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16th Street Murals – snowy street art in Chicago by Ann Treacy
February 24, 2021, 2:39 am
Filed under: Chicago

Finding social distance fun on our one-day vacation in Chicago, Auntie Katie, Aine and I checked out the 16th Street Murals. The original plan was to walk the railroad embankment that’s covered with murals but it has snowed a lot in Chicago over the last week, there sidewalk wasn’t shoveled, Chicago traffic stop (or slows) for no dopey tourist and we realized the awesome warm weather mixed with a foot of snow would make for soggy toes. So we upped the safety in terms of traffic and COVID and did a driving tour.

The murals extend from Halsted to Western on West 16th Street in Chicago. It started as a grass roots project but morphed into something more official through the Art In Public Places Initiative. The art rans the gamut from pleasant to political, to cartoonish, to striking. There’s art that reflect current culture (The Simpson’s). There’s art that features the faces, especially of people of color (sometimes in the art that color is blue!), with an intensity that looks right through the viewer. There are animals that are majestic (eagles) and gruesome (the rat). There’s religious art. There’s modern, abstract art. There are a few, not a lot, but a few murals with statements; those statements are at least as often in Spanish as English.

I want to include most of the art that we captured, but I also want to highlight some of my favorites:

More art:


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