways for artists.
SAIC Sculpture Professor Frances Whitehead has spent her career using her aesthetic training to develop products, projects, and spaces that benefit the public and point us toward a more sustainable way of living. She works tirelessly to give artists a seat at the table with civic and corporate leaders who shape our communities.
Recently she carried that spirit into her work as the Lead Artist for The 606 Design Team, guiding a group of landscape architects, engineers, environmental scientists, designers, and city officials to create the most ambitious public space project Chicago has undertaken since Millennium Park.
The 606 transforms an out-of-commission railroad line on Chicago’s Northwest side into a three-mile elevated park. It connects neighborhoods from the Kennedy Expressway all the way to Humboldt Park; provides running trails, green space, and public art to diverse communities; and surpasses New York City’s High Line as the public space of the future.
It’s a project that’s equal parts urban planning, engineering, conservation, and community service. But it takes an artist to tie those modes of thinking together and turn it into Beautiful/Work.