Tracy Van Duinen


I think you can be patient and love what you do eventually (it) works. It doesn’t come too quickly, but with hard work and patience it pays off.

I have been working as an artist/educator in the Chicago Public Schools for eight years. The work that I have produced during this time has been in collaboration with my students. The process, more so than the content of the work, has become my artform. I have been able to create large- scale murals by pulling together community, public, and private organizations to support students in underdeveloped areas of Chicago. The combining of these groups creates a dialogue that wasn’t present previously.

The meaning in my work is found in the journey my students take when they use public art to discuss their personal experiences. The issues dominating this work range from cultural investigation to teen violence. The creative process requires the participants to engage in a larger group dialogue and to create a personal journal. Excerpts from these journals are placed in all my work to emphasize the idea that these children are engaging in a discussion with each other and the community.