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Alumni Spotlight: Lauren M. Pacheco’s (’16) Work Selected as Finalist in Downtown Gary Public Art Competition

Lauren M. Pacheco graduated from the MSC program in 2016. Her project, Destination Gary: Art | Park, was recently selected as a finalist in the Downtown Gary Public Art Competition.

Lauren is an arts administrator and community organizer working at the intersections of social practice and social strategy. She is a third-generation Mexican-American born and raised in Brighton Park, a community on Chicago’s southwest side.  Lauren is co-founder of the Chicago Urban Art Society (, a contemporary arts organization supporting curatorial and artistic-based practice and co-producer of the Chicago Lowrider Festival (, an outdoor community and cultural initiative taking place in the Pilsen community. Pacheco has worked hard to bring the arts to a broader audience and bridges cultural sector programming within Chicago’s diverse arts community.  She has become a resource to policymakers and has helped engage in the public dialogue about issues that impact artists and creative enterprises.

DESTINATION GARY: ART | PARK reimagines urban space in celebration of art and design, transforming vacant sites into public spaces, walkable and park-like. A series of creative installations invites exploration in the unbuilt environment and challenges our notion of traditional art spaces. Awarded $25,000.  For more project details and how to support or donate please visit:

Lauren’s other projects include: Chicago Urban Art Society (, Chicago Lowrider Festival (, Destination Gary (, 2017 Terrain Biennial Curator, Gary Indiana (, Art In Public Places: 25th Ward Community Arts Initiative (

About the Gary Public Art Competition

By bringing art outside the traditional context of museums and galleries, Public Art benefits the community and its visitors by increasing access to art and providing artists with opportunities to expand their artistic practice and market. The program has a commitment to work with both emerging and established artists to produce high quality, innovative, and creative art projects and exhibitions in public spaces in Gary, Indiana. It’s institutional funders are the Legacy Foundation, the Knight Foundation, and theCity of Gary – Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.