The stunning “traditional and Bricolage mosaic murals” that are in the Roberto Clemente High School lobby are one example of the work of the 2008 OPPY Award winner, Tracy Van Duinen. With a BFA in Visual Communication, he was a corporate Art Director for seven years. In 1997, Van Duinen earned a BFA in Art Education from UIC and began teaching at Austin Community Academy High School.
Tracy joined the Chicago Public Art Group in 1998. For 11 years his work has been based in CPS where he has helped urban teenagers engage in a dialogue with their communities by creating painted murals, tile mosaics, and community sculptures. Through his classes, workshops and after school programs, he pairs students with accomplished artists. Tracy describes his work as giving voice to kids and communities. Students are involved throughout the artistic process from generating ideas to final production.
Currently, Van Duinen is teaching at the School for Social Justice High School in Little Village where his students use the arts to explore social and political issues. As a community artist, he has been working with teens from the Juvenile Justice Diversion Program at Alternatives Inc., a youth and family agency. His most recent project, involving students and community members, located in the Edgewater neighborhood, is the city’s largest community mosaic mural.
Tracy Van Duinen has won many awards. Among them is a 2001 Golden Apple Award for Teaching, the Suave Performance Plus Award for inspirational teachers, 3 Illinois Arts Council grants and 3 Teacher Incentive Grants.