COmmunity Architext








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Amidst an urban landscape that is increasingly dominated by commercial messages, and where local histories and viewpoints are rendered invisible, Community Architexts seeks to create public works that privilege the individual and collective stories of a community.

By exploring a range of visual and literary concepts for the use of texts in the contemporary environment, we develop metaphoric structures, spaces, and site-specific performances that incorporate environmental inscriptions. Our collaborations create the spaces and places where attention can be paid to the individual and subjective thoughts of the community.

Unique, then, to the mission of Community Architexts is the process by which our work is created. Throughout every stage in the development of our work, through outreach programming and individual interviews, a dialog is created and engaged in between our program staff, volunteers and local participants. In the end, our work represents a collaboration, signaling both the local concerns of the participants and broader cultural issues.


The ongoing body of work developed by Community Architexts encompasses metaphoric structures, spaces, and site-specific performances that are constructed or presented within buildings and public spaces. It is our aim explore the use of text in the environment as a means of empowerment, amplified by current visual and literary aesthetics, realized through contemporary materials, techniques, and media technologies.

Through our substantial experience collaborating with communities, institutions, government agencies, architects, urban planners, artists, and developers--both local and national--such as The National Endowment for the Arts and The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, we are in a unique position to give enduring form to critical social dynamics.

Our work results in the construction of communication infrastructures that broadcast communal histories, narratives or declarations, inward and outward from the immediate community to the city beyond. We believe that public art can clarify and interact with the built environment, infiltrating the languages of architecture and technology with the lost languages of marginalized communities.


Community Architexts works closely with marginalized urban communities to develop public art and design programs which incorporate environmental inscriptions, to give enduring form to a community's individual and collective histories, narratives, and public statements.

Community Architexts was incorporated in the State of Illinois in June 1996 with 501(c)(3) federal tax exempt status confirmed October 1997. We provide support services to individual artists, writers, nonprofit organizations, and communities--public art planning, environmental design, construction documentation, construction supervision, and the facilitation of community involvement and input into the urban design of the city.


Board of Directors:
Frank DeBose
Associate Professor of Art
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Mark E. Hellmer
Tax Senior Manager/ CPA
Ernst & Young LLP/ Tax Consulting

Ann Tyler
Professor of Art
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Constance White
Principal/ Graphic Designer
Fahnstrom/ White Design

BJ Krivanek
Associate Professor of Art
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Board of Advisors:
Daniel Danzig
Grants Coordinator/ Natural History
Museum of Los Angeles County

Anne Duffield
Anne Duffield Construction/ Cedar Rapids

Merle Fishman
Occupational Therapist / Veteran's Administration
West Los Angeles Healthcare Center

Christopher Gent
Senior Projects Manager
Chicago Park District/ Planning & Development

Lillian Jones
Professor of History
Santa Monica College/ Department of History

Amy Levin, RN
Nurse Clinician/ The Memory Center
The University of Chicago Hospital

Jesse Milden
Principal/ Designer
Dubhead/ Seattle

Jason Pickleman
Principal/ Director of Design
JNL Graphics/ Chicago

Dolores Wilber
Associate Professor of Art
DePaul University/ Department of Art

Toby Whitney
Group Program Manager
Microsoft Corporation/SQL Server

Joseph Zehnder
Principal Planner
City of Portland/ Bureau of Planning