Over the last couple of years, one of the most fascinating things that I have noticed is how street artists are changing the face of our cities. Graffiti was once seen as a nuisance by many cities. It still has it’s negatives, but most cities and businesses have taken a more nuanced approach and have started encouraging artists to decorate the walls with something other than drab monochromatic paint.
These artists have brought out the vibrant nature of our cities. Splashes of color and texture take us into an alternate universe. I am especially enamored by the multi-story murals that tell a story. So I thought I’ll start by showcasing the aptly named Big Walls project in Chicago.
Wabash Arts Corridor
The Wabash Arts Corridor was launched by the Colombia College in Chicago in 2013. It has since transformed areas of downtown – centered around the South Loop area – through murals and art installations. The corridor is regarded as a “living urban canvas” and it truly feels that way. Interestingly enough every time I explore the area I seem to find something new or something I had overlooked.
Check out their website http://wabashartscorridor.org/.
This gigantic installation by Jacob Watts is one of my favorites
One of the first murals by artist Hebru Brantley, very aptly called Chi Boy
This mural by Heidi Unkefer was the winner of the 2nd WAC Alumni competition
This 8100 sq ft mural was created by Italian artist Never 2501
Come down to heaven with this gigantic photograph by Darryll Schiff
The WAC Big Walls Project
The Big Walls Project was an initiative in 2016 where artists from around the world were invited to transform the area though gigantic murals over a couple of weeks. I spent some time during that time watching the transformation and talking to some of the artists. Looking back, I still think it’s the best street art project in the city.
Here are some photos that I took during that week and later of some of the fantastic murals. For more details and map, check out the May 2016 issue of Columbia Chronicle.
I caught Amuse 126 in the act of creating this mural. Need to go back and get the finished product one of these days
It’s so difficult to get a full frame of this fantastic mural by Dutch painter Collin van der Sluijs.
Chicago artist Don’t Fret shows you the money on Wabash Ave
This multi-story project by Ella & Pitr is a bit off the grid. To find it, walk a bit west on Harrison Street
An incredible tribute to blues legend Muddy Waters on State Street by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra
Unlike the rest of my galleries, my street art photos are not for sale. I just like to document these beautiful creations and spread the word. Hope you enjoy it. Next time you are visiting a city, take a step outside from the tourist spots and museums. Hit the streets and check out the contemporary art. You will be surprised by what you see.