Some amazing artwork is starting to appear on once dingy underpass walls thanks to the 49th Ward’s Underpass Mural Project, one of 14 projects approved by the voters in last April’s Participatory Budgeting Election (for a status report on the other projects, click the attachment here: Participatory_Budgeting–UpdateOct2010.pdf (141 KB))
The other day I received an e-mail from one of the mural artists, Dan Bellini, who, together with his friend and fellow artist, Jennifer Cronin, is painting a mural at the Farwell Avenue Metra underpass:
“Jen and I went to scrape and primer our wall today and had an unbelievably great experience. The neighbors were very gracious, and by the end of the day we had all the neighborhood kids cutting weeds, scraping old chipped paint and painting primer with us. One of the neighbors offered us her garage to store our supplies and even gave us our own key to her garage, so we could access our stuff anytime. We were blown away by the friendliness of the people today.”
Dan shared this photograph of his friend, Jen, and their helpers, Diego, Romalo and Brandon:
Dan and Jen’s experience is being emulated on Metra underpasses throughout the neighborhood, with neighbors offering food and drink to the artists, and youngsters pitching in to help wherever they can. Union Pacific Railroad gave their final ok for artists to begin their work on the Metra underpasses a few weeks ago, and we expect the CTA’s final sign-off on their underpasses any day now. Those artists who are unable to finish their work before the weather turns nasty will complete their work in the spring.
The underpass mural project approved by the voters last April called for artistic murals on twelve underpass walls throughout the 49th Ward. The final selection of the artists and their murals was determined by a second vote of 49th Ward residents at the Glenwood Arts Festival in August.
The winning artists selected their underpass walls from a list of eligible locations supplied by the CTA and Union Pacific Railroad, with the artist whose mural received the most votes getting first choice, and so on. Due to a tie vote, an additional thirteenth mural will be painted.
The artists selected the following underpass walls:
Columbia (North Wall)
Pratt (Both Walls)
Touhy (South Wall)
Touhy (North Wall)
Fargo (East Wall)
Fargo (North Wall)
Union Pacific (Metra) Underpasses
Pratt (North Wall)
Pratt (South Wall)
Farwell (North Wall)
Morse (South Wall)
Greenleaf (South Wall)
Greenleaf (North Wall)
Rogers (South Wall)
To view a rendering of each mural and its assigned location, CLICK HERE, or visit the 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting Project blog at:
As work on the 2010 projects continues, planning has already begun for next year’s 49th infrastructure project “menu.” Folks have been gathering in “neighborhood assemblies” throughout the ward to share their ideas for projects that will be submitted to the voters in the 2011 Participatory Budgeting Election.
You can still attend one of the three remaining assemblies. Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of democracy in action!
All neighborhood assembly meetings start at 7 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 11th, United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse, 3rd Floor
Tuesday, Oct. 12th, Nathalie Salmon House, 7320 N. Sheridan
Tuesday, Oct. 19th, Gale Academy, 1631 W. Jonquil
For complete information on the 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting process, visit our blog at:http://participatorybudgeting49.wordpress.com/