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International artist to create Wilson stop artwork

Cecil Balmond, an international artist known for designing innovative structures, will create artwork for the Wilson stop, which is slated to undergo a $203 million renovation this year, the CTA board decided Wednesday.

The CTA board awarded a contract for up to $204,000, paid for with funds from the Federal Transit Administration, for the creation and installation of Balmond's work.

The CTA has not announced a start date for the Wilson stop renovation, which will create a transfer point for the Purple Line Express, but said construction is expected to start this fall.

More than 200 artists submitted work to be considered for the Wilson project. Though most of the artists recently selected to create work for Red Line stations are from the Chicago area, Balmond was born in Sri Lanka and lives in London.

"This artist was selected for his breadth of work," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said.

Balmond has worked on Weave Bridge, a 145-foot-long steel pedestrian bridge at the University of Pennsylvania, and China Central Television headquarters in Beijing, among other projects.

He is expected to meet with the Uptown community for input on his Wilson creation.

The overhaul of the Wilson stop includes constructing a stationhouse with three entrances that is accessible for riders with disabilities.

Other Red Line art projects include the installation last year of artwork in seven North Side stations and the expected installation this year of artwork in eight South Side stations.

Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates also will create work for the 95th Street Red Line station in a $1.3 million project that includes training local student artists. The $240 million renovation of the 95th Street terminal is expected to begin this fall.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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