Memorial Wall

Title:  Memorial Wall

Site:  1521 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago

Artists:  John Pitman Weber and Mirtes Zwierzynski

Sponsors:  AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Chicago Public Art Group

Year:  1999

Scale: 6 ft. x 10 ft.

Materials: Carved brick

Information:  This freestanding carved brick wall at the Lakefront SRO is one of the few works in this demanding medium in the Chicago area. Commissioned by the AIDS Foundation, the symbolism of the wall (columns, a mask, wings) memorializes those who have died; it also evokes the eternal rebirth of nature (sprouting seed, uncurling leaf, sun, water) and the solidarity of people helping others (arms grasping each other in the lifesaving hold).

In the studio the artists constructed a wall of wet clay bricks interspersed with thin slabs of wet clay temporarily taking the place of the mortar joints. After carving the artwork, the artists meticulously unstacked the wall, numbering each piece for firing and eventual reassembly by a mason.