This blog entry was contributed by: Charlie Rees of the Flat Iron Artists' Association, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Economic times are tough. In many neighborhoods, empty storefronts sit next to bustling businesses. Blank walls face the street, covered with spray paint graffiti. And here, art can be a scene changer, making an impact.
In recent days, blessed with fine weather, as I walk around the neighborhood, I am reminded about the impact and change that art can make. One small anecdote serves as an example.
Early mornings, I take my dog, Jack the Boxer, for a long walk. First, we make the usual stops at Wicker Park, taking care of business. Then, we head down Damen Avenue to Division. A year ago, on the southwest corner of Damen and Division, 2001 W. Division, there was a boarded up, scarred storefront. You couldn’t miss it. It was an eyesore on an attractive street, bustling with restaurants and shops. Today, the image of that storefront underwent a metamorphic change, ugly to attractive.
This change was made possible by a public mural program sponsored by WPB SSA and administered by the WPB Chamber of Commerce. In cooperation with landlords, artists and WPB SSA, six murals were completed during the fall of 2011. (For the complete list of mural locations, click here.)
Art, a scene changer, makes an impact.
[Artist: Bernard Williams]