Your Chicago: Muralist Jeff Zimmermann

(CBS) – He finds his inspiration all over the city.

Jeff Zimmermann creates public works of art that can be enjoyed by everyone, and you don’t have to look far to find his work.

CBS 2’s Kate Sullivan reports.

On a hot summer day, hundreds walk by a mural in the walkway to Oak Street Beach, probably unaware that it was this man who spent many a long day creating it.

“You’ll notice in my work there are a lot of floating heads, but really everything I want to say or I want people to get is summed up in their faces,” Zimmermann says.

The work of the muralist, portrait artist and sculptor is dotted across the city. His murals are in Tanta, a River North restaurant. There are seven of them in the Pilsen area. At 47th Street and the lake, you can find a park district “comfort station” completely covered with his painting.

The Oak Street work, sponsored by the EPA, discourages people from feeding seagulls. The faces looking back are actual passersby who posed for the artist.

Zimmermann started painting in 1996 when a local church asked him to try his hand at painting a mural.

“When it was done I said I’m going to do some more of these,” he says.

Nearly 20 years later, his handiwork is now part of the local landscape.

“Someone once told me if you’re going to be involved in public art that you should make sure you have TLC – and by TLC they meant ‘tangible lasting contribution.’ I hope my humble artworks around the city achieve that,” he says.

Zimmermann has 12 murals around the city and many private commissions as well.

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