Art Has An Impact

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Monday, June 11, 2012

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]

Wicker Park Bucktown News-April 11 2012

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Thursday, April 12, 2012

Summer Event Vendor Applications

We are NOW accepting vendor applications for the following exciting upcoming Chamber events and festivals. 

For artists, retail, restaurants and non-profits:
Wicker Park Fest 
July 28-29

Polish Triangle Marketplace
June 7-Sept. 27 

For Wicker Park Bucktown Businesses:
Summer Sidewalk Sales
July 21-22 and/or Aug. 25-26 

Space is limited, so please send in your application today!


Your Input Needed!

The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce and WPB SSA #33, 1414 N. Ashland, need your input! We have hired Business Districts, Inc, to conduct a market study to identify our neighborhood's unique strengths and opportunities. Please take the survey now and pass it on to your customers, partners, neighbors, and fellow business owners. Your help completing and circulating the survey will be invaluable to the market study results and help our local economy thrive. Thank you!


Arts Spotlight: Johalla Projects

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, February 10, 2012

This blog entry was contributed by: Clover Morell, Administrative Assistant with the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at

For those of you who have had the recent privilege of seeing this new public art piece by Ryan Duggan at the California Blue Line stop, you can thank Johalla Projects.

Founder Anna Cerniglia says, “When art is in the public eye it meets a whole other audience. This audience might never walk into a gallery or have access to be exposed to it. I believe it can affect someone’s day in a more positive way than there being nothing there at all.”

And indeed it does.

Have you seen the mural by artist Andrea Jablonski on the façade of the restaurant Tocco? Do you remember the two beautiful silver deer installed in the empty lot at 1827 N. Milwaukee? What about the Wicker Park Walgreen’s mural by Ron Ewert and Dustin Ruegger? All Johalla.

In fact, Johalla Projects has been making a significant impact on the visual landscape of Wicker Park since 2009 while offering opportunities to emerging and mid-career artists. 

As a collaborative project space, Johalla Projects describes themselves as “a haven for artists, curators, and patrons who desire to expand their aesthetic horizons.”

Find out more information and check out their newest projects here.

Keep an eye out for an exciting new WPB SSA #33 sponsored project by Johalla Projects coming to the neighborhood soon!    

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