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On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the City of Madison Common Council approved the Madison Arts Commission’s recommendation of Wisconsin artist Ray Chi for a site-specific public art opportunity in Pennsylvania Park, located at 1915 E. Johnson Street.

Chi’s proposal, The People’s Pronouns, will result in two sculptures that bookend the long, narrow parkway at the corner of East Johnson and First streets. A goal of the neighborhood was to ensure the artwork conveyed, “you are welcome here.” Chi’s artwork responded to that aspiration quite literally, spelling out the words “WE” and “OUR,” in perforated, powder-coated aluminum. Karin Wolf, the City of Madison Arts Program Administrator, praised the residents for their engagement and participation throughout the process. She considers their investment a strong indicator the project will be embraced and is destined to become an iconic symbol for neighborhood. “I believe that the addition of public artwork is a great example of placemaking and that it will make residents feel more connected to their community.”

Eric Knepp, Madison Parks Superintendent praised the project and community involvement, “we are pleased to see this project move forward as the display of public art is central to our mission to provide opportunities for cultural interaction.”

The project is not only intended to serve as a gateway to the Emerson East neighborhood and encourage flow through the space, but also to welcome visitors to Madison and the future Public Market that will be located around the corner. The work is anticipated to be installed in fall of 2018.


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