Tracy Van Duinen
Tracy Van Duinen received a BFA in Visual Communications from Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He worked as an Art Director for seven years on national advertising campaigns for Hewlett-Packard, Coca-Cola and Sega Genesis
In 1997, Van Duinen earned a BFA in Art Education from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He began teaching at Austin Community Academy High School on Chicago’s West Side. Through his work in the Chicago Public School system, Van Duinen has helped urban teenagers create a dialogue with their community by creating painted murals, tile mosaics, and community sculptures. Van Duinen has received several awards for his work, including the distinguished Golden Apple Award for Teaching in 2001.
Currently, Van Duinen is transforming the public space of Roberto Clemente High School where he teaches digital imaging and collaborative public artmaking.
Tracy Van Duinen Artist Statement
I have been working as an artist/educator in the Chicago Public Schools for eight years. The work that I have produced during this time has been in collaboration with my students. The process, more so than the content of the work, has become my artform. I have been able to create large- scale murals by pulling together community, public, and private organizations to support students in underdeveloped areas of Chicago. The combining of these groups creates a dialogue that wasn’t present previously.
The meaning in my work is found in the journey my students take when they use public art to discuss their personal experiences. The issues dominating this work range from cultural investigation to teen violence. The creative process requires the participants to engage in a larger group dialogue and to create a personal journal. Excerpts from these journals are placed in all my work to emphasize the idea that these children are engaging in a discussion with each other and the community.
For examples of Van Duinen’s curriculum work, see the Materials Based Self-Portrait and Power of Advertising projects on the Spiral Art Education website, http://spiral.aa.uic.edu