Letterfield - CODAworx


Submitted by Jason Messinger Art

Client: Chicago Public Library - Austin Irving Branch

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Completion date: 2007

Artwork budget: $8,000

Project Team


Jason Messinger


Public Art Agent

Allyson Murphy Coglianese

Chicago Public Art Department


ceramic, glaze, wooden frame backers, 5' x 8' x 2" d
One of two murals commissioned for the Chicago Public Library, Austin Irving Branch.


The Austin-Irving Branch of the Chicago Public Library hosts a large young adult and children's collection as well as large Spanish and Polish language collections, serving the needs of the surrounding communities.
In "Letterfied", the artist was inspired by the experience of non-native speakers learning a language for the first time. The letters displayed on the tiles do not convey any direct meaning, no words are formed. Instead the mural presents an abstract field. The artist conveys the experience of recognition before comprehension, where the letters are enticing but not yet understood. The artist intends the two murals "Alice" and "Letterfied" to complement each other in their use of language and letter forms.


Working with Library officials and the Chicago Public Art Coordinator, the artist designed two murals that spoke to the branch's collection strengths.