Jon Pounds was formerly the Executive Director of the Chicago Public Art Group. Pounds, whose early public work involved creating temporary street installations, joined Chicago Public Art Group in 1983 and began creating collaborative public artworks. Through building playground structures, sculptures, and painting murals, Pounds gained an appreciation for the need to carefully organize and manage the resources for such projects. In 1989, he became the Director of CPAG, and committed himself to integrating personal and professional growth while developing the ability of the organization and its artists to respond more fully to community needs. CPAG has experienced significant growth under his leadership.
Pounds has presented workshops on public art and community design processes in San Francisco, New Orleans, Boston, Cleveland, and many other cities. He has also served as consultant to mural organizations in Philadelphia, New York City, and Covington, Kentucky
Pounds was the project sculptor and general manager for the 1994–1998 $330,000 Water Marks mosaic installation at Navy Pier in Chicago, one of the most significant community public artworks produced in the U.S.
In 2001, Pounds was awarded the prestigious Chicago Community Trust Community Service Fellowship. During his fellowship, Pounds explored the intersection of urban planning, community activation, and public art—developing new directions for collaborative community-based public art and space design.