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Under the Overpass: Public Art in Challenging Spaces

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Here at Curbed, it's no secret that we like pretty things. Cut us some slack; Chicago has a whole lot to offer — we dare you to walk around town for an afternoon and not wind up bewitched by an incredible building, unexpected vista, or awesome art installation. That said, part of the beauty of our city is in innovations to the tattered edges of public spaces. Much of the year we live in a tundra, but that doesn't mean the outdoors isn't experienced intensively and creatively. Second City boosterism aside, the thrust of today's map post is to highlight Chicago's use of ubiquitous and inherently unexciting public space — specifically overpasses (highway, El, LSD, etc.) — in capturing some of the best mural art around.

Some of the murals have been around for decades and represent poignant moments of social change, time capsules for Chicago history such as "Black Women Emerging" which depicts big steps for women's rights or "The Wall of Daydreaming" which depicts civil rights events and moments of racial reckoning throughout the 20th century. Others more recently created like "The Heart of Rogers Park" stretching brightly and buoyantly beneath the Morse CTA Red Line, serve to revitalize and galvanize neighborhoods.

We hope this list covers enough of the city to satiate loyal neighborhood diehards. In any event, it should serve as a jump start to get your artsy meanderings in high gear for the season.
·Chicago Public Art Group [Official]

—Arabella Watters

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1. 2. Reaching Back, Moving Forward, Lest We Forget the Song of 47th Street

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Lake Michigan Lakefront
Chicago, IL 60611

Artist: Carolyn Elaine and John Pitman WeberDate: 2009Medium: Mosaic Mural

2. Hyde Park Art Panels

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East 53rd Street & South Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637

Artist: Burroughs, Evans, Himmelfarb, & JonesDate: 2009Medium: Digital prints

3. Cannas and Corn

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West Ogden Avenue & South Central Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60623

Artist: Olivia GudeDate: 2004Medium: Glass tile mosaic

4. Growing

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Artists: Tracy Van Duinen and Todd OsborneDate: 2008Medium: Mosaic mural

5. Living

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Artist: Tracy Van Duinen and Todd OsborneDate: 2007Medium: Mosaic mural

6. The Heart of Rogers Park

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North Clark Street & West Morse Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626

Artist: Damon ReedDate: 2007Medium: Painted mural

7. Hopes and Dreams

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South Wabash Avenue & East Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60605

Artist: G. LangDate: 2008Medium: Mosaic mural

8. Garfield Park CTA Mosaic

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West Lake Street & North Central Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60624

Artists: Salam Hurtado and Michael CloudDate: 2001Medium: Mosaic mural

9. Fishing at Hogarth's

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1108 West Lawrence Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640

Artists: Tim Portlock and Beatriz Santiago MunozDate: 1995Medium: Painted mural

10. To Think the World

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1881 East 71st Street
Chicago, IL 60649

Artist: Phil Schuster and Mirtes ZwierzynskiDate: 1993Medium: Sculpture and glass mosaic

11. Where We Come From...Where We're Going

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South Lake Park Avenue & East 56th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Artist: Olivia GudeDate: 1992Medium: Painted mural

12. For the People of the Future

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West North Avenue & North Springfield Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647

Artist: Jose Guerrero, Lynn Takata, and John Pitman WeberDate: 1980Medium: Sculptural mosaic mural

13. Black Women Emerging

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South Cottage Grove Avenue & East 41st Street
Chicago, IL 60653

Artist: Justine Presha' DeVanDate: 1977Medium: Painted mural

14. The Wall of Daydreaming

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South Calumet Avenue & East 47th Street
Chicago, IL 60615

Artist: Mitchell CatonDate: 1975Medium: Painted mural

15. Women's Struggle

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South Lake Park Avenue & East 56th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Artist: Astrid FullerDate: 1975Medium: Painted mural

16. Alewives 1972/2009

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1603 East 55th Street
Chicago, IL 60615

Original artist: Albert ZenoUpdated artist: Damon Lamar ReedDate: 1972/2009Medium: Painted mural

17. Conservatory CTA Bricolage

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208 North Conservatory Drive
Chicago, IL 60624

Artist: Mirtes ZwierzynskiDate: 2007Medium: Painted mural

18. Change Makers

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3827 West Ogden Avenue
Chicago, IL 60623

Artist: Damon Reed and Moses BallDate: 2005Medium: Mosaic mural

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1. 2. Reaching Back, Moving Forward, Lest We Forget the Song of 47th Street

Lake Michigan Lakefront, Chicago, IL 60611

Artist: Carolyn Elaine and John Pitman WeberDate: 2009Medium: Mosaic Mural

Lake Michigan Lakefront
Chicago, IL 60611

2. Hyde Park Art Panels

East 53rd Street & South Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637

Artist: Burroughs, Evans, Himmelfarb, & JonesDate: 2009Medium: Digital prints

East 53rd Street & South Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637

3. Cannas and Corn

West Ogden Avenue & South Central Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60623

Artist: Olivia GudeDate: 2004Medium: Glass tile mosaic

West Ogden Avenue & South Central Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60623

4. Growing

Chicago, IL 60660

Artists: Tracy Van Duinen and Todd OsborneDate: 2008Medium: Mosaic mural

5. Living

Chicago, IL 60660

Artist: Tracy Van Duinen and Todd OsborneDate: 2007Medium: Mosaic mural

6. The Heart of Rogers Park

North Clark Street & West Morse Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626

Artist: Damon ReedDate: 2007Medium: Painted mural

North Clark Street & West Morse Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626

7. Hopes and Dreams

South Wabash Avenue & East Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60605

Artist: G. LangDate: 2008Medium: Mosaic mural

South Wabash Avenue & East Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60605

8. Garfield Park CTA Mosaic

West Lake Street & North Central Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60624

Artists: Salam Hurtado and Michael CloudDate: 2001Medium: Mosaic mural

West Lake Street & North Central Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60624

9. Fishing at Hogarth's

1108 West Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640

Artists: Tim Portlock and Beatriz Santiago MunozDate: 1995Medium: Painted mural

1108 West Lawrence Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640

10. To Think the World

1881 East 71st Street, Chicago, IL 60649

Artist: Phil Schuster and Mirtes ZwierzynskiDate: 1993Medium: Sculpture and glass mosaic

1881 East 71st Street
Chicago, IL 60649

11. Where We Come From...Where We're Going

South Lake Park Avenue & East 56th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Artist: Olivia GudeDate: 1992Medium: Painted mural

South Lake Park Avenue & East 56th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

12. For the People of the Future

West North Avenue & North Springfield Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

Artist: Jose Guerrero, Lynn Takata, and John Pitman WeberDate: 1980Medium: Sculptural mosaic mural

West North Avenue & North Springfield Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647

13. Black Women Emerging

South Cottage Grove Avenue & East 41st Street, Chicago, IL 60653

Artist: Justine Presha' DeVanDate: 1977Medium: Painted mural

South Cottage Grove Avenue & East 41st Street
Chicago, IL 60653

14. The Wall of Daydreaming

South Calumet Avenue & East 47th Street, Chicago, IL 60615

Artist: Mitchell CatonDate: 1975Medium: Painted mural

South Calumet Avenue & East 47th Street
Chicago, IL 60615

15. Women's Struggle

South Lake Park Avenue & East 56th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Artist: Astrid FullerDate: 1975Medium: Painted mural

South Lake Park Avenue & East 56th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

16. Alewives 1972/2009

1603 East 55th Street, Chicago, IL 60615

Original artist: Albert ZenoUpdated artist: Damon Lamar ReedDate: 1972/2009Medium: Painted mural

1603 East 55th Street
Chicago, IL 60615

17. Conservatory CTA Bricolage

208 North Conservatory Drive, Chicago, IL 60624

Artist: Mirtes ZwierzynskiDate: 2007Medium: Painted mural

208 North Conservatory Drive
Chicago, IL 60624

18. Change Makers

3827 West Ogden Avenue, Chicago, IL 60623

Artist: Damon Reed and Moses BallDate: 2005Medium: Mosaic mural

3827 West Ogden Avenue
Chicago, IL 60623