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WTTW to premiere four-part series and website exploring Chicago’s art and design history, as part of the year-long Art Design Chicago initiative

Friday, October 5, 12, 26, and November 2 at 8:30 pm on WTTW11 and

For immediate release
Chicago, IL - September 17, 2018

WTTW, as a part of the yearlong Art Design Chicago initiative, is developing a new four-part documentary series and website in partnership with the Terra Foundation for American Art. ART & DESIGN IN CHICAGO will explore Chicago’s art and design history on four Fridays between October 5 and November 2 at 8:30 pm on WTTW11 and

Each 30-minute special will examine an aspect of the city’s creative past through stories narrated by a prominent local host, centering on the themes of Chicago’s creative institutions; works by 20th century African American artists; the city’s graphic designers, applied artists, industrial designers; and Chicago’s non-mainstream artists.

  • If You Build It… (October 5)
    MCA curator and host Naomi Beckwith introduces stories of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and sculptor Lorado Taft, told by artist Dessa Kirk and DePaul University’s Mark Pohlad; the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) through bios of six artists; the Institute of Design (ID); Exhibition Momentum, an annual exhibition organized by SAIC and ID students; the Southside Community Arts Center; and the Hyde Park Art Center.
  • The Black Metropolis of Art (October 12)
    Hosted by artist Faheem Majeed, subjects include: painter Archibald Motley, Jr.,; sculptor Marion Perkins; The Wall of Respect, a 1967 mural created by the Organization of Black American Culture featuring Ernest Dawkins and his band; women in the Black Mural Movement; and ceramicist Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly of the women’s artist collective Sapphire & Crystals.
  • Give the Customers What They Want (October 26)
    Hosted by Alisa Wolfson, Head of Design at Leo Burnett Chicago, subjects include: typeface designer Robert Hunter Middleton; artist and advertising designer Charles Clarence Dawson; Marshall Field’s department store; graphic designers Dorothy & Otis Shepard; Depression-era creator of high-end serving dishes Helen Hughes Dulany; potter and wood carver Jesus Torres; and television commercial director Joe Sedelmaier.
  • Off the Grid (November 2)
    Hosted by muralist/educator Miguel Aguilar, who introduces us to painter Gertrude Abercrombie, with author Thomas Dyja and writer/artist Audrey Niffenegger; naïve author/artist Henry Darger; the Hubbard Street Gallery Scene of the early 1970s; photographer Vivian Maier; and artist Joseph Yoakum.

The website for ART & DESIGN IN CHICAGO, at, will launch prior to October 5 and will feature original content, a guide to highlighted works, rich imagery, interactive elements, and video.

“Across time, Chicago’s artists and designers are as surprising, shocking, ordinary, complicated, raw, disturbing, striving, confident, retiring, proudly resistant, and eager to please as the city itself. Theirs are compelling stories that we hope will awaken viewers everywhere to the perplexing wonder of creativity that we live with every day in Chicago,” said writer/producer Daniel Andries.

ART & DESIGN IN CHICAGO delivers a diverse chorus of voices that attest to our city’s long and lasting legacy as a nexus of art and design, and presents a fresh and engaging narrative linking Chicago’s creative past to the present, propelling this remarkable story forward,” explained Elizabeth Glassman, Terra Foundation President and CEO.

The ART & DESIGN IN CHICAGO television production is produced and written by Daniel Andries. Camera: Tom Siegel. Lighting: Dan Rozkuszka, Tom Godar, and Evan Metz. Audio: Dave Moyer and Mike Sweeney. Editor: Paul Thornton. Music: Nicholas Tremulis. Associate Producer/writer: Liz Reeves. Research Producers: Shonna Pryor and Kaitlynn Scannell.

ART & DESIGN IN CHICAGO is part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring Chicago’s art and design legacy, with Presenting Partner, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

ART & DESIGN IN CHICAGO is funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

The WTTW Art Design Chicago Advisory Board is composed of: Bob Thall, photographer, retired Chair of Photography, Columbia College Chicago; Cesareo Moreno, Chief Curator, National Museum of Mexican Art; Davarian L. Baldwin, author, Professor of American Studies, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut; David Travis, retired Curator of Photography, Art Institute of Chicago; Lynne Warren, author, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Rebecca Zorach, author, Professor in Art and Art History, Northwestern University; Robert Bruegmann, author, Professor Emeritus of Art History, Architecture and Urban Planning, UIC; Susan Bielstein, author, Executive Editor, The University of Chicago Press.

WTTW is the PBS member station in Chicago, committed to creating and presenting unique media content across distinct television and digital channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create/WTTW World, WTTW PBS Kids 24/7, and the PBS/WTTW video app. Recognized for award-winning journalism and local productions such as Chicago Tonight, Chicago River Tour, Check, Please!, digital-first series Urban Nature and Foodphiles and national productions 10 That Changed America, Soundstage, and Nature Cat, WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s public media content. Connect with WTTW on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Art Design Chicago is a spirited celebration of the unique and vital role Chicago plays as America’s crossroads of creativity and commerce. Spearheaded by the Chicago-based Terra Foundation for American Art, one of the leading foundations focused on the historical art of the United States, this citywide partnership of more than 75 cultural organizations explores Chicago’s art and design legacy and continued impact with more than 30 exhibitions, hundreds of events, as well as the creation of several scholarly publications presented throughout 2018.