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Public Artwork Destroyed By Vandals At Garfield Red Line Station

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The glass public art pieces inside the Garfield Boulevard Red Line station have been destroyed by vandals, the office of Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) said Monday.

Garfield Red Line Station Vandalism
Vandals destroyed an artwork at the Garfield Red Line station. (Credit: Office of Ald. Pat Dowell)

"These beautiful and welcoming artistic glass panels were recently smashed by vandals and now have to be removed by the CTA," Dowell's office said in a newsletter item. "The CTA has boarded up the damaged areas to prevent further deterioration. Alderman Dowell is working closely with the CTA to explore options for repair or replacement of these works."

The art project that was destroyed was called "Presenting the Pictures You Wanted to See," by artist Cecil McDonald Jr.

The artwork imposed four photographs showing scenes of everyday life – a man drinking from a cup, two people seated at a table – with an inscription of a message of encouragement, "Be Big, Be Proud, Be Well, Be You."

Garfield Red Line Station Public Art
This artwork, called "Presenting the Pictures You Wanted to See," by artist Cecil McDonald Jr., was destroyed by vandals at the Garfield Red Line station. (Credit: Chicago Transit Authority)

The images appeared transparent and in reverse color on the glass, disguising the identity of the subjects.

"McDonald strives to present the ordinary rhythms of life as truly extraordinary. These are images of individuals inhabiting their spaces, living out their lives. And if only for a moment, these are in essence, the pictures of our lives," the CTA says on its website.

While the artwork has been destroyed, Dowell and the Chicago Transit Authority still continue to work to beautify the ward.

"From public art, streetscapes, banners, and community markers, to seasonal decorations and historical landmark protections, all of strategies are being used beautify the area and improve the sense of community. It is up to all of us to prioritize and protect these improvements," Dowell's office said in a newsletter item. "Whether is simply keeping benches clean outside of your home or business, or calling the appropriate authorities for potential vandalism, we all have to chip in to keep our neighborhood beautiful."

Dowell and the CTA will provide updates on the restoration of the Garfield Red Line station as they happen.

"At this time, we are investigating options for the repair of the artwork, which was installed in 2015 as part of the Red Line Reconstruction project. Details regarding cost and timeline for repair have not yet been determined," the CTA said.

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