in my inbox today from seattle/chicago public artist (and my former landlord) stuart keeler: The Building of Art. this might be his mfa thesis?

The Building of Art – What does it mean when the artist enters through the backdoor of the institution? A web based Request for Proposals seeking to create a physical and public dialogue with an iconic building, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Columbus Drive Building.- The artist generated RFP seeks to question and define this buildings place in the city of Chicago by questioning the role of the artist as collaborative catalyst to ignite a larger conversation. How does the social construction of an art school define itself as an urban object?

Log on to: www.Building-of-Art.com

As a web based sculptural project, utopian in spirit, The Building of Art seeks to gather work internationally from artists, designers and architects creating a conversation between disciplines. This is a socially based, public art opportunity to conceptually and thematically breathe new life into the existing building through alteration of the facade and public spaces. The renewed building will have a far reaching effect as a positive inspiration for students, faculty & the citizens and visitors of the City of Chicago. The shared language of art and architecture will share an interesting dialogue in the selection of the finalists for the RFP. Finalists proposals will be published in a catalogue, as well as the finalist will be invited to lecture at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. What can the artist create when the city is the studio?

Art, architecture and design are being utilized to invent and define the district which includes the Columbus Drive Building. The recently unveiled neighbor, Millenium Park, addresses the built world as a theatre with artists, architects and designers at the forefront. The Art Institute of Chicago, has recently announced that Renzo Piano Studio, will complete the district with a new addition of a Contemporary Art wing, this new addition to the AIC building will build a complex visual relationship to the existing School Building. These same professions will revive the existing SAIC Columbus Drive Building as a valuable and contributing member of this district. How do you keep up with the Jones’ when Millenium Park is your neighbor?

A jury consisting of: Tony Jones, President of The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Buster Simpson - Public Artist, Steve Bedanes, Architect – The Jersey Devil, Jeanne Gang, Architect – Studio Gang, Ben Nicholson, Architect & Artist, Stanley Tigerman – Architect, Tigerman – Mc Curry, in addition with two students from The School of The Art Institute will be moderated by Professor Linda Keane, Architect.

The dialogue, charettes and topics, all conceptual forms which catapult from The RFP will support an evolving discussion about the role of the Columbus Drive Building as a civic icon and the artists’ presence and impact in the evolving built world of Chicago. Multi-disciplined entries that include artists as part of the team are desired The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is not the sponsor of this RFP. Stuart Keeler, an artist of public spaces is hosting the competition with consent from SAIC.