There’s no doubt that art has a distinctly special way of bringing people together. It satiates our innate need for self expression and exploration; it allows us to broach topics that are otherwise difficult to discuss; and, above all, it transcends the political, social and cultural boundaries that have come to define modern society. Simply put, art is a crucial facet of human existence — and now, the city of Chicago is leading the pack in a nationwide endeavor to bring it to the forefront of urban living.
This past April, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the Arts 77 recovery and reopening program with an impressive plan to spend at least $60 million to boost the arts and local artists citywide. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Arts 77 is designed to employ creative workers, increase public sector investments in the arts and expand involvement in the creative and cultural sector across the city’s 77 communities.
And here at One Two Pru, we’re incredibly proud to be a part of this citywide charge. Located in The Lobby of our landmark building through November 25, African Diaspora: Chicago is a masterful exhibition curated by Chicago’s renowned Gallery Guichard that tells the story of the city through thought-provoking, mixed-media art — from its long history of jazz and blues to the recent isolation and introspection as a result of the pandemic.
A collaboration between One Two Pru and Gallery Guichard, this exhibition is designed to create a much-deserved platform for underrepresented artists of African descent and foster a new cultural experience that’s destined to truly transform Chicago’s urban landscape.
“Now, more than ever, creating opportunities for multicultural artists allows the tide to rise for all boats,” shared Andre and Frances Guichard, artists and owners of Gallery Guichard. “Our time creating platforms for multicultural artists has proved one thing, but when all artists are given the opportunity to exhibit together, the artistic diversity creates the most breathtaking display.”
Thus, reopening the city through art has fostered a new urban ecosystem that’s proved to be beneficial to all — which is especially prevalent at One Two Pru. Not only are multicultural artists gaining the recognition that they deserve, but business has boomed for on-site restaurants and storefronts that were hit particularly hard during the pandemic while tenants and tourists alike have reaped both the mental and emotional benefits of exposure to the arts on a daily basis.