Best known as a public artist, John Pitman Weber led and co-led mosaic, concrete relief, and painted murals for over 40 years, in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, and Paris, France. He co-sculpted, with Sonja Henderson, the Martin Luther King Memorial in Marquette Park, dedicated 2016. He co-created, with Nina Smoot Cain, major mosaic commissions for Broward County, Florida (2009) libraries and for Spencer, Iowa, the latter as part of Artists and Communities, America Creates for the Millennium. Weber co-founded the well-known Chicago Mural Group (now Chicago Public Art Group) with the late William Walker. Weber has participated in major international and national travelling shows. He is represented in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Spertus Museum, the DePaul U. Museum, the Brauer Museum of Valparaiso U., the Cohen Library of City College, NY, the Koehnline Museum of Oakton College, and the Elmhurst U. Collection. He has had over 30 solo shows, including five in New York City. Weber studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, and Harvard University. He learned etching with S.W. Hayter at Atelier 17, Paris. He taught at Elmhurst for 43 years. Now Emeritus, he focuses on printmaking and painting in his studio-home in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. He has four sons and five grandchildren.
John Pitman Weber, Chicago, IL, The Call Woodcut
I have done relief prints since childhood. I love the low tech accessibility of the medium, both woodcut and linocut.
The woodcut, The Call, was done in honor of the nation-wide ongoing demonstrations initiated by Black Lives Matter, that have inspired citizens of all races.
The image is inspired by a photo from a demonstration some 20 years ago, but the gesture seemed appropriate and still current.
I was raised in an activist family and was deeply influenced by the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s. Frederick Douglass said “Power yields nothing except to demand, it never has and never will.” We are facing a historical crisis that puts the concepts of equal rights and of democracy to the test.