The University of Chicago Magazine June 1996
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A Place in Time

Where We Come From... Where We're Going (1992)

In the spring of 1991, Gude stood outside a Hyde Park train station, tape recorder in hand, asking each passerby, "Where are you coming from? Where are you going?" Answers came on literal, spiritual, and emotional levels as people discussed their families, jobs, cultures, hopes, and fears. Gude, the lead artist, chose the most telling responses and, assisted by Rolf Mueller, painted those comments and portraits of many of the speakers on the underpass.

"This mural is meant to ask, Is a neighborhood a community just because the people are in the same geographic space?" Gude says. She doesn't try to answer, letting the words speak for themselves. Text has become increasingly prominent in Gude's art as she attempts to capture "the poetry of the streets," or a neighborhood's oral history. With this piece, she not only set out to reveal a bit of Hyde Park's essence, but also to evoke the city as a whole. Gude points out the muted "Chicago" colors-unusual for a mural-adding, "It's also probably one of the few murals you'll ever see where people are wearing coats."

The Murals of Olivia Gude, MFA'82

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