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Call for designs for massive Chicago Art Build for Public Education

September 14, 2019

Join Justseeds and the Art Build Workers in supporting Chicago teachers, students, families, and public service employees by making designs for a massive Chicago Art Build for Public Education.

Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and SEIU 73 call for art is reposted below.

Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and SEIU 73 are holding a community Art Build for public education in early October: Friday, October 4, 5:00pm-10:00pm; Saturday, October 5, 10:00am-10:00pm; and Sunday, October 6, 10:00am-7:00pm at CTU (1901 W Carroll Ave).

The Art Build is modeled after the recent public education/Red for Ed art builds in Los Angeles (UTLA) and Oakland (OEA) Art Builds. See examples of past art builds at

Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and SEIU 73 are calling on teachers, students, allies in public education and beyond to create images to be used in the struggle to defend and promote public schools. All the images people create will be displayed and some used on banners, drop banners, parachute banners, screen printed posters, and screen-printed picket signs.


Please include one of our core messages in your design–and help us visually communicate these themes:

“Finance” slogans

  • The Schools We Need, Not LaSalle Street Greed
  • Black and Brown students deserve fully-funded schools
  • Support our schools, not Lincoln Yards
  • Stop Starving Our Schools
  • Privatization is the problem, not the solution
  • Parents and educators united for fully funded public schools
  • Living wages for school clerks and teaching assistants

Student need slogans

  • Fighting for the Schools Chicago Students Deserve
  • Educators Fighting for Student Needs
  • A nurse in every school every day
  • Fighting to protect our special needs students
  • School support staff make schools work
  • Special education means support for all, not crumbs for some
  • Safe sanctuary schools for all
  • Make EVERY CPS school a Sustainable Community School


(See templates at the end of this PDF for design guidelines/scale of images)

Street Visible

Designs that are strong, bold, high contrast and visible from a distance and show up most powerfully on the streets and in photos.

Separate Text

If the text is separate from the image, including translations into other languages is much simpler.


You can use any colors. Note that red has been key in the Red for Ed movement.


All image draft submissions are due by Wednesday, September 25 by 7:00pm; the Art Build committee will be reviewing designs on September 26th and 27th. Final designs will be needed by Sunday, September 29. Please submit images to CTU art teacher Jessica Rosenbaum at with subject line “CTU/SEIU Art Build.”

Decide if you plan to design for a banner (that will be traced and painted at the art build), a one-color picket sign that will screen printed or a 24’ wide parachute banner. Image drafts should be close to complete as the deadlines are tight. The images will be reviewed and selected by the CTU-SEIU 73Art Build Committee who will then decide on the final images and may suggest minor changes.

At the Art Build Workers website, you can see examples of past banners, parachute banners, picket signs:

Artists will be contacted if their design is selected by Friday, September 26th. Final designs will be needed by Sunday, September 29th by 5:00pm to give time to expose silkscreens prior to the October 4-6 art build at CTU.


Banners, Parachute bannersscreen-printed picket signs or screen-printed “patches”.


(15 plus different designs)
Designs will be projected onto off-white muslin fabric during the art build and painted with semi-gloss exterior house paint. Please be aware that the text (the slogan) will need to read from a distance. Multiple copies of certain designs will be painted.


Banner Example
Banner Example

Parachute Banners

(4 different designs)
Design a circular image design that will be projected onto a 24’ wide white nylon “play parachute” with handles. The image will be traced and then painted with studio acrylic paint during the art build.


Example Parachute Banner

Screen printed picket signs

(4-5 different designs)
Design vertical images (around 19”x25”) that can silkscreened onto off-white muslin fabric and constructed into picket signs. The silkscreen ink can be any color and some areas of the design can be hand painted during the art build but primarily think of a bold design that relies on one-color. Note too that text should be readable from a distance. The selected images will be turned into silkscreens so make sure that your design is at a high resolution (300dpi). The Art Build committee will expose the screens. A design from this series can also be adapted into a potential t-shirt.


Example screen-printed picket sign
Example screen-printed picket sign

Screenprinted patches

(4 different designs)
One-color designs
Four different designs that are screen printed on muslin fabric. These designs can be attached with safety pins to the back of sweatshirt, jacket, or backpack. They can be worn in marches, etc. The design scale is around 8.5” x 11”. Artists do not have to design for patches. The designs for the patches can be chosen from the picket sign designs, banner graphics, etc.


The artist retains the copyright to their work and can use their image, including to sell copies of their image, in other venues/purposes in the future. But the artist also allows CTU and SEIU 73 to use the image as they see fit (to use the image for campaigns, to share on social media, to adapt for future banners, t-shirts, etc. Full credit will always be attributed to the artist. Prior to final acceptance artists will sign an image release.


It is important that these important struggles for justice are archived so that they are a teaching tool for decades to come. 25 copies of any printed multiple produced during the Art Build (screen printed picket signs, patches, fliers, offset posters, placards) will be put aside by the Art Build Workers to assemble box sets for archives (University Libraries, Museums, Labor archives, etc) to preserve this important labor and public education history.


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