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You Are Beautiful Art Installation Surpasses Fundraising Goal

Skokie, Illinois, artist Matthew Hoffman’s You are Beautiful public art project, a partnership with eco-Andersonville, will be coming to four locations in Andersonville as well as to two other neighborhoods in April thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that ended on March 4. The campaign raised well over its initial goal of $5,500.

“The idea we are going after is, number one, the positivity of it, having a positive message out there on the street,” said Brian Bonanno, the sustainability programs manager for the Andersonville Development Corp., which oversees eco-Andersonville. “But really what it’s about is trying to get people to realize that there are a lot of under-utilized spaces all over the city.”

The Kickstarter campaign raised $7,312. That means Hoffman and eco-Andersonville will be able to install floating texts at the corners of Clark and Winona, Ashland and Foster, and Clark and Olive. A smaller installation is planned on the sign of what was Trumbull Elementary School at 5200 N. Ashland. Displays will also likely be installed in the neighborhoods of Lawndale and Englewood, Bonanno said.

He added that the project seeks to make people feel more comfortable in their urban environment. Fences, gaps or eyesores in commercial districts that are filled in with art projects like Hoffman’s can generate more community interaction, Bonanno said.

Hoffman began the You are Beautiful project in Chicago in 2002. At the time, he had 100 stickers, but since then, the project has grown worldwide. Except for the smaller display on the Trumbull School sign, the hanging art displays will be on fences and will likely be fairly large. The words will be painted white and silver and will be 3 to 4 feet tall each. The signs themselves will be made of plastic or wood and will extend 50 to 60 feet long, Bonanno said.

“I think it’s important for people in the community to support this because it gives them an opportunity to shape the neighborhood that they want to live in,” Bonnano said in a video about the project. “They make a community more livable and more vital.”

For more information on the You are Beautiful project, watch the Kickstarter video.

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