ELMHURST QUARRY PROJECT STATEMENT
In the Summer of 2011 as I was preparing for an exhibition at the Elmhurst Art Museum for the Spring of 2012 when I became aware of two big holes separated by a roadway in the middle of the suburb of Elmhurst IL. For many years, twice a day workers would blast for rock to be used for a number of products from cinder block, to material for the construction of highways in the area. Now the Elmhurst Quarry is not active but used for flood control when needed.
My wife’s family has lived about 5 blocks away for over 50 years and remember how the blasts from the quarry would shake their house but they did not seem to know the story of the two big holes with houses built very close by. Since it is not easy to get into the quarry I decided that a large printed Google map would be the best way to get a better sense of how the holes relate to the neighborhoods around the area.
As I was intrigued by the grid patterns of streets that were designed around the river, railroad tracks and the quarry, I decided that I would cover the map with layers of black ink marks everywhere but the roadways. The ink from the front bled through the paper in a way that fractured the grid on the front and created such beautiful patterns that I spent the next year drawing the image out with tiny marks of black ink. Once this was done, the back drawing was scanned and faintly printed onto heavy paper where I then spent the next year drawing the image out with black and green ink with the goal of creating an image to bring new life to the patterns identified on the Google Map drawing. When all three images are seen together the viewer is reminded that as we walk and drive the streets, patterns exist and change constantly, and the holes remind you that layers beneath are feet hold histories ready to be discovered.