Over three years, JPMorganChase will introduce new Chase Bank branches in neighborhoods throughout the DC region. In collaboration, Arts on the Block is producing public art for selected branches and communities. Watch the video about our murals in Historic Anacostia and get updates on the creative collaboration below. Read more about JPMorganChase’s investment in cities around the world at Advancing Cities.
This project includes planning, design, fabrication, and installation of large mosaic art pieces through a community-integrated process utilizing AOB’s professional teen apprenticeship model. In addition to the artwork itself, this project provides business and design training for local creative teens; allows for responsive engagement with community members; introduces the Chase branches and teams to their new neighborhoods; and is already causing a positive ripple effect through the regional creative economy.
In August 2018, AOB’s studio crew met with the Chase design team to learn about the project and the variety of careers available in the financial industries – including the architects, interior designers, and builders who work to open each Chase branch.
POP-UP MOSAIC STUDIO
In September, AOB secured a pop up mosaic studio, made possible by the Anacostia Arts Center. Led by a professional teaching team and the AOB studio crew, creative youth from Wards 7 & 8 participated in short-term paid apprenticeships to produce large-scale mosaic murals. Their professional studio positions included working directly with the JPMorganChase team to understand their needs and managing the entire lifecycle of the mosaic artwork.
Two community design charrettes were held to explore the rich history, diversity of styles, and cultural meanings of African Wax Prints– inspiration from the client’s creative brief. AOB apprentices contemplated the visual palette of textile patterns provided by the community, translated those images into mosaic mural designs, and presented their designs to the community and the Chase team. From there, apprentices received feedback, improved their designs, and ultimately selected the strongest designs.
MOSAIC ARTWORK DESIGN & FABRICATION
October began with a flurry of activity for the apprentices as they collaborated in creative teams and worked tirelessly to finish cutting, placing, and grouting mosaic tiles. By early November, our studio apprentices had completed fabrication on deadline and watched with excitement as their stunning mosaic artworks were installed.
Today, stunning mosaic murals are installed at two JPMorganChase branches, Anacostia and Park & 14th, and our Minnesota Avenue project will be installed in April 2019. The successful completion and beautiful quality of these have prompted additional commissions to be created for a future Chase location. Stay tuned!
ABOUT OUR STUDIO APPRENTICESHIP
For 15 years, AOB has helped young people imagine and plan fulfilling lives and careers, join the creative workforce, and contribute to their own communities. Our apprenticeship program provides job training, studio skills, and career path support to creative teens who might not otherwise be introduced to art and design careers. We work with our clients to develop real-world design projects that offer exciting creative challenges and practical work environments for our studio art apprentices.
AOB apprentices engage directly with clients and community members to manage creative projects through each stage of planning and design, all the way through to installation. Studio alumni, many of whom are now architects, planners, teachers and business people, serve as a strong creative network in the region helping to connect new recruits to further academic and professional opportunities. Today more than 175 of our works are now installed in public spaces and held in private art collections.