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

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

Hyde Park Art Panels

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

Cannas and Corn

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Artist: Olivia GudeDate: 2004Medium: Glass tile mosaic

Growing

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

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

The Heart of Rogers Park

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Artist: Damon ReedDate: 2007Medium: Painted mural

Hopes and Dreams

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Artist: G. LangDate: 2008Medium: Mosaic mural

Garfield Park CTA Mosaic

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

Fishing at Hogarth's

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

To Think the World

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

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

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Artist: Olivia GudeDate: 1992Medium: Painted mural

For the People of the Future

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

Black Women Emerging

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

The Wall of Daydreaming

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Artist: Mitchell CatonDate: 1975Medium: Painted mural

Women's Struggle

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Artist: Astrid FullerDate: 1975Medium: Painted mural

Alewives 1972/2009

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

Conservatory CTA Bricolage

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Artist: Mirtes ZwierzynskiDate: 2007Medium: Painted mural

Change Makers

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

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

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

Hyde Park Art Panels

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

Cannas and Corn

Artist: Olivia GudeDate: 2004Medium: Glass tile mosaic

Growing

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

Living

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

The Heart of Rogers Park

Artist: Damon ReedDate: 2007Medium: Painted mural

Hopes and Dreams

Artist: G. LangDate: 2008Medium: Mosaic mural

Garfield Park CTA Mosaic

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

Fishing at Hogarth's

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

To Think the World

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

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

Artist: Olivia GudeDate: 1992Medium: Painted mural

For the People of the Future

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

Black Women Emerging

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

The Wall of Daydreaming

Artist: Mitchell CatonDate: 1975Medium: Painted mural

Women's Struggle

Artist: Astrid FullerDate: 1975Medium: Painted mural

Alewives 1972/2009

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

Conservatory CTA Bricolage

Artist: Mirtes ZwierzynskiDate: 2007Medium: Painted mural

Change Makers

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