Visual Arts

Art Aquatic

Muralists and the Shedd Aquarium showcase the beauty of underwater animals throughout the city

Sam Kirk and Jenny Q. work on their mural in West Englewood (Rod Sawyer)

On a sunny day in West Englewood, cars zoomed past as a new mural was being laid out on the side of 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez’s office. What started out as a simple blue background took on layers of vibrant blue and purple tones, with dashes of yellow and white for contrast. Every now and then, artists Sam Kirk and Jenny Q. stood back to admire their work and gain perspective on what needed to be added next.

Visual Arts

Mirror to the Community

Graffiti artists reinterpret the themes of "Wall of Respect" for a new generation

Rod Sawyer

If you take a ride on the Jackson Park Express bus—going either way on Hyde Park Boulevard past Cornell Avenue—you’ll catch a glimpse of a relatively new, large-scale mural on the south wall of the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC).

History | Holiday Issue 2017 | Interviews | Lit | Radio

Chicago Public Libraries, Uncovered

Anne Keough on the hidden archives in the Blackstone Branch

Rod Sawyer

When Anne Keough, the branch manager at Blackstone Library, looked in the cabinets behind her desk during recent renovations, she didn’t expect to find a treasure trove of historic documents. Blackstone Library opened in Kenwood in 1904 as the first branch of the Chicago Public Library system. In Keough’s office sat volumes of Shakespeare from the late 1800s, old copies of the Hyde Park Herald, and decades-old library policies. Weekly editor Rod Sawyer spoke with Keough about her discoveries, the history of the Chicago Public Library System, and the importance of time capsules.

Visual Arts

Reversing the Buff

The Brown Wall Project reclaims what’s been erased

Rod Sawyer

Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes is a graffiti educator, artist, Chicago native, and founder of the Brown Wall Project. Gloe created this public art initiative in Little Village in 2006 to beautify the city by painting on walls that the city has buffed—the practice of painting over walls with brown paint to remove graffiti. The Weekly sat down with Gloe to talk public art, erasure, and community engagement.

Visual Arts

Spray Paint School

Miguel Aguilar embodies his love and understanding of street art in the Graffiti Institute

Rod Sawyer

Years ago, the artist and graffiti-writer Miguel Aguilar, also known as Kane-One, came to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) as an undergraduate with little classroom art training, but with experience in street art stretching back to age thirteen.

Visual Arts

Beyond the Boundaries

Exploring the power of personal narratives in graffiti

Desi Mundo

At Chicago Zine Fest, which took place this past weekend at the Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport and the Plumbers Union Hall in West Loop, I shared zines that included photography of graffiti in Minneapolis, a subject I’ve explored in depth here in Chicago.