Community flag on display
Gallery 400 art project
08/09/2012 7:17 PM
The flag that began flying today just south of the UIC Halsted Blue Line entrance on Peoria does not represent the university, or the City of Chicago, or for that matter, any sovereign nation. It’s a neighborhood flag, created and developed by about 30 West Loopers last Saturday.
Staffers from Gallery 400, UIC’s contemporary art gallery, provided a blank flag canvas in Mary Bartelme Park on Aug. 4, and anyone with an artistic flair had an opportunity to contribute words, phrases and illustrations to the flag.
Flags with varied messaged have flown from this particular flagpole since 2005. The project is called Temporary Allegiance, created by artist Philip von Zweck. It’s open to anyone who’s ever wanted to create and fly a flag to express an opinion visually or make a statement.
“We have an open submission process so we can get new flags at any time,” said Chaz Evans, coordinator of the project. “We can have as many as four different flags a month.”
Submissions to Temporary Allegiance have run the gamut from straightforward to just plain weird, Evans said.
“We did have one flag which was simply a boombox with rings attached to it so it could go up on the pole,” he said. “It played a cassette recording of someone humming the Star Spangled Banner. It went up at a very bleak part of winter and the tape player still worked afterwards. It was one of my favorites.”
Gallery 400 is located at 400 South Peoria Street. It’s open Tuesday through Friday, 10 to 6 and Saturday 12 to 6. Admission is free. The gallery has been operating within UIC’s College of Architecture and the Arts for nearly 30 years. Its goal is to make art accessible, and it does so through exhibitions and other programs. Those include film screenings, performances, and of course, flags.