Chicago artist, professor, and social activist Theaster Gates is going to open a new sculpture garden on the south side of Chicago.
The artist has entered into an agreement with the city of Chicago to lease a piece of city-owned land at 1245 East 72nd Place for the garden, which will be his to use for $1 in perpetuity. As part of the deal, the park must be open to the public free of charge, and it cannot host any political or religious events.
Currently the land is a very large empty lot up against the Metra tracks.
Last week we reached out to Mr. Gates to find out if the sculpture garden will be exclusively his own work, or if it will feature the work of other artists; and what the timeline for construction is. He has not responded to our queries.
While Gates is a rocketing star in the global art scene, he has taken it upon himself to be a one-man gentrification machine, revitalizing the south side of Chicago one building at a time. His artwork will be part of the new 95th street CTA Red Line transit center when it opens.
Separately, Mr. Gates has also inked another $1 deal with the city to build a pavilion and performance venue on city-owned land at 265 East Garfield Boulevard, just west of Washington Park.