Loop Business Group Hoping Murals Bring More Eyes To Wabash Corridor

CHICAGO (CBS) — A public art project along Wabash Avenue downtown got a new addition on Sunday.

Suspended from a cherry picker a few stories above a parking lot at Wabash and Van Buren Street, Italian street artist Never 2501 rolled white paint onto the clay-colored bricks of The Buckingham, a student apartment building facing the CTA ‘L’ tracks.

He was painting a massive mural that Chicago Loop Alliance CEO Michael Edwards hopes will bring more development to the area, and – at the very least – gets people to look up from their phones.

“This is 8,100 square feet of art. This becomes a destination, and when this becomes a destination, things happen. People come down, they want to see what’s going on,” Edwards said. “Talking about this project, I think will get people to lift their eyes, and see their city in a new way.”

The work is part of the Alliance’s “Transforming Wabash” project, which includes at least nine other murals – including a bubble gum-blowing moose, a rocket-driven child, and other works gracing the walls of buildings facing the ‘L.’

“I think there’s a growing appreciation worldwide for muralists, urban muralists, and urban street art beyond graffiti – something that actually says something,” Edwards said.

As for what this one looks like, Edwards wasn’t ready to give his own take.

“This is a bit more interpretive, and I think people should come down, and decide what it means to them,” he said.

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