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Best Of Chicago

Best Murals In Chicago

September 30, 2013 7:00 AM

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(Credit: ward25.com)

(Credit: ward25.com)

When it comes to art displays, think beyond art galleries and check out murals on display in and around Chicago. From a mural that depicts the life of a famous Chicagoan to a mural that also doubles as a map, you can find an assortment of artwork proudly on display on walls and inside public buildings. To find a mural near you, consider checking out the following five murals in Chicago.

‘Events In The Life Of Harold Washington’ By Jacob Lawrence
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State St.
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 747-4300
www.chipublib.org

If you’re in the Loop and want to see some public art while on your lunch break or after work, then pop into the Harold Washington Library Center and check out “Events in the Life of Harold Washington.” Harold Washington’s accomplishments throughout his life are depicted in the mural, beginning with his time as a student and culminating in his years as the first African-American mayor of Chicago. The mural, by artist Jacob Lawrence, is comprised of ceramic tile in an assortment of vivid colors. It measures approximately 10.5 feet by 15.25 fee, and is located on the first floor of the library.

(Credit: ward25.com)

(Credit: ward25.com)

Public Murals In Pilsen
16th St. between Western Ave. and Canal St.
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 523-4100
www.ward25.com

Why look at one mural when you can look at many? In Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, Alderman Danny Solis has encouraged artists to pick up their paintbrushes and add their work to the neighborhood in the form of murals. Many of the murals are located on 16th Street, and other murals are also throughout the neighborhood. The murals provide messages of hope, and also reflect Pilsen’s role in the artistic community. Check out Brooks Golden’s mural of owls, located at 16th Street and Laflin Street, and the colorful collaboration of Ruben Aguirre and M. Del Real Ink Art, located at 16th Street and Ashland Avenue.

‘Parade Of The Century’ And ‘Naperville Loves A Parade’
Rubin’s Way in downtown Naperville
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 355-5553
www.centurywalk.org

Take a trip to downtown Naperville and check out two murals between the Gap and Talbot’s stores on the west side of Main Street. In “Parade of the Century,” the mural uses both sepia tones and black and white to depict people throughout the previous century. As you face that mural, turn 180 degrees and take a look at “Naperville Loves a Parade.” The mural features paintings of spectators and local businesses in bright, vivid colors and plays off the mural on the opposite wall by making the observer feel as though they are in the parade. The latter mural is currently underway, and is projected to be completed around mid-November. The Naperville Century Walk website also includes audio tours and information on these murals and other public works of art in Naperville.

Related: Best Bizarre Public Art In Chicago

(Credit: openstudioproject.org)

(Credit: openstudioproject.org)

Evanston
Main St. near Chicago Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
www.openstudioproject.org

While you wait for your train at the Metra train station in Evanston, consider checking out the mural in the alleyway between the Metra and El stops. The mural, which was organized by Open Studio Project, features a ceramic map of Evanston complete with individual glazed tiles and reflects the work of members of the community, including kids and adults. The mural also features a painting created in the Open Studio Project’s workshop done on cloth and affixed to the wall. The result is a can’t-miss creation that livens up the wall.

Murals In Oak Park
North and South Boulevards
Oak Park Area Arts Council
(708) 358-5690
www.oakparkareaartscouncil.org

If you regularly walk along North or South Boulevards in Oak Park, then you’ve likely seen the murals on display on the retaining walls of the Green Line corridor. The murals depict an assortment of paintings in a wide variety of artistic styles, including scenes from nature, pictures that encourage children to read and paintings of animals. They also add a splash of color to the corridor. The murals feature works from artists from Oak Park and Chicago, and other suburbs as well, and the goal of the Oak Park Area Arts Council is to eventually form a continuous loop of public art murals in Oak Park.

Related: Best Chicago Businesses With Art Galleries

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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