Public Mosaics by Mike Mandel seen at 8th District Police Station, Chicago, IL, Chicago - Chicago 8th District Police Station

Chicago 8th District Police Station

1 inch ceramic and glass tile
26’ x 24’ - East Wall
26’ x 24’ -West Wall
$100,000

The primary theme for the 8th District Police Station is a recognition of the South Lawn/Marquette Park community and neighborhood. I want this artwork to be not only representative of the community, but to be a source of pride and excitement.

I am hoping that this artwork will inspire people who otherwise might not visit a police station, to do so in this instance, because they will feel that the spirit of the artwork touches their lives in a significant way. More importantly, I want the imagery for this artwork to make a direct connection between police and community. In essence, I feel that this artwork can enhance this relationship by creating representations of community symbols inside the police station that will engender a spirit of recognition of the many elements that make this neighborhood unique.

My mural incorporates imagery of people who live in this community of diverse ethnicity and race. There are images that refer to the Mexican-American, African-American and Arab-American communities. There is a reference to students, to Marquette Park, to the unique architectural style of the Chicago bungalow that comprise many of the homes in the neighborhood. There is signage depicted in Arabic, and there is a section of an architectural frieze from Saint Rita of Cascia Church. There is even a reference to the Chicago White Sox.

Meet the Creator

"Over a period of thirty years I have designed both temporary (billboards) and permanent (tile mosaic) artworks specifically for public sites. My work has been primarily focused on public art projects transforming photographic imagery into largescale glass and porcelain tile mosaic murals. In 1974 I received a Masters in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute, concentrating in Photography. Among my awards are four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fulbright fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship and numerous other grants and awards. My work is represented in museum collections throughout the world and I have published extensively. In 1977 Larry Sultan and I authored Evidence, a photo narrative comprised only of images that we found in government and corporate archives, such as police, fire departments, aerospace and engineering firms. The photographs were originally made as documents of crime scenes, rocket experiments, etc. But by inventing a new sequence within the book format, they come to symbolize an entirely new message about the failure of faith in progress and technology. This book has been recognized as a precursor to subsequent postmodern strategies of photo practice, and was re-published in 2004 by Distributed Art Publishers in New York. My most recent book is a collaborative effort with my wife, Chantal Zakari, entitled The State of Ata, 2010. In 2006 I was invited to participate in the 4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, “Of Mice and Men,” in Berlin, Germany. In 2009 I participated in Art Basel, Switzerland, and Photo España, Madrid.

In the 1980's when I recognized that photography was becoming transformed into a digital medium I began to work with photographs on the computer. A digitized photograph is comprised of numerous square units of color called "pixels." My interest in public art and specifically in finding a way to translate photographs into a more architectural scale led me to the idea of a mosaic based on electronic imagery. A one-inch ceramic or glass tile could be considered a real-world analog to the electronic pixel, and thousands of these tiles could add up to become a wall of photographic imagery. My approach to permanent public art is to tap into the intertwined stories of history, myths, images of land and community. I recognize the documentary power of photography and find strategies to translate this energy into public design."

Available for commission/custom work