The artists' bio booklet is so long! (As you might imagine, with 50 artists involved.) The best part of editing it was reading artists' statements about meeting with or trying to meet with their aldermen. Some artists couldn't reach the alderman they wanted to portray, even after many calls, while others received personal phone calls from their alderman or hung out with them for an hour or more. Some artists gave their aldermen extensive questionnaires to fill out, while others became the questioned (if you were a Chicago alderman, you might want to know what some artist planned to do with your visage before agreeing to sit for a portrait—seems wise). One artist got a tour of his chosen alderman's ward, and another has maintained regular contact with the alderman he portrayed.
Here's a nice quote from artist Rachel M. Wolfe:
This project has motivated me to move beyond the mediums I typically work in and has me incorporating new methods into my work. The energy and sense of community generated has shown me the direct impact art can and does have on people, while giving me the energy to consider exhibitions and installation ideas I'd shied away from or deemed unworthy of manifestation. A project like this gives artists of all walks the opportunity to share their voices and inspire others to share theirs. An invaluable experience, lesson, and jumping-off point.It seems we accomplished our goals in getting artists and politicians to trade ideas; promoting awareness of aldermanic culture; and getting artists to make political art without telling them to take a particular position. The results are very impressive—the artists really did a great job, and some of them didn't have much time to make their pieces. If you're not doing anything this evening, drop by and check things out.