Keystone & Switch 002
In July 02011, EbM brought Lubbock, TX–based artist Jonathan Whitfill to Evanston, IL to install a sculptural diptych on two separate EbM sites. Whitfill’s medium is books, and for one site he produced Keystone, a four-foot-diameter book wheel created by cutting pages out of books to form book wedges that fit together to create a wheel. The work is installed in an unlikely place: the side of a garage in an alley off of residential Prairie Avenue. Although the work is installed at a private residence belonging to Stel and Angela Valavanis, the area at the north end (01823 Grant Street) is open to the public. The Valavanises are both book lovers and art lovers, so a sculpture that blends art and literature so beautifully was exciting to them. They installed a light and bench across from the book wheel to form a cozy, two-person park. EbM strategically commissioned Whitfill for the site in order to emphasize the relationship between the Evanston, IL and Bledsoe, TX sites. The first privately owned land on the Llano Estacado, where Bledsoe and Lubbock are located, was that of a Chicago-based architecture firm that was hired by the state of Texas to design and build the Texas State Capitol. At the time, a partner in the firm lived in Evanston, and was instrumental in foundign the community's first library.
Whitfill’s companion piece, Switch, was installed on the rooftop deck of the Valavanis’s business, Creative Coworking, which is a community workspace in downtown Evanston that showcases local art. Switch was created with pages removed from books used in Keystone. Whitfill’s design of a railway switch sculpture is very much in harmony with the site’s history as a former boarding house for railway workers. Located at 922 Davis Street, Switch is viewable from Maple Avenue, as well as from the Davis Street Metra and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stations.
Jonathan Whitfill received his master of fine arts degree from Texas Tech University in sculpture and three-dimensional art. His sculpture has been exhibited throughout West Texas. His performance art has been shown in the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center in Lubbock, TX.Both Keystone and Switch were made possible by Angela McHaney Valavanis, Stel Valavanis, Creative Coworking, and The Lab, San Francisco.http://jonathanwhitfill.com/More about Evanston...