Dragon Wall

Title:  Dragon Wall

Site:  Robert Healy Elementary School
3019 S. Wallace Street, Chicago

Artists:  Bernard Williams

Community Participants: Sheila Wong and Healy School students

Sponsors: Chicago Public Art Group and Columbia College Chicago Office of Community Arts Partnership for 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program

Year:  2002

Scale:  14 x 61 feet

Materials:  Acrylic paint on 61 aluminum panels

Information:  Dragon Wall is a large-scale outdoor public art statement. The work is created from a series of aluminum panels that are painted with symbolic designs created and researched by the students of Healy school with CPAG artist Bernard Williams. The symbolic subject matter is reflective of William’s approach to illustrating history. The project began with discussions, research, and note taking concerning local and popular history and culture.

Williams helped the students collect and create a group of signs and symbols that reflect the student community and community history around the school. The rich heritage of Chinese culture is summoned though graphic designs. Hispanic, African-American, and European peoples are reflected through similar designs. Many of the graphics may not be obviously recognizable, so the multi-cultural statement is subtle and somewhat mysterious, but hopefully not overbearing. The end product is decorative and subtly narrative.