Illinois now in “Code Black”: An emergency situation involving personal threats to safety of one or more persons in a public place, including assaults, confrontations, hostage situations and threats of personal injury or attack on Art or Culture of a People.
On 10. 14. 15 I am standing outside the now shuttered Illinois State Museum of Chicago in The State of Illinois Building, the Thompson Center and reflecting on the many times I had visited and even had the opportunity to show my work in several exhibits and screenings, alongside other Illinois Artists. A great number of artists were encouraged by this venue, as well as visitors including school groups engaged this resource with visits, panels, and artist talks. I thought of Jane Stevens, a long-time curator of ISM groundbreaking shows, too many to mention, but the likes of “Electronic Immersions” with groundbreaking visionaries like legendary Dan Sandin, IP (Image Processor Creator-who brought it to share with iconic Phil Morton (mentor) giving rise to artist/students at SAIC -founder of Video Dept). There are so many artists and shows that would never have had a voice. Jane’s visionary curatorials with the American Indian Center Community has, for years, been intensely important. This includes shows which originated at the ISM-Chicago and traveled to linked museums, including Lockport, and the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. Jane is currently a Scholar at the Newberry Library and active in several projects for arts, history and culture.
I cannot help but find myself reflecting on the state of art and culture in Illinois. What worth is given to it in Illinois? Evidently very little by the current administration, as I hear Gov. Rauner thinks this Helmut Jahn building is a “tear down”. Think of history. When all else is gone, the culture/art of a people tells the story for lifetimes.
For REFERENCE and more thought provoking topics:
Will Gov Rauner sell the building?http://www.bettergov.org/is_rauner_planning_to_sell_thompson_center/?CategoryId=1
Beloit Daily News: Rauner wants to sell downtown Chicago state office
October 13, 2015 12:45 pm | Updated: 12:51 pm, Tue Oct 13, 2015.
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to hold a public auction to sell the James R. Thompson Center, which houses state government offices in downtown Chicago.
Rauner made the announcement Tuesday in the 16-story glass-paneled building’s large atrium, calling the building “ineffective” and a “very wasteful, very inefficient use of space.” He said selling the building and moving state workers elsewhere could save the state between $6 million and $12 million annually. He called it a “good move” for taxpayers.
As a historical note of interest:
http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2011/10/11/the-fatal-attraction-of-the-james-r-thompson-center Excerpt from an article by Deanna Isaacs, The Chicago Reader. 10.11.11.“The James R. Thompson Center, which houses the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery, was shut down during a reception for an exhibit …after a woman plunged to her death from the 15th floor of the building’s spectacular atrium.According to Illinois State Police, it was the fifth suicide since the building opened in 1985.At 16 stories the Thompson Center is dwarfed by the city’s real skyscrapers, but architect Helmut Jahn managed to create an interior that gives the impression of startling, vertiginous height. The 54-year-old jumper, who was not a state employee, apparently climbed on a chair in order to get over a protective barrier between the open offices that rise in a dizzying, multistory semicircle around the atrium and the inviting void, with its marble-floor target so far below. A state police spokesperson said the last previous suicide there was in 2001”
These actions to shut the Illinois State Museums and destroy the Thompson Center is like State Suicide.
It says, “just jump”
Life in Illinois is in the balance.