SEE POTENTIAL was a public art project that installed giant documentary photographs onto abandoned buildings on the South Side of Chicago.
The images were used as advertising for community-led revitalization plans in the area.
SEE POTENTIAL's installations invited viewers to sign petitions of support via text messaging.
Our community partners then used this data to help bring their idea to fruition. For example: our partners used the data to convince local politicians to support their efforts, supplement loan applications, and aggregate grass roots support.
Pictured above is the Forum, a former theater and community hub that has been vacant since the 70s. It is a major landmark in Chicago's history, and in its heyday attracted musicians such as Nat King Cole, and housed important meetings for the civil rights movement.
Brownsville resident and entrupraneur, Bernard Loyd is working to bring back the Forum, transforming it into a contemporary performing arts center.
Our installation featured Nat King Cole alongside two contemporary musicians--Maggie Brown and Khari B--who live in the neighborhood. On the ground level, a timeline that visualizes the Forum's past present and future, and gives details about SEE POTENTIAL and how to get involved.
(Above) we partnered with community leaders at the Bronzeville Community Garden, who wanted to create "a community center without walls" in their already established garden.
(Above) we partnered with entrepreneurs who were creating the first café in the South Side neighborhood of Englewood.
For decades before this development, there were no sit-down restaurants or coffee shops in the area, let alone healthy options.
The team who created this idea planned to use local products, hire local youth, hold regular poetry and book readings, showcase art on its walls, and make this cafe a meeting place and community hub. The cafe is now open and they are extremely successful.
SEE POTENTIAL worked with a roster of 25 contributing photographers, most of whom live and work in the area.
Jack Delano (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)
Russell Lee (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)
Carlos Javier Ortiz
Edwin Rosskam (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)