In The CAPE Blog

Signals & Codes  

{ Terrain Biennial 2021 }  

Anni Holm, Austin McCann, Mandy Rakow, John Rakow 

installed at 336 Harrison St., West Chicago, IL 

Oct 3 – Nov 15, 2021 

Terrain Biennial 2021 presents Signals & Codes, a group show featuring Anni Holm, Austin  McCann, John Rakow, and Mandy Rakow. The show will be exhibited at 336 Harrison St in  West Chicago, IL. The exhibition is based on a pedagogical collaboration through the non-profit Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), initially aimed at working parents,  seeking experimental ways to bring artistic practice into daily life. Signals & Codes features original flags and texts from its included artists.  

The exhibition’s opening will be held on Sunday, Oct 3rd, from 3-5 pm. 

The artworks in Signals & Codes play with expectations. While flags are generally used to communicate clearly, objectively, and broadly to a target audience, the flags in this exhibition are subjective, experimental propositions. Accompanying texts from each artist offer poetic & performative strategies for ‘activating’ the flags, through performance,  participation, and poetics. Artists also touch on diverse concerns, from gender trouble to handicraft and public speech. Together, the exhibition challenges certain false divisions,  such as public/private, individual/collective, and professional/amateur. 

Signals & Codes is part of the 2021 Terrain Biennial international public art festival, hosted from October 2-November 15, 2021. 

For more information, email 

Anni Holm is a conceptual artist with a deep interest in social sculpture. Born in Randers,  Denmark, Holm attended Krabbesholm Højskole in Skive before immigrating to the US.  She has a BFA from Columbia College in Chicago. Holm has exhibited, performed,  participated in artist residencies, and created public art installations both in the US and  Europe. A resident of West Chicago, she is also the curator and co-founder of People  Made Visible, a non-profit with a mission to facilitate community through art experiences.  Besides also being a teaching artist for CAPE in West Chicago, she is a parent of two Gary  Elementary students.  

Austin McCann is an artist, writer, & teacher currently living in Chicago, Illinois. Austin has exhibited at Apparatus Projects, Gallery 400, and Flatland. From 2012-2017, he directed the Art Theater, an experimental community cinema in Urbana-Champaign. He has an MFA  from the University of Illinois at Chicago and works as a teaching artist through CAPE.  

Mandy Rakow has a Studio Art degree from Concordia University Chicago, focusing on painting & mixed media. She serves on the board of the Awakenings Project and formerly served on the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, producing a monthly community music event for five years. Mandy works at the McAninch Arts Center at College of  DuPage and is the music director at International Community Church in Lombard, IL. She lives in West Chicago with her husband John (also an artist) and their daughter Esther.

John Rakow is an artist from West Chicago, Illinois. He received his BFA in sculpture &  photography from Illinois Wesleyan University and is currently studying fashion design at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He works as a social service coordinator at an assisted living facility. 



Flags by John Rakow, Gary Elementary Parent


Flags by Mandy Rakow, Gary Elementary Parent.

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