In 1993-1994, I was awarded a Regional Artists' Project Grant to create Mutual Borders at Community United Methodist Church in the Back of the Yards Neighborhood of Southwest Chicago. My first community-based work was motivated by my desire to better understand my relationship as an artist to a particular community and to further engage the possibilities of creating work in an actual church.
At that time, members of the three distinct ethnic congregations mirroring the ethnic make up of the church community engaged in a heroic but ultimately failed effort to save their dying church by attempting to merge congregations. To directly involve the church community, I worked with two teenagers from each congregation over a four-month period. As they developed their artwork for the Mutual Borders artist book, we discussed my taped interviews with the congregation elders and how race, ethnicity and economics impacted their lives. The Mutual Borders artist book is now in many public collections, including Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Artists' Book Collection, Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, John M. Flaxman Memorial Library, School of the Art Institute, Chicago, Newberry Library, Wing Collection, Chicago, Houghton Library, Harvard University, and Otis School of Art and Design Artist Book Collection.Mutual Borders Book