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Meet the Artistic Director: John David Mooney

John David Mooney is an internationally-recognized sculptor and environmental artist who has executed public sculptures and temporary sculptural works all over the world. Known for his ambitious large scale pieces, Mooney's work has transformed iconic public buildings, lit up skylines and redesigned public spaces. Mooney has consistently taken a multi-disciplinary approach to art, incorporating architecture, urban planning, and history into his work. As an artist, he has also made light his signature, using unconventional light sources as bold sculptural elements.

​A native of Illinois, Mooney has done many sculptures in and around the city of Chicago, where he is based, as well as such diverse locations as Croatia, Australia and the UK. His work has included the design and execution of urban planning projects for city parks and public spaces and the fabrication of numerous commissioned sculptures for museums and institutions. Mooney's work also reflects a deep appreciation of the history of public spaces, as well as a love and interest in science and astronomy.

Mooney's work reflects a deeply-held belief in the public accessibility of art, a philosophy which drives the work of the John David Mooney Foundation.


In his academic career, Mooney has had the opportunity to teach at numerous institutions throughout the United States and Europe. He was named a Distinguished Professor and Critic at the University of North Carolina’s College of Architecture and a Distinguished Professor and Scholar in the Fine Arts at the University of Southern Indiana. In Europe, he has taught at such institutions as the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, the Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow, and the Royal College of Art’s Graduate School of Art in London.

Mooney has received honorary doctorates from Purdue University, Dominican University and Lyon College. He has been the recipient of more than eight fellowships from institutions such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Royal Society of the Arts, and the MacDowell Colony. Both as a teacher and an artist, Mooney is committed to serving his community and encouraging dialogue in the arts.

Mooney's work is in numerous private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, and major museums in Europe.

Mooney's sculptures in Chicago...

John David Mooney's work has been installed, performed and displayed all over the world. While many of his pieces are temporary, and deliberately ephemeral, many of his permanent sculptural pieces can be found in the Chicago area. Consult this map to see where you can find local examples of Mooney's work:

... And across the globe

Consult the map below to learn more about the sculptural and environmental art pieces John David Mooney has constructed and performed around the world:

... Ongoing projects and proposals

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