Last Sunday, we discussed initiatives to close the gender gap as well as the absence of sculptures honoring women in Chicago parks and other public spaces.
What’s happening: Readers gave thoughtful responses and excellent suggestions for women who ought to be celebrated in public art.
The seven-story “On the Wings of Change” painting by illustrator and muralist Diosa, which depicts 10 suffragists from the Chicago area, was described to us by Michelle Duster. The unveiling took place at 33 E. Ida B. Wells Drive in 2021.
What she’s saying: Ida B. Wells’ great granddaughter Duster, a public historian, tells Axios that “representation and historical truth is vitally crucial.”
“This large-scale artwork connects names and faces to the many suffragists who struggled for our right to vote,”Georgiana Rose Simpson, a scholar of German language and literature who was one of the first African American women to acquire a Ph.D. in the United States,” according to Ed McDevitt, is depicted in bronze, he told us.
The artwork is shown at the public Reynolds Club, which resembles Hogwarts at the University of Chicago.
Jacob S. reminded us that Mahalia Jackson Court, which is operated by the Greater Chatham Initiative (GCI), has a tiny statue honoring the Queen of Gospel among its numerous amenities.
GCI officials tell Axios that they are working to enlarge the Jackson statueDayna Calderon recommended creating public art honoring four stellar Chicago chanteuses. And we came up with some possible parks to host them.
Mavis Staples could be in Englewood’s Memorial Park near Robeson High School, which she attended.
Chaka Khan’s statue could reside in Kenwood Community Park near her alma mater Kenwood Academy.
Koko Taylor’s memorial could be installed in Prairie District Park, not far from where she recorded her famous “Wang Dang Doodle” at Chess Records.
Dinah Washington’s likeness could go up in Anderson Park, near where she attended Wendell Phillips High School.
Plus: “I would like to see Mae Jemison.” reader Keith C. said. “She became the first Black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992. Raised in Chicago and graduated from Morgan Park High School.”