South Side 2019

The South Side is an area of the city of Chicago. It is the largest of the three sides of the city that radiate from downtown…the others being the North Side and the West Side. While there is no East Side, because Lake Michigan runs along the city's eastern border, there is an East Side community area on the South Side, in the far southeastern section of the city. The South Side is sometimes referred to as South Chicago, although that name can also refer to a specific community area on the South Side.

Much of the South Side came from the city's annexation of townships such as Hyde Park. The city's ‘sides’ have historically been divided by the Chicago River and its branches. The South Side of Chicago was originally defined as all of the city south of the main branch of the Chicago River, but it now excludes the Loop. The South Side has a varied ethnic composition. It has great disparity in income and other demographic measures. Although it has a reputation for high levels of crime, the reality is much more varied. The South Side ranges from affluent to middle class to poor, just like other sections of large cities. South Side neighborhoods such as Armour Square, Back Of The Yards, Bridgeport and Pullman host more blue collar and middle-class residents, while Hyde Park, the Jackson Park Highlands District, Kenwood, Beverly, Mount Greenwood and West Morgan Park feature affluent and upper middle-class residents.

The South Side boasts a broad array of cultural and social offerings, such as professional sports teams, landmark buildings, museums, educational institutions, medical institutions, beaches, and major parts of Chicago's parks system. The South Side is served by numerous bus and ‘L’ trains via the Chicago Transit Authority and several Metra rail commuter lines. It has several interstate and national highways.

Murals are also a big part of certain South Side areas. The murals I photographed were mostly in South Shore, Woodlawn, Englewood and Bridgeport. Max Sansing’s ‘Culture Is Power’ mural, as well as his collaboration with Kayla Mahaffey helped to brighten an area of 79th Street in South Shore. Max also has two more murals ‘Shine And We Will Grow’ and another mural at the Sweet Water Foundation’s Think-Do House in Englewood. Chris Devins' mural of former First Lady Michelle Obama is displayed on the side of an apartment building from Bouchet Elementary Math and Science Academy where Mrs. Obama attended in the 70’s. Max Sansing and RahmaanStatikBarnes have murals that are part of the Woodlawn Works Mural Project that are displayed in WoodlawnAndy Bellomo's 'The Beautiful Future' dragon mural helped to celebrate Chinatown’s 100th Anniversary.

Moving into the Bridgeport neighborhood, I photographed Birdcap’s mural for rapper Big Krit, Sentrock’s ever-popular ‘Red Bird’ mural, as well as a collaboration mural from Revisecmw and Charles Uter III. My last mural in this area was from Rahwooh at the Wayward Machine Company in the Back Of The Yards neighborhood. After I photographed murals by Kozmo (Burger Lady), Sentrock (Red Bird), (Sub)urban Warrior (Raging Bull) and Czr Prz (Pit Bull) in Englewood, I captured Stuk One's 'Sweet Home Chicago, Chicago Bears' mural in McKinley Park and JC Rivera's 'The Bear Champ' mural downtown.