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On the luminaries for the public art project

I'm going to Mineral Point Wisconsin today for the weekend Journal and Sketchbook workshop. Before I go, I thought I'd post the final Photoshopped rendering of the luminaries for the Carroll County Community Memoir project, as they will be installed in front of the Owen Miles Museum at the end of October:
A lot of people from Carroll County have been contributing photos on the Facebook page this week, so it's all coming together nicely.

UPDATE: Here is the text of the press release.


Illuminating the Past: Chicago Artist and Writer Collaborate on Giant Luminary Project in Rural Illinois

MOUNT CARROLL, Illinois, September 30th, 2010---Imagine the luminaries that light up gardens and paths during fall festivals. Now imagine a series of luminaries six feet high, lit from within by a solar light fitted into the top. These impressive structures have been created by Chicago artist Philip Hartigan, working with local craftsmen in Carroll County, Illinois (about 140 miles west of Chicago) for a public art project to be unveiled at the Owen P. Miles Museum, 107 West Broadway, Mount Carroll, Illinois, on Saturday, October 30th, 2010.

Hartigan collaborated with Chicago writer Patricia Ann McNair to gather family photos from residents of Carroll County which will be printed on the sides of the luminaries. In a series of workshops conducted during summer 2010, participants wrote one-line memories associated with the photos. A line from each participant will be printed with their photo on the luminary, to create a temporary monument to community and memory.

Hartigan and McNair planned the project with the Carroll County Historical Society, which operates the Owen P. Miles Museum, in Mount Carroll, IL, where most of the community workshops were held. Residents could also contribute photos and memories via a Facebook page ('Carroll County Illinois Community Memoir Project'). Two public libraries in Carroll County also opened their doors to the workshops, which were attended by people ranging in age from 11 to 90. The project was sponsored in part by a faculty development grant from Columbia College Chicago, where McNair and Hartigan both teach. Part of the grant will be used to create an artist's book containing all the photos and writing produced by the project participants. This book will be donated to the Carroll County Historical Society.

The luminaries will be installed on the lawns outside the Owen P. Miles Museum--a majestic 1873 Italianate-style building--and project participants from Carroll County will take part in readings from their memoir material at the Museum. The unveiling ceremony and project readings take place at 6 pm on Saturday, October 30th, 2010, at the Owen P. Miles Museum, Mount Carroll, IL. For information about attending, contact Philip Hartigan at 1-312-342-1296, For more information about the project, including high-resolution images and full artists' bios, go to


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