Chicago is known as a city of neighborhoods. People are friendly with a deep sense of community, especially in the world of small business.
So, when Sepia Studio had an opportunity to collaborate with the Andersonville Chamber on a piece of public art, the stage was set.
Not the flair below!
What is an Instagram Moment?
David Oakes is the savvy Director of Business Services & District Manager at the Andersonville Chamber. During discussions about membership, conversation shifted to the myriad upcoming events on their calendar. Homecoming, an annual celebration that brings members and locals together, was around the corner.
Could Sepia Studio create an Instagram moment for folks to snap selfies and provide the event with a bit more flair? No, not the flair Jennifer Aniston resists in Mike Judge’s classic 1999 film Office Space. “What’s that?” we asked, completely intrigued. “Just made it up!” David replied.
David Oakes, Director of Business Services & District Manager
“Sepia Studio’s team was fantastic to work with and evolve a side note comment into an incredible art installation. It was a joy to work with and exceeded every expectation and look forward to working with Sepia in the future.”
On Our Way Back Home
Homecoming is inspired in part, by 70’s culture. Far Out! After a trek to Andersonville, lead creatives Amanda Eich and Julia Kaufman began mapping out ideas. The brainstorm began. How could they create a design to capture the neighborhood without feeling too retro?
During a brainstorm with David and Associate Director Laura Austin, they shared that Homecoming drew inspiration for the 70’s vibe a John Batiste music video. Immediately the Sepia Studio team was captivated by two things, reflects Amanda Eich, lead designer and Conan O’Brien fan:
Movement happening in the video in a very linear fashion, the marching, and colors.
The energy we knew we wanted to reflect in the piece became manifested in five 4’x 8’ foot boards that we laminated with the colorful marching band inspired theme.
Look close at the fence banners and the word “ANDERSONVILLE” is almost dripping over the dancers.
Amanda Eich, Lead Creative at Sepia Studio
“The intention was to reflect what Andersonville (and Chicago) has to offer. A unique collection of people and shapes moving through bands of color.”
Chicago in Motion does just that. The results are a raucous parade that harks back to an era of bell bottoms and puka shells. Minus disco balls, it reflects the spirit of Andersonville residents and passion of this ‘shop local’ capital of Chicago.
One of the best parts? After the event wrapped, graphics went into hibernation for the winter, instead of a trash can.
Julia Kaufman, Lead Creative at Sepia Studio
“Print graphics as public art can make such an impact in communities,” says Julia Kaufman. “There are so many canvases, blank walls, empty storefront windows, construction fences… just waiting to be discovered.”
When warm temperatures are back, the plan is for Chicago in Motion to make appearances throughout spring and summer. The design serves a larger purpose: public art for citizens to celebrate.
Sepia Studio and the Andersonville Chamber see this as part of a larger trend. The hope is more neighborhoods will try it. What colors and movement would, for example, Bronzeville bring to the streets? Maybe Logan Square? Where is there a construction fence or empty storefront that is begging for a splash of Chicago in Motion?
Laura Austin, Associate Director at the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce
“Andersonville Homecoming brought together folks looking to be a part of something “normal” and what the team achieved allowed a moment to stop, take a photo, dance, give the peace sign and feel a part of something special, yet normal.”
Though Homecoming has come and gone, the public art developed for the event lives on. If you have made it this far into the project story, get ready for a little easter egg…. Amanda’s two sons make an appearance in the graphics (see below). Look toward the bottom right-hand side of the image.