CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago high school students are working together to transform the viaduct in the Pullman neighborhood into a work of art.

The students are painting murals onto the viaduct, which have been designed by local professional artists such as Rahmaan Statik.

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(Photo: Mike Krauser/WBBM)

Tom McMahon of the Historic Pullman Foundation says Statik’s work captures the essence of Pullman. “They met with the community a couple of times and we told them exactly what the history of Pullman is and he captured it — he nailed it.”

Statik, who joined the students on Saturday at 111th and Cottage Grove, drew the outlines of George Pullman, President Barack Obama and Pullman Porter, as well as the historic residential buildings. The students then added the color to bring the designs to life.

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“The end of the work is the history of Pullman. There’s a big, beautiful outline of President Obama because it was his efforts that brought the National Park Service down here,” McMahon said. (Photo: Mike Krauser/WBBM)

“They’re rivals in so many areas. They’re rivals on the football field, on the basketball court and even on the streets,” McMahon said. “Today is going to start a collaborative effort.”

Kathy Schneider, Superintendent of the Pullman National Monument, says she sees the character of Pullman in the artwork.

“Even more heartening is to see these students — they can drive by and say, ‘I was part of that.'”

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The participating high school are Corliss, Harlan, Fenger, Gwendolyn Brooks and Carver — this is the first time they are all collaborating on a community project.