In 2013, Columbia College Chicago launched the Wabash Arts Corridor to immerse students in the creative spirit by using urban spaces and reclaimable resources to revitalize and transform the South Loop business district into one of the city’s major cultural assets. The heart of Wabash Arts Corridor is Wabash Avenue from Van Buren to Roosevelt and is framed to the east by Michigan Avenue and to the west by State Street. The corridor is regarded as an “living urban canvas” due to its ever growing number of large-scale mural installations and collaborative projects.
While Wabash Arts Corridor anticipates the district to grow and develop further as a living laboratory, it is currently comprised of 8 educational institutions, 19 galleries, 14 performance spaces, 5 major hotels and more than 40 restaurants. In just a few years, Wabash Arts Corridor has managed to connect students, artists, entrepreneurs, local businesses and commerce with educational and cultural programming for the visual, performing and media arts. The result has been the emergence of Wabash Arts Corridor as a key player in the city as an urban lab for creative expression, innovation and excellence in the arts. This spirit promotes artists and creators to become involved in the community, not only making it a tourist destination, but a dynamic urban campus for students attending nearby colleges and universities.
On a nice, warm afternoon I decided to go out and photograph as many murals as I could find. Armed with my extensive map, I found myself all over the South Loop capturing magic! The murals were very colorful, with the exception of a pretty cool black & white one. There were too many murals to name, but I hope you have fun just looking at them. The majority of them were very accessible, but some were on the side of buildings where you needed to be standing on top of another building. But that's where my handy zoom lens came into play. After spending time in the South Loop, I ventured up North to Wicker Park were I found outstanding murals by locals artists Hebru Brantley and Jeff Zimmermann. It was great to finally photograph murals from Hebru's "Flyboy" series. Enjoy!