Full Circle (1992-1993)
Suzanne Lacy and a coalition of Chicago Women

Full Circle is a two-part public artwork on the social and political impact of women’s organizing in Chicago, both currently and historically. The first component was a “guerrilla” installation of 100 stone monuments honoring women from Chicago’s past (ten historical figures) and present (90 women currently living) who actively shaped public life in the city. Bronze plaques bearing the names and contributions of each woman were attached to 100 half-ton limestone boulders, which Lacy had sourced from a female-owned rock quarry in Oklahoma. The boulders were then de- posited overnight on sidewalks in Chicago’s Loop, the downtown area. In a city with no major monuments to women, 100 sprang up overnight. Included in the installation was a boulder for Jane Addams, social activist and founder of the Hull House. At the time of this project Chicago, Illinois, a city with a widely recognized public art collection, had no major work about or by a woman in its civic collection. Full Circle explored how to represent both presences and absences in the public sphere. In a celebration of the “rock women” honorees, over 70 women met for awards and a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, and then retreated with family and friends to the sites of their rock monuments. For an hour the streets of the downtown Loop were populated with scores of individual and unique gatherings, publicly performing the act of honor- ing women. 

For the exhibition Culture in Action, curated by Mary Jane Jacobs for Sculpture Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. 


Dinner at Jane's (1993)

Since 1889 the Hull House and the Hull House Association have offered a demonstration of the U.S. Settlement Movement, providing a center for theory and practice in education, public policy, labor organizing, art, and a host of other social justice concerns. Agendas for change were often drafted as part of the settlement house’s evening meals. For the second part of Full Circle, Lacy expanded on this tradition by inviting 14 international women activists to a dinner at the Hull House. The guest list included Gloria Steinem, Dolores Huerta, Susan Faludi, Nawal El Saadawi, Susan Grode, Myrna Cunningham, Devaki Jain, Chung Hyun Kyung, Wilma Mankiller, Johnnetta Cole, and Anita Hill. The dinner was an opportunity for these notable women to participate in a work of art that actively envisioned the future within the context of a place rich in historical significance. A documentary by Michelle Baughan captured the memorable event. 

Participating artists included Phylis Geller, Jane Saks and Tom Weinberg. 

For the exhibition Culture in Action, curated by Mary Jane Jacobs for Sculpture Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.