In conjunction with the Chicago Architectural Biennial:

Creative Grounds, a multi-year initiative led by Borderless Studio, offered programs and workshops at the former Anthony Overton Elementary School in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago – from small group dialogues and workshops to social gatherings.

On September 20, 2019, artists and architects joined forces to collaborate in a celebration of this venerated, now closed, Chicago public school.


Mauricio and Sophia Forero asked 3 questions of their installation viewers/participants
  • what is your name?
  • what is the name of your elementary school(s)?
  • what was your biggest challenge in elementary school?
  • (if you want, tell us how you overcame it)


Interactive Installation at Anthony Overton Elementary, Chicago

Artist Statement:

What is the most tangible, global representation of school? The backpack. It stored our hopes, challenges, directives, tools, knick knacks, and knowledge during our formative years. Today, with public education a victim of market forces, Mauricio and Sophia Forero use the backpack to illustrate the intense, personal capabilities of education. They present a scenario of empty backpacks in a mock market setting, and invite participants to share their individual school memories with photographs and stories.