Olivia Gude


As a painter I have sought to revitalize the street mural form by making pieces that accentuate a painterly quality and use large scale as a means of creating color fields that engulf the viewer in a sensual experience of hue and texture.

I have chosen as my medium large-scale collaborative public art. My work for the last 10 years has concentrated on creating community-based monuments that arise out of intensive collaborative processes with community members and with other professional artists.

Combining contemporary art and critical theory practices with the Chicago community mural tradition, I have sought to further develop a form of public art located within and “owned” by the community, an art that has the potential to create discussions about the contradictions of civic and personal life in complex times.

Many of my public art projects involve weaving together the diverse images contributed by members of a community design group. The aim is not to create a seamless whole, but rather to develop an aesthetic medium in which multiple points of view represent, not fractured traditionalism, but rather the postmodern valuing of difference and multiplicity.