2020 Exhibits

Aurora Public Art Announces Contest Winners for COVID-19 PSA Designs

Facebook Live Video Chat with Aurora Public Art’s COVID-19 PSA Poster Artists

  • Release date: May 5, 2020
  • Event Date: Thursday, May 7, 7:00 PM
  • Location: City of Aurora’s Facebook Page (@CityofAuroraIL)
  • Contact: Jennifer Evans, Public Art Director
  • j[email protected]

Aurora, IL. May 5, 2020. PSA Poster artists to be featured on City of Aurora’s FB Live COVID-19 Community Conversations Series.

As part of its COVID-19 Community Conversations Series, the City of Aurora will host a discussion with Aurora Public Art and the COVID-19 PSA designers on Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m. The conversation can be watched on the City’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CityofAuroraIL.

In the spirit of the depression-era WPA, Aurora Public Art launched the COVID-19 PSA Project, requesting Public Service Announcement designs from local artists on April 9th. The project was meant to provide community encouragement and information, as well as work for artists during the COVID-19 public health crisis. 62 designs were submitted to the Request for Proposals. 

Aurora Public Art chose 13 designs that communicate safety measures and/or encouragement in the face of challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak. Local artists of all levels were selected, from elementary school students to professional artists.

Selected PSA’s will be printed on yard signs to be installed in several locations throughout the City. Electronic versions for home-printing and social media usage are available below. (Please click on the images for full versions)

Andy McCannAndy McCann-thumb Opens in new window

Teresa Fiehn MilliesTeresa Fiehn Millies-thumb Opens in new window

Chris Hodge Chris Hodge-thumb Opens in new window

Haley RenteriaHaley Renteria-thumb Opens in new window

Jen KellerJen Keller-thumb Opens in new window

Juan PantojaJuan Pantoja-thumb Opens in new window

Kyle ReevesKyle Reeves-thumb Opens in new window

Laura LynneLaura Lynne-thumb Opens in new window

Laura ReyesLaura Reyes-thumb Opens in new window

Senyjah WrenSenyjah Wren-thumb Opens in new window

Shawn DooleyShawn Dooley-thumb Opens in new window

Stephanie ManganStephanie Mangan-thumb Opens in new window

Sofia Gracia SheetsSofia Gracia Sheets-thumb Opens in new window

Virtual Artist Talk, Rita Grendze

Dates: Friday, April 17, 11 am.
Aurora Public Art - YouTube 

Rita Grendze’s Artist Talk on April 18, 2020, has been converted to a virtual event on Aurora Public Art’s YouTube channel.

COVID-19 gallery closures have resulted in the cancellation of Rita Grendze’s Artist Talk on April 18. Instead, Aurora Public Art will offer a virtual chat with the artist on the department’s YouTube channel on April 17.

Grendze will discuss the exhibit and her process, then answer questions submitted by viewers using an online chat application. Photos of the exhibit may be viewed at bit.ly/APAC_Grendze. The Artist Talk will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 17. Viewers may watch and ask questions at the following address: bit.ly/Grendze_APAC or by visiting the Aurora Public Art channel on YouTube.

“We are thrilled to offer this opportunity for the community, especially students who are participating in e-learning during school closures, to interact with our featured artist.  Using technology to connect our citizens with public art is just one example of how great it is to live in a Smart City,” says Jen Evans, Director of Aurora Public Art

Grendze’s installation is titled “Synapsis 6: grief,” and is made from drinking straws, embroidery floss, surveyors’ twine, plastic tubing, cardboard tubes, and other cord. It occupies a space that is 16 feet tall by about 20 feet wide, 8 feet deep. “The series grew from my interest in mapping how I think brain synapses look,” writes Grendze. “My younger son has some mental health issues that have taught me a lot about how our brains process emotions….We are making order from chaos constantly. In the best situations, almost instantaneously. But in this piece, there isn’t a lovely crescendo and resolution with the emotions all sewn up. Instead, the installation is holding a space that is ordered and chaotic at the same time, defined, and yet fluid within the parameters. This iteration is delving into my understanding of grief both as an observer of grief in others and as someone living with it (having recently lost my mother).”

This event is free, open to the public, and sponsored by the City of Aurora.

About Rita Grendze

Rita Grendze received her BFA in Fiber from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1987; her MFA in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1994. Immediately following her graduate work, Grendze received a Fulbright scholarship and spent a year in Latvia studying symbolism in Latvian folk costume. Grendze has taught at Maryland Institute College of Art in the Fiber and Foundations departments, as well as at Jersey City University. Since moving to the Chicago area in 2001, she has worked with Redmoon Theater creating costumes and props for outdoor spectacles, has taught community workshops in Kane County and been involved with Water Street Studios in Batavia, IL. Her sculpture has been shown broadly, including monumental installations in St. Charles, IL; Chicago, IL; St. Joseph, MI; Reedsburg,WI, and for the Latvian National Library, in Riga, Latvia. Rita Grendze lives in Geneva, IL, with her husband and two sons.

everything. I should’ve Opens in new window

"everything. I should’ve"

Solo Exhibit by Artist Rita Grendze
Opening Reception
February 7, 6-9pm

Artist Talk and Closing Reception
March 21, 2-4pm

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ShePunk Fest

Live Music Line-up of Female Performers
March 6, 6-9pm
$5 At the Door goes to Mutual Ground

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Black History Month Event

A WeVibe2Vi be Music Event
February 21, 7-9pm