Walter Ufer, Builders of the Desert, 1923, oil on canvas laid down on aluminum, Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.174

Ufer, an impassioned supporter of social justice who studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago, first visited Taos at the urging of Chicago mayor and art patron Carter Henry Harrison Jr. In 1917 he permanently relocated to New Mexico and joined the Taos Society of Artists, a group that promoted the work of artists who depicted the region’s setting and inhabitants naturalistically.

Art Design Chicago 2024 FAQs

If you have any additional questions not addressed on this page, please contact the Program Director for Education Grants & Initiatives, Jenny Siegenthaler, at

Why is the Terra Foundation for American Art investing in ADC?

The Terra Foundation is committed to fostering engagement with art of the United States among audiences across the globe and across Chicago, where the foundation is headquartered. Goals for Art Design Chicago are both civic and scholarly. Through the initiative, the Terra Foundation seeks to stimulate conversations and experiences that strengthen the fabric of civic life. By supporting continued exploration of the art and design movements that were born and/or nurtured in Chicago, the foundation seeks to contribute to a broader and deeper understanding of the history of art and design of the United States. Inspired by discoveries made and partnerships created through Art Design Chicago 2018, the foundation’s grantees have expressed interest in continuing to work on the subject collectively.

What constitutes a Chicago project?

Projects that examine one or more of the following:

  • Visual artists and designers who spent time living and working in Chicago, and whose time and interactions in the city were formative in their development.
  • Works of art or design created, fabricated, and/or commissioned in Chicago.
  • Organizations, events, or experiences that shed light on Chicago’s history as a source of American art and design.

How is the foundation defining “visual art” for this initiative?

Painting, sculpture, drawing, illustration, printmaking, photography, conceptual art, performance art, video art, and installation and environmental art.

How is the foundation defining “design” for this initiative?

Graphic design, commercial art, product design, decorative arts, crafts, textiles, interior design, and costume/fashion.

Will projects on architecture be considered?

The Terra Foundation’s mission centers on the history of art of the United States. Art Design Chicago focuses on Chicago’s visual-art history along with aspects of its design history that have received less attention than the city’s architecture, built environment, and urban plan have received. The foundation will not support projects that focus exclusively or primarily on these latter topics.

Will the foundation support projects on contemporary art and design?

Through this special initiative, the Terra Foundation seeks to fund projects that contribute to the understanding of Chicago’s art and design history. The foundation will not fund projects exclusively or primarily about 21st-century art and design. However, in order to illuminate the relevance of and ideas and issues represented by pre-2000 art and design, the foundation will support projects that place this work in dialogue with more recent work in meaningful ways. At least half of the art/design featured in Art Design Chicago projects must date to before 2000.

Is funding only available to Chicago-based institutions?

Yes, funding is available only to institutions based in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Does the initiative only support exhibitions and academic convenings that are presented in Chicago?

Exhibitions must originate in Chicago, but the foundation strongly encourages travel to venues beyond Chicago following the local presentation, and may be able to provide travel support. Academic convenings must take place in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Do all exhibitions and public programs that receive funding need to take place in 2024?

Yes. Exhibitions must open between May and the end of November 2024. Public programs must take place between May and the end of 2024.

How does Art Design Chicago 2024 differ from the first iteration of Art Design Chicago?

Art Design Chicago 2024 features many elements in common with the first initiative, including the focus on Chicago’s art/design history, broad participation by Chicago cultural organizations, a common period of programming (May through December 2024), and an umbrella communications campaign. It differs from the first initiative in its strong emphasis on audience/community engagement and network building; and its content focus, which centers on how the histories of visual art and design in Chicago intersect with other places, fields, and practices through the migration of peoples across geographies, ideas across disciplines, and influences across time, from the past into the present.

Is this initiative replacing the grant program that the Terra Foundation has had in place since 2005?

No. The foundation will continue to fund other projects on art of the US through its ongoing, core grant program. Those grant guidelines are available here.